Effect of Sickle Cell Anemia Therapies on the Natural History of Growth and Puberty Patterns

Academic Article


  • As pediatric patients with sickle cell anemia (SCA) have impaired growth and puberty patterns, we studied the effect of disease-modifying therapies on growth and puberty patterns for patients with SCA receiving hydroxyurea (HU), transfusions, or no therapy. We performed a retrospective study of children with SCA in whom anthropometric measurements and therapy type were recorded. Penalized smoothing splines were fitted to estimate growth curves and growth velocity, and linear mixed models were used to examine differences across treatment groups. Across group analyses were divided into early childhood (4.0 to 7.9 y) and peripubertal (8.0 to 12.0 y). We analyzed growth data on 157 SCA patients. From 8.0 to 12.0 years, girls on transfusion therapy were significantly taller than girls on HU (range, 5.7 to 7.2 cm; P-value range 0.002 to 0.01). From 10.0 to 12.0 years, boys on transfusion therapy were significantly taller than boys on HU (range, 4.1 to 9.4 cm; P-value range <0.0001 to 0.04). In addition, boys on transfusion therapy had an earlier peak height velocity as compared with boys on either HU or no therapy. In conclusion, children receiving transfusions tended to be taller than children on HU or no therapy. Children on HU did not demonstrate superior growth pattern when compared with children on no therapy in the peripubertal years.
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    Author List

  • Nagalapuram V; Kulkarni V; Leach J; Aban I; Sirigaddi K; Lebensburger JD; Iyer P
  • Start Page

  • 606
  • End Page

  • 611
  • Volume

  • 41
  • Issue

  • 8