Haemoglobin F and clinical severity of sickle cell anaemia among Nigerian adults.Afr J Med Med Sci. 2000 Sep-Dec; 29(3-4):229-31.AJ
Haemoglobin F (HbF) has been a useful criterion in predicting the clinical severity of sickle cell disease (SCD). Thus different treatment modalities are geared towards raising its level. This study estimated HbF levels in sickle cell anaemia patients. HbF levels were then compared with clinical parameters such as the average number of bone pain crisis per year, transfusion requirement, enlargement of both the spleen and liver and the haematocrit level. The mean HbF value was 7.4 +/- 3.6%. Males recorded a higher mean level than females 7.6 +/- 3.9%, and 6.7 +/- 3.6% respectively, (P > 0.05). HbF of 7.4% was used to divide the patients into two broad groups. Patients with HbF of more than 7.4% were older compared to those with less than 7.4% (P > 0.5), the former group was also less transfusion dependent (P > 0.05) even though their haematocrit was not significantly different (P > 0.05) from those with HbF of < 7.4%. The patients with higher HbF levels are also more likely to retain their spleen longer than their counterpart with lower values. It appears that clinical severity has a relationship with HbF values even though most were not statistically significant. There is a need for larger studies to study this relationship more closely.