New Online Course: Chest X-ray Viva Practice by George Harisis - Half price offer ends September 30

Acute chest syndrome - sickle cell disease

Case contributed by Miriam Leiderer


Patient of sub-saharan ethnicity presenting with acute onset chest, back and leg pain and shortness of breath

Patient Data

Age: 13 years
Gender: Male

On admission

Chest x-ray on admission shows slightly increased density in the left lower zone.


Day 2

Bilateral opacities and left lower lobe atelectasis with silhouetting of the left diaphragm.


Day 3, under therapy

Markedly improved ventilation bilaterally.


Day 10, follow-up

Opacities and left lower lobe atelectasis have resolved completely.

Case Discussion

This case shows acute chest syndrome in a child with sickle cell disease. The patient presented with a pain crisis and increasing respiratory symptoms. On day two, an exchange transfusion was initiated, after which the patient recovered.

Other than blood transfusions, treatment of acute chest syndrome includes broad-spectrum antibiotics, bronchodilators, and supportive care. 

PlayAdd to Share

Case information

rID: 81468
Published: 28th Aug 2020
Last edited: 28th Aug 2020
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

Updating… Please wait.

 Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

 Thank you for updating your details.