Echocardiographic screening for pulmonary arterial hypertension in Nigerian adults with sickle cell anaemia.
Background: Pulmonary arterial hypertension is a recognized complication of sickle cell anaemia particularly in older patients. Doppler echocardiography is a convenient non-invasive technique for estimating pulmonary arterial systolic blood pressure. Data on this topic are lacking in our environment and the authors therefore set out to determine the frequency of this complication in patients presenting at the adult Haematology clinic of the UNTH Enugu, Nigeria.
Materials and methods: The study recruited fifty six adult sickle cell patients in steady state and fifty two age and sex –matched healthy volunteers. Anthropometric measurements were taken for both groups under similar conditions. Echocardiographic techniques were then used to examine the subjects.
Results: Pulmonary arterial hypertension was noted in only three out of the fifty six sickle cell patients representing 5% of the study population. Conclusion: Pulmonary arterial hypertension appears to be uncommon in Nigerian adults with sickle cell anaemia in stable state.