Mild haemorheological changes induced by a moderate endurance exercise in patients with sickle cell anaemia.Br J Haematol. 2011 Aug; 154(3):398-407.BJ
The levels and duration of physical activity that can be considered as completely safe in patients with sickle cell anaemia (SCA) is unknown. The present study compared the haemorheological and haematological profile, cell density distribution and basic biochemistry between a group of 17 patients with SCA and 21 healthy subjects before and after a 20 min duration submaximal cycling exercise at the same absolute workload. Blood was sampled at rest and 3 min after the end of exercise for measurement of biological parameters. Exercise did not affect the haematocrit and blood viscosity in the two groups. Plasma viscosity was not different between the two groups at rest and similarly increased with exercise. The proportion of intermediary dense cells (with density between 1·11 and 1·12 g/ml) decreased with exercise in the SCA group resulting in an increase in the proportion of red blood cells with a density >1·12 g/ml. No change was observed in the control group. The present study suggests that mild-moderate exercise is not very harmful for SCA patients. The haemorheological and haematological changes were very mild, except for the formation of dense cells but no clinically significant signs of medical complication were present in any of the patients.