Issue: 2004 > November > review

Sickle cell disease; a general overview

J.B. Schnog, A.J. Duits, F.A.J. Muskiet, H. ten Cate, R.A. Rojer, D.P.M. Brandjes


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a heterogeneous disorder, with clinical manifestations including chronic haemolysis, an increased susceptibility to infections and vaso-occlusive complications often requiring medical care. Patients with SCD can develop specific and sometimes life-threatening complications, as well as extensive organ damage reducing both their quality of life and their life expectancy. Proven effective treatment options for sickle cell patients are limited to hydroxyurea, blood transfusions and bone marrow transplantation. With the increasing prevalence of SCD in the Netherlands, a fundamental understanding of its pathophysiology
and clinical syndromes is of importance for local
medical practitioners.