Pulmonary complications in adult patients with sickle cell disease
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Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited hemoglobin disorder, associated with recurrent painful episodes, ongoing hemolytic anemia and progressive multi-organ failure. While survival beyond the fourth decade of life for a patient with SCD was previously considered unusual; nowadays, in countries with developed health care systems, patients with SCD could reach into adulthood. However, irreversible organ damages have become more prevalent along with the patients' reaching adulthood. The lungs as well are among the organs involved in SCD. Pulmonary complications are significant causes of morbidity and mortality and are substantially responsible for deaths. Although our understanding of these conditions has improved over the past 10-15 years, there remains no specific treatment of pulmonary complications of SCD. Limited data on health care issues, particularly in older adults with SCD, poses multiple challenges to patients, their families and health care providers. The incidence and severity of pulmonary complications require the physicians' further interest in this subject. The present review comprises the following pulmonary complications of SCD: i) acute chest syndrome, ii) venous thromboembolus, iii) asthma, iv) respiratory dysfunction, v) respiratory disorders during sleeping, vi) pulmonary hypertension.