HU Treatment Improves Cardiac Outcomes for Children with SCA

Early treatment with hydroxyurea (HU) may reverse cardiac remodeling and improve cardiac abnormalities in children and youth adults with sickle cell anemia, according to a study published on November 1st, 2021, in blood advances.

Arushi Dhar and colleagues reviewed and analyzed the records of 100 patients with sickle who had a routine cardiac screening at Cohen Children’s Medical Center between 2010 and 2017.

Of the 100 patients, 60% were being treated with hydroxyurea, while 41.6% of the patients on hydroxyurea had been treated for less than a year. For patients treated with HU, the age when treatment began was statistically positively associated with left ventricular (LV) mass (p= 0.04) and tricuspid valve regurgitation velocity (TR) (P=0.02). Following analysis of the effect of treatment duration, patients treated with hydroxyurea for less than a year (LV end-diastolic diameter (LVEDd) z-score 2.24 ± 1.3 ) showed a significantly greater prevalence (P = 0.04) of left ventricular dilation compared with those who had been on treatment for more than one year (LVEDd z-score1.57 ± 1.1 ).

“The age at HU initiation was positively associated with LV mass and TR velocity,” the authors write. “This suggests that timely initiation of HU therapy may lead to reverse cardiac remodeling and improvement in these cardiac abnormalities before additional maladaptive changes set in.”

The authors disclosed no competing financial interests.


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