Early blood transfusions protect against microalbuminuria in children with sickle cell disease

Ofelia Alvarez, Brenda Montane, Gabriela Lopez, James Wilkinson, Tracie Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Background. Microalbuminuria (MA) is an early indicator for glomerulopathy in sickle cell disease (SCD). Procedure. We reviewed the medical records of asymptomatic patients ages 4-20 with sickle hemoglobinopathies, who were screened for MA in order to find out its prevalence and risk factors. Results. Nineteen of 120 (15.8%) screened patients had MA detected by spot urine (mean albumin absolute value 6.95 ± 0.56 mg/dl) and abnormal albumin to creatinine ratios (79.8 ± 0.62 mg/g creatinine). Twenty four-hour urine collections confirmed 57% of MA cases by spot urine. There was no difference in hyperfiltration between positive and negative patients. From the MA-positive patients, 15 had SS (16.8% of SS group) and 4 had SC (18% of SC group). Nineteen percent of children 10 years of age or older had MA, as compared to 8% of the younger children (P = 0.018), demonstrating that increasing age is a risk factor for MA. There was a positive correlation between MA and acute chest syndrome. Young age at start of chronic transfusions was inversely related to MA and therefore renoprotective (P = 0.03). We did not see a protective effect in the group of patients taking hydroxyurea for a relatively short time, mean age at start of treatment 12 ± 5 years; however the sample was small. Conclusions. We conclude that: (1) children with sickle cell hemoglobinopathies 10 years or older should be screened for MA and (2) chronic transfusions starting at an early age may be renoprotective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-76
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006


  • Nephrology
  • Pediatric hematology/oncology
  • Sickle cell disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology


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