An evidence-based approach to the treatment of adults with sickle cell disease.

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An evidence-based approach to the treatment of adults with sickle cell disease.

Hematology Am Soc Hematol Educ Program. 2005;:58-65

Authors: Lottenberg R, Hassell KL

The application of evidence-based medicine to the management of adults with sickle cell disease (SCD) is currently primarily driven by clinical expertise and patient preference, as there is a paucity of randomized controlled trial (RCT) data to guide decision-making. A summary of SCD management principles in the areas of health care maintenance, transfusion therapy, treatment and prevention of painful episodes, acute chest syndrome, stroke, renal disease, contraception and pregnancy, and priapism is predominantly based on the authors' interpretation of available observational studies as well as the opinions of experts in SCD. RCTs impacting current practices address use of hydroxyurea to prevent painful episodes and acute chest syndrome, intensity of pre-operative transfusion, transfusion during pregnancy, and angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor therapy for proteinuria, but most issues in adult SCD care have not been rigorously studied and management may not be appropriately extrapolated from pediatric data. While challenging clinical problems need to be addressed by RCTs, there is also the need for development of practice guidelines using formal methodological strategies. This brief review is not a substitute for the process but provides a literature-based approach to making treatment decisions when caring for adults with SCD.

PMID: 16304360 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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