Cardiovascular Complications of Sickle Cell Disease

  • Observational
  • Recruiting
  • NCT01044901
Eligibility Details Visit

Cardiovascular Complications of Sickle Cell Disease

In this research study, we are using heart imaging exams and blood testing, in order to gain an improved understanding of the pulmonary (lung) hypertension and cardiovascular (heart) complications that often occur in sickle cell patients. Information gathered from the healthy volunteers that participate in this study will be compared to information from the sickle cell patients in this study in order to help further our understanding.

Cardiac magnetic resonance (CMR) has gained increasing clinical application in cardiopulmonary diseases. Due to its 3-dimensional nature, CMR is considered the gold-standard for quantifying left and right ventricular systolic function and size. Additionally, its high tissue contrast allows for a detailed characterization of myocardial tissue. Specifically, the use of techniques such as late gadolinium enhancement can be used to detect the presence of tiny amounts of myocardial scar. Other techniques have been shown to correlate strongly with myocardial iron content. Just as importantly, CMR perfusion imaging can accurately quantify myocardial blood flow and can provide tremendous insight into the function of the microcirculation. CMR's high spatial and temporal resolution, its 3-dimensional approach, its ability to characterize the tissue, and its ability to evaluate the micro- and macro-circulation make it a comprehensive technique for the evaluation of heart disease. Recently, one CMR study has already shown the presence of cardiac microvascular disease in a subset of adult sickle cell disease (SCD) patients in the absence of infarcted myocardium, myocardial iron overload, or coronary artery disease, increasing the evidence for the contribution of left heart disease to pulmonary hypertension (PH) development in these patients; unfortunately, strong conclusions could not be made because the study was underpowered. Thus, this proposal will leverage the advantages offered by CMR to better characterize and detect the PH and cardiopulmonary subphenotypes in the SCD patient population.


Age Group
18 Years and up

Accepting Healthy Volunteers?
Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Inclusion Criteria:

         - Patients must be 18+

         - Patients who were diagnosed with SCD confirmed by high-pressure liquid chromatography or hemoglobin electrophoresis will be eligible for the study

         - Only patients in stable condition will be included

         - Patients receiving transfusions will not be excluded

        Exclusion Criteria:

         - Patients with vaso-occlusive crises or an episode of acute chest syndrome within the previous four weeks (after 4 weeks have passed, the patients may be re-evaluated for eligibility)

         - Patients with high degree heart block; active, hemodynamically significant, ventricular arrhythmias; unstable coronary syndromes; history of myocardial infarction within 1 month of the study.

         - Contraindications to gadolinium-enhanced magnetic resonance examination such as severe claustrophobia, Pacemaker, defibrillators, cerebral aneurysm clips, or neurostimulator.

         - Pregnancy

         - Patients with sinus node dysfunction

At a Glance

National Government IDNCT01044901


Lead SponsorUniversity of Chicago

Lead PhysicianAmit R. Patel


18 Years and up