Extent of silent cerebral infarcts in adult sickle-cell disease patients on magnetic resonance imaging: is there a correlation with the clinical severity of disease?
AbstractThe aim of this paper is to correlate the extent of silent cerebral infarcts (SCIs) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with the clinical severity of sickle cell disease (SCD) in adult patients. Twenty-four consecutive adult asymptomatic SCD patients (11 male and 13 female) with a mean age of 38.4 years (range 20-59) were submitted to brain MRI on a 1 Tesla Gyroscan Intera, Philips MR scanner with a dedicated head coil. The protocol consisted of TSE T2-weighted and FLAIR images on the axial and coronal planes. MRI readings were undertaken by two radiologists and consensus readings. Patients were compound heterozygotes (HbS/β-thal). The extent of SCIs was classified from 0-2 with 0 designating no lesions. Clinical severity was graded as 0-2 by the hematologist, according to the frequency and severity of vaso-occlusive crises. There was no statistically significant correlation between the severity of clinical disease and the extent of SCIs on MR imaging. The extent of SCI lesions did not differ statistically between younger and older patients. Patients receiving hydroxyurea had no statistically significant difference in the extent of SCI lesions. The extent of SCIs in heterozygous (HbS/β-thal) SCD patients is not age related and may be quite severe even in younger (<38.4 years) patients. However the extent of SCIs is not correlated with the severity of clinical disease.
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