Echocardiographic Screening of Cardiovascular Status in Pediatric Sickle Cell Disease

Kiona Y. Allen, Shannon Jones, Tannoa Jackson, Grace DeCost, Paul Stephens, Brian D. Hanna, Meryl S. Cohen, Kim Smith-Whitley, Laura Mercer-Rosa, Shobha S. Natarajan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Although elevated right ventricular pressure and left ventricular diastolic dysfunction measured by echocardiogram are independent predictors of death in adults with sickle cell disease (SCD), the utility of routine echocardiographic screening in the pediatric population is controversial. We performed a 3-year retrospective review of children ≥ 10 years of age with SCD who underwent an outpatient transthoracic echocardiogram as part of a screening program. Of 172 patients referred for screening, 105 (61%) had a measurable tricuspid regurgitation jet velocity (TRV): median 2.4 m/s (IQR 2.3–2.5). Elevated right ventricular (RV) pressure (TRV ≥ 2.5 m/s, 25 mmHg), documented in 30% (32/105), was significantly associated with chronic transfusion therapy and elevated lactate dehydrogenase. Left ventricle (LV) dilation, documented in 25% (44/172), was significantly associated with lower hemoglobin, and higher reticulocyte count, lactate dehydrogenase level, and bilirubin level. There was no association between elevated right ventricular pressure or left ventricle dilation and indices of biventricular systolic or diastolic function. The one death in the cohort during the study period had normal echocardiographic findings. In conclusion, mild RV pressure elevation and LV dilation in children with SCD is associated with abnormal laboratory markers of disease severity, but not with ventricular dysfunction over the 3-year study period.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1670-1678
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric cardiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 1 2019


  • Pediatrics
  • Pulmonary hypertension
  • Sickle cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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