Debaun MR, Galadanci NA, Kassim AA, Jordan LC, Phillips S, Aliyu MH. PRIMARY STROKE PREVENTION IN CHILDREN WITH SICKLE CELL ANEMIA LIVING IN AFRICA: THE FALSE CHOICE BETWEEN PATIENT-ORIENTED RESEARCH AND HUMANITARIAN SERVICE. Transactions of the American Clinical and Climatological Association. 127(127). 17-33. PMID: 28066035 [PubMed] PMCID: PMC5216496
In the United States, primary stroke prevention in children with sickle cell anemia (SCA) is now the standard of care and includes annual transcranial Doppler ultrasound evaluation to detect elevated intracranial velocities; and for those at risk, monthly blood transfusion therapy for at least a year followed by the option of hydroxyurea therapy. This strategy has decreased stroke prevalence in children with SCA from approximately 11% to 1%. In Africa, where 80% of all children with SCA are born, no systematic approach exists for primary stroke prevention. The two main challenges for primary stroke prevention in children with SCA in Africa include: 1) identifying an alternative to blood transfusion therapy, because safe monthly blood transfusion therapy is not feasible; and 2) assembling a health care team to implement and expand this effort. We will emphasize early triumphs and challenges to decreasing the incidence of strokes in African children with SCA.