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The spine in sickle cell disease

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Summary

Bone changes in sickle cell disease occur due to marrow hyperplasia, tissue ischaemia and infarction due to vaso-occlusion. Between 1982 and 1991 thirty four patients were treated in the Orthopaedic and Neurosurgery Departments of the Kind Fahd University Hospital, Al-Khobar, with spinal complications due to sickle cell disease. There were 21 males and 13 females aged between 4 and 28 years (mean 17.4 years). Structural changes in the vertebral bodies due to marrow hyperplasia occurred in 44% of the patients. Avascular necrosis leading to collapse of the vertebral bodies was seen in 9 (27%) patients. Infective spondylitis was the most serious complication seen in 8 (24%) patients; the majority needed anterolateral decompression and bone grafting. The spine is often affected in sickle cell disease and aggressive treatment with close follow-up is required to avoid disabling complications.

Résumé

Les modifications osseuses survenant au cours de la drépanocytose sont la conséquence d'une hyperplasie médullaire, d'une ischémie tissulaire et d'un infarcissement liés à l'occlusion vasculaire. Cette étude rétrospective analyse les complications rachidiennes de la drépanocytose observées de 1982 à 1991. Trente-quatre patients ont été traités dans les services d'orthopédie et de neuro-chirurgie de l'Hôpital universitaire King Fahd à Al Khobar. Il s'agissait de 21 hommes et de 13 femmes, âǵes en moyenne de 17.4 ans, avec des extrêmes de 4 à 28 ans. Des modifications structurales du corps vertébral liées à l'hyperplasie médullaire sont survenues chez 44% des patients. Des nécroses avasculaires responsables d'un effondrement du corps vertébral ont été observéees chez 9 patients (26.5%). La spondylite infectieuse, qui constitue la complication la plus grave, a concerné 8 patients (23.5%), dont la plupart ont bénéficié d'une décompression antérolatérale et de greffes osseuses. Nous pensons que le rachis est souvent atteint au cours de la drépanocytose et qu'un traitement agressif et une étroite surveillance sont nécessaires pour éviter des séquelles majeures.

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Correspondence to M. Sadat-Ali.

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Sadat-Ali, M., Ammar, A., Corea, J.R. et al. The spine in sickle cell disease. International Orthopaedics 18, 154–156 (1994). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00192471

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Keywords

  • Public Health
  • Structural Change
  • Vertebral Body
  • Bone Grafting
  • Sickle Cell Disease