Persistent hepatomegaly: an index of severity in sickle cell anaemia.East Afr Med J. 1994 Nov; 71(11):742-4.EA
Eighty sickle cell anaemia patients, 29 with persistent hepatomegaly and 51 without, were evaluated with respect to clinical severity score. Haemoglobin F (HbF) was also determined in 52 patients, 20 with persistent hepatomegaly and 32 without. The severity scores were computed from the steady state haematocrit, number of transfusions per year, and number of crises per year. The HbF level was determined by the alkali denaturation method. The patients with persistent hepatomegaly had significantly higher clinical severity scores (P < 0.001) and significantly lower levels of HbF (P < 0.0001). The implication of the finding is that patients with persistent hepatomegaly may have a more severe clinical course than those without, and clinicians managing them may have to pay more particular attention to them. In effect, persistent hepatomegaly may be a useful indicator of severity in sickle cell anaemia.