Sickle cell disease: abdominal manifestations

Abdominal manifestations of sickle cell disease (SCD) are wide and can involve many organs.

For a general discussion, please refer to sickle cell disease.

  • splenomegaly
    • splenic enlargement may occur transiently with the sequestration syndrome, where rapid pooling of blood occurs in the spleen, resulting in intravascular volume depletion, with potential for cardiovascular collapse
  • autosplenectomy
    • the slow, tortuous micro-circulation of the spleen renders it susceptible to infarction and subsequent functional asplenia
    • 94% are asplenic by age 51
    • radiological finding is of a small, calcified spleen
  • splenic abscesses
  • kidneys are often large early in the disease, with variable echogenicity on ultrasound, but shrink with development of renal failure. Bilateral echogenic pyramids are frequently seen in sickle cell disease
  • renal papillary necrosis
  • renal vein thrombosis
Gastrointestinal tract
  • approximately 40% patient may develop peptic ulcers due to reduced mucosal resistance and bowel ischaemia

See also

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