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Prevalence and associations of symptomatic renal papillary necrosis in sickle cell anemia patients in South‑Eastern Nigeria

AJ Madu
AE Okoye
IC Ajuba
KA Madu
C Anigbo
K Agu


Aim: To assess the prevalence and associations of symptomatic renal papillary necrosis (RPN) in sickle cell anemia patients.

Patients and Methods: The case notes of homozygous hemoglobin (Hb) S patients diagnosed with RPN were retrospectively assessed. Diagnosis was based on microscopic hematuria and positive ultrasound findings. Their steady state diastolic blood pressure, Hb, leukocyte count, platelet count, serum direct bilirubin, and aspartate transaminase, were obtained by automated analyzers. These were evaluated for any relationship with the occurrence of RPN.

Results: Two hundred and twenty patients were assessed aged 6–55 years with a median age of 24 years. The prevalence of symptomatic RPN was found to be 2.3%. RPN was positively associated with the female gender (Chi‑square P value 0.001), but not with any other clinical or laboratory variable. However, other predictors of disease severity were positively associated with RPN such as age, diastolic blood pressure 0.180 (P = 0.016), serum aspartate transaminase, serum bilirubin 0.145 (0.027), Hb, and leukocyte count − 0.155 (P = 0.003).

Conclusion: The prevalence of symptomatic RPN is low in this group of homozygous S patients and occurs more commonly in females. Improvement in care for these patients will reduce these chronic complications.

Keywords: Female gender, microscopic hematuria, renal papillary necrosis, sickle cell anemia

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eISSN: 2229-7731
print ISSN: 1119-3077