Autopsy findings in sickle cell disease patients in Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an inherited haemoglobinopathy with a stable prevalence of about 2% in Nigeria. SCD is associated with a high mortality rate particularly in resource-poor countries. This study sought to determine the mean age at death and common causes of sudden death among patients with sickle cell disease in Lagos, Nigeria. A retrospective study was done from 1st January 2005 to 31st December 2015. The age at death, sex, clinical presentations, causes and year of death were retrieved from the clinical notes and post mortem register. Data obtained were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 21. The mean age of death was 28.26 ± 11.47 years, over 80% (83.6%) of all patients reviewed in this study died before their 40th birthday. The study showed that the most common cause of sudden death was anemia-related (50%) while 21% were due to acute infections, 18.4 % were due to cardiovascular events and 4.6% were due to thromboembolic events. The study demonstrates that 80% of death occurred in patients less than 40 years and the risk of sudden death is highest in the 3rd decade of life.
Keywords: sickle cell disease, autopsy, sudden death