Sickle Cell Disease: Treatment Trials
Traditional treatments of sickle cell disease (SCD) were based on fluid replacement and ingestion of opioid analgesics for acute and/or chronic pain brought only relief of symptoms, but no change in the basic pathophysiology. The only available pathophysiological treatment today is the application of hydroxyurea (hydroxycarbamide). This compound leads to the increase of the HbF (fetal hemoglobin) concentration. But this substance is cytotoxic with numerous side effects; however, it prolongs the life of SCD patients especially if constantly blood transfusions occur. In children some success was achieved by hematopoietic stem cell transplantation.
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