Sickle cell disease

Case contributed by Vikas Shah


Check x-ray after procedure in intervention radiology department

Patient Data

Age: 30 years
Gender: Male

There is a Port-a-cath venous line with the tip projected over the expected position of the SVC. The lungs are clear and the mediastinum has normal contours. The vertebral bodies are abnormal in shape with depression of the end plates, leading to H-shaped vertebral bodies. There are surgical clips in the right upper quadrant of the abdomen, indicating a previous cholecystectomy. Bowel gas is present in the left upper quadrant, with no spleen detectable. All of these features lead to the diagnosis of sickle cell disease.


CT confirms the H-shaped vertebral bodies due to end plate depressions, typical of sickle cell disease. 

Case Discussion

Typical chest x-ray of a patient with sickle cell disease. This is a film often used in radiology examinations as it involves the observation of several findings (particularly the absent spleen and H-shaped vertebra) in order to come up with the unifying diagnosis. 

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