Pulmonary functions of children with sickle cell anaemia in steady state in Lagos, Nigeria
Background: Respiratory disorders are responsible for considerable morbidity and mortality in children with sickle cell anaemia (SCA). Spirometry is a useful tool for the detection and monitoring of respiratory disorders, but it is under-utilized by healthcare workers who care for children with sickle cell anaemia. Most of the studies assessing pulmonary functions in sickle cell anaemia were conducted among adults.
Objective: To describe the lung functions profile of children with sickle cell anaemia in steady state.
Methodology: In this study, spirometric indices of 100 children with SCA (HbSS) aged five years to 12 years were compared with 100 matched normal children (HbAA) in the control group.
Results: Irrespective of gender, the mean Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR) values were significantly higher among the HbAA controls than their HbSS counterparts. The mean Forced Expiratory Volume in one second (FEV1) values of males and all subjects irrespective of gender were also significantly higher among the controls compared to HbSS subjects. The mean Forced Vital Capacity (FVC) values were higher among HbSS subjects than the HbAA controls, but the observed differences were not significant. The mean FEV1/FVC values were also not significantly different between the SCA subjects and the controls. The overall prevalence of restrictive pulmonary abnormalities among the HbSS group was 6.0% whereas none of the HbAA group had restrictive pulmonary disorders.
Conclusion: Children with SCA, irrespective of gender, have significantly lower PEFR and FEV1. Restrictive lung abnormalities occur exclusively among subjects with SCA.
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