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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 73-79

Pulmonary function abnormalities in Nigerian children with sickle cell anaemia: Prevalence, pattern and predictive factors

Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Bankole Peter Kuti
Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Obafemi Awolowo University, PMB 013, Ile-Ife
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/prcm.prcm_13_18

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Background: Advances in care of children with sickle cell anaemia (SCA) have increased their chances of survival to adolescence and adulthood though this is often associated with multi-organ system pathologies including lung dysfunctions. This study aimed to determine the prevalence, pattern and factors associated with pulmonary function abnormalities in Nigerian children with SCA. Methods: Pulmonary functions of 104 children with SCA in steady state and 104 age- and sex-matched haemoglobin AA controls aged 6 to 16 years at the Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesa Nigeria, were assessed using Spirolab III (Medical International Research, Italy) spirometer following standard protocol. Socio-demographic characteristics, nutritional status and pulmonary function parameters of these children were compared, and the predictive factors of pulmonary function abnormalities in SCA children were determined using binary logistic regression. Results: SCA children had lower lung volumes and capacities and higher prevalence of pulmonary function abnormalities compared to controls, and a restrictive ventilatory pattern (22.1%) was the most predominant form. Adolescent age, previous acute chest syndrome (ACS), repeated painful crises and multiple hospitalisations in the previous year were significantly associated with pulmonary function abnormalities (P < 0.05). Only adolescent age group (odds ratio [OR] = 3.738; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.480–9.440; P = 0.005) and previous ACS (OR = 8.500; 95% CI = 2.044–12.959; P = 0.044) independently predicted pulmonary function impairments among the SCA children. Conclusion: SCA predisposes children to pulmonary dysfunction, particularly during adolescent years and in those with ACS, multiple crises and hospitalisations. Routine pulmonary function assessment in these children will facilitate early recognition and prompt management.

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