Transcranial doppler screening in a current cohort of children with sickle cell anemia: Results from the DISPLACE Study

Academic Article


  • Stroke prevention guidelines for sickle cell anemia (SCA) recommend transcranial Doppler (TCD) screening to identify children at stroke risk; however, TCD screening implementation remains poor. This report describes results from Part 1 of the 28-site DISPLACE (Dissemination and Implementation of Stroke Prevention Looking at the Care Environment) study, a baseline assessment of TCD implementation rates. This report describes TCD implementation by consortium site characteristics; characteristics of TCDs completed; and TCD results based on age. The cohort included 5247 children with SCA, of whom 5116 were eligible for TCD implementation assessment for at least 1 study year. The majority of children were African American or Black, non-Hispanic and received Medicaid. Mean age at first recorded TCD was 5.9 and 10.5 years at study end. Observed TCD screening rates were unsatisfactory across geographic regions (mean 49.9%; range: 30.9% to 74.7%) independent of size, institution type, or previous stroke prevention trial participation. The abnormal TCD rate was 2.9%, with a median age of 6.3 years for first abnormal TCD result. Findings highlight real-world TCD screening practices and results from the largest SCA cohort to date. Data informed the part 3 implementation study for improving stroke screening and findings may inform clinical practice improvements.
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  • Kanter J; Phillips S; Schlenz AM; Mueller M; Dooley M; Sirline L; Nickel R; Brown RC; Hilliard L; Melvin CL