In vitro study of the effect of high temperature on erythrocytes in sickle cell trait

  • Maher M Aljohani
Keywords: In vitro sickling; heat stress; hyperthermia; sickle cell trait


Background: Although, sickle cell trait (SCT) was considered a benign condition with most patients being asymptomatic, however, there is an impressive increase in the number of sudden deaths in the military recruits and athletes, which has led to SCT as a rapidly emerging medical issue. Genetic factors have been extensively investigated in the etiopathogenesis of SCT but, environmental factors have not been studied in depth. Aims: The main aim of this study was to investigate the effect of high temperature on the red blood cells (RBCs) in those with SCT and compare this to a control group lacking SCT. Patients and Methods: Heat stress to RBCs was induced by in vitro incubation of freshly drawn blood at high temperatures (45°C for 35 min). Additional information such as hemoglobin (Hb) level, RBC count, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), and hemoglobin S level was obtained from the medical record of the case and control groups. Data were entered in Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 22.0 (IBM Corp, Armonk, NY, United States) and analyzed to examine the research hypothesis. Results: A total of 17 blood samples from SCT (HbAS subjects) labeled as cases and 16 samples from controls (HbAA subjects) were included in this study. The results of this study showed no significant change in sickled erythrocytes in SCT in response to in vitro heat stress. Conclusion: This study’s findings appear to suggest that hyperthermia could be excluded as one of the major factors inducing sickling complications during exhausting exercise. Long‑term studies in the future are recommended in this area, particularly to assess the effect of high temperature and sudden death in SCT.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2229-7731
print ISSN: 1119-3077