Sickle cell anemia

Case contributed by Dr Paul Simkin


Palpitations and dizziness. Known history of sickle cell disease.

Patient Data

Age: 55 years
Gender: Male


The heart is enlarged with a cardiothoracic ratio of 0.57. The lungs and pleural spaces are clear. No pneumothorax or free subdiaphragmatic gas.

The bowel gas in the left subdiaphragmatic area is laterally located, without a convincing evidence of splenic shadow. 

Bilateral humeral head bone infarcts, and mildly H-shaped vertebral bodies is consistent with a history of sickle cell anemia.


No pulmonary embolism identified. No regions of focal consolidation. No pleural effusions. No focal parenchymal nodules.

Focal sclerosis in the right humeral head noted.

The thoracic skeleton is diffusely abnormal with areas of sclerosis and lucency within the ribs and vertebral bodies. Multiple vertebral bodies demonstrate central end-plate collapse (H-shaped).

The spleen has undergone presumed autoinfarction and all that remains is a focal area of clumped calcification in the left upper quadrant.

Case Discussion

Typical features of sickle cell disease on imaging. These images make up good cases for fellowship radiology exams as one can spot multiple findings to come up with a unifying diagnosis. 

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Case information

rID: 29398
Published: 7th May 2019
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included