[Sickle-cell crisis in the child and teenager in Brazzaville, Congo. A retrospective study of 587 cases].Bull Soc Pathol Exot. 2005 Dec; 98(5):365-70.BS
Using files related to children admitted at the Brazzaville teaching hospital (Congo) between May 1995 and May 2002, the authors have studied the part of sickle cell crisis (SCC) in the sickle cell disease, have assessed the epidemiological particularities, the relation between some clinical, biological factors as well as the severity of the disease. On the whole, 587 SCC have been observed in homozygous SS children aged 6 to 17. The distribution was as follows: painful osteo-articular crisis (58.6%), abdominal crisis (23.5%), acute chest syndrome (14%), neurological strokes (3.2%) and priapism (0.7%). The neurological strokes (75%) and the hand-foot syndrome (77.8%) were predominant in male. As regards the interaction age-localization of the crisis, the hand-foot syndrome mainly concerned children under five, long bones and rachis impairment those aged 11 to 15; abdominal and neurological crisis were observed especially before the age of 10, the acute chest syndrome after 10 (68.3%). Malaria (48.9%) and bacterial or viral infections (24.5%) proved to be the triggering factors when these are identified (188 cases). SCC occurred in 67.5% of the cases during the hot and rainy seasons. Moreover the haemoglobin F rate above 10% was correlated with a low prevalence of SCC, in particular the potentially severe crisis, revealing at the same time its protective value. These results show that SCC, by their frequency and/or their severity constitute a major handicap when the vital prognosis is not involved. Rigorous health habits, appropriate vaccination programme, adequate malarial prophylaxis, optimal transfusional strategy and especially the use of hydroxyurea, prove to be urgent preventive measures to put into practice. Their efficient implementation will provide a better quality of life to the sickle cell patient and will decrease the risks of severe crisis.