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Blood transfusion, Sickle cell disease, Infectious, Alloimmunization, Iron overload
Context and Objectives: Blood transfusions (BT) remain a mainstay of therapy for patients with sickle cell disease (SCD), but pose significant clinical challenges. We aim to assess infectious markers, red cell alloimmunization and iron overload secondary to BT in SCD patients.
Materials and Methods: This is a case-control study included 253 SCD (153 SCD-transfused and 100 SCD non-transfused). We evaluated the transfusion practice (modalities, indications), post-transfusion complications (infections, alloimmunization, iron overload) and risk factors of these complications (socio-demographic, clinical, biological).
Results: Median age was 28.5 years (5 - 59). Sex ratio was 0.86. Homozygous SCD was more common (95.3%). Simple BT was performed in 92.8% and transfusion exchange in 18.9%. Transfusion indications were dominated by acute anemia (57.06%) and vaso-occlusive crisis (VOCs) (14%). Red blood cell concentrates (RBC) were administered to 93.46%. Median number of RBC received per patient was 10 (2 - 48). The prevalence of VHC in SCD-transfused was 1.33% and 2% for VHB. Anti-HIV antibodies were not found. Red cell alloimmunization frequency was 16%. The most common alloantibodies were anti-rhesus (34.19%) and anti-Kell (23.67%). Iron overload was detected in 7.84%. The number of RBC transfused was the only risk factor for alloimmunization (p = 0.03) and iron overload (p = 0.023). BT frequency was not related to infectious transmission.
Conclusion: Despite advances in blood safety, BT therapy is still a risk for SCD polytransfused patients. Although infectious transmission has rare, the risk of alloimmunization and iron overload is high in these patients.
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