Association of foetal haemoglobin with pancreatic enzymes in sickle cell disease patients in Benin City, Nigeria

  • M.A. Emokpae
  • I Ehioghae
  • M.O. Onaiwu


Background/Aim: There are conflicting reports on the potential protective effects of foetal haemoglobin (HbF) in the elimination of symptoms of Sickle cell disease in the patients and reports which correlate the levels of HbF with pancreatic enzymes in SCD are scarce in the literature.This study correlates the levels of HbF on pancreatic enzymesactivities in SCD patients on steady clinical state.

Materials and Methods: Serum amylase and lipase as well as urine amylase were determined using commercially available reagents kits. Control sera were included in all assays to ensure accuracy and precision of the analytes.

Student’s t-test was used to compared data at 95% confidence intervals (p<0.05) and Pearson correlation coefficient was used to evaluate the association of HbF with measured variables.

Results: Urine amylase (p=0.01), serum amylase (p<0.001) and lipase (p=0.002) were significantly decreased in sickle cell patients with high (>5%)HbFwhen compared to those with low (<4.9%) HbF. Foetal haemoglobin levelscorrelated negatively with serum lipase (r = −0.468, p < 0.001) and amylase (r = −0.381, p < 0.01) but the correlation with urine amylase (r = −0.154, p = 0.314) was not however statistically significant.

Conclusion: SCD patients with lower HbF were characterized with elevated levels of pancreatic enzymesthan those with higher HbFlevels; hence SCD patients subjectswith lower HbF are more predisposed to chronic pancreatitis. Itwould be interesting to repeat the study in SCD patients with abdominal pain in other to reveal the overall involvement of the pancreas in the disease process.

Keywords: sickle cell disease, pancreatitis, serum lipase, amylase and urine amylase


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eISSN: 1596-6569