Sickle cell anemia

Case contributed by Dr Laughlin Dawes


Symptoms of chest infection.

Patient Data

Age: 30 years
Gender: Female

The lateral CXR shows multiple vertebral end-plate irregularities and depressions. The peripheral portions of the end-plates are spared. The appearance is due to bone infarction and subsequent collapse. 

Case Discussion

The patient had a history of sickle-cell anemia.

This is an early example of the classical H-shaped vertebrae seen in sickle-cell anemia. H-shaped vertebrae are a characteristic finding seen in ~10% of patients with the disease. Bone infarction may be complicated by Salmonella osteomyelitis. Other signs to look for on chest films are cardiomegaly, absent spleen, and cholecystectomy clips.

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Case information

rID: 35877
Published: 6th May 2015
Last edited: 24th Apr 2021
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included