Low nitric oxide level is implicated in sickle cell disease and its complications in Ghana.Vasc Health Risk Manag 2018; 14:199-204VH
Nitric oxide (NO) plays a fundamental role in maintaining normal vasomotor tone. Recent clinical and experimental data suggest that NO may play a role in the pathogenesis and therapy of sickle cell disease (SCD). The aim of this study was to determine NO metabolites (NOx) in SCD patients at steady state and in vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC), as well as those with hemolytic clinical sub-phenotype that includes leg ulcers and priapism.
This was a case-control cross-sectional study conducted on a total of 694 subjects including 148 comparison group HbAA, 208 HbSS SCD patients in steady state, 82 HbSC SCD patients in steady state, 156 HbSS SCD patients in VOC, 34 HbSC SCD patients in VOC, 34 HbSS SCD patients in post VOC, 21 HbSS SCD patients with leg ulcer and 11 HbSS SCD patients with priapism, with age ranging from 15 to 65 years. Laboratory diagnosis of SCD was done at the Sickle Cell Clinic of the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital. Plasma nitric oxide metabolites were measured using Griess reagent system by ELISA method.
Mean NOx of 59.66±0.75 µMol/L in the comparison group was significantly different from those in steady state (P=0.02). During VOC, there was a significant reduction in mean NOx levels to 6.08±0.81 µMol/L (P<0.001). Mean NOx levels were however, significantly higher (50.97±1.68 µMol/L) (P<0.001) in the immediate postcrisis period. The mean NOx levels in the leg ulcer (21.70±1.18 µMol/L) (P<0.001) and priapism (28.97±1.27 µMol/L) (P<0.001) patients were significantly low as compared to the SCD patients in the steady state and comparison group.
This study presents the first report on plasma NOx levels in SCD complication in Ghanaian SCD patients and confirms reduced plasma NOx levels in SCD patients in general.