Can red cell exchange treat advanced sickle cell disease?

blood
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Medical advances have dramatically increased the life expectancy of patients with sickle cell disease, but as patients are living longer, they are increasingly experiencing organ damage leading to early death. Now, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and UPMC, supported by a $19.2 million National Institutes of Health grant, will lead the largest clinical trial of its kind to test a technique called red cell exchange transfusion in prolonging life and slowing or reversing organ damage.

"Currently there is no standard of care for patients with at high risk of organ damage," said principal investigator Mark Gladwin, M.D., Jack D. Myers professor and chair of medicine at Pitt's School of Medicine and director of the Pittsburgh Heart, Lung, Blood, and Vascular Medicine Institute. "We are proud to lead this among major centers of excellence to tackle an important open question in how we treat and manage the disease."

Nationally, about 100,000 people live with (SCD), a genetic condition that disproportionately affects individuals of African descent. Approximately 30 percent of patients with SCD develop serious organ damage, such as cardiopulmonary complications, and kidney or liver failure, with the risks steadily increasing with age.

While blood transfusions are commonly used to treat acute complications in SCD, they can cause iron toxicity due to the presence of excessive . In red cell exchange transfusion, the sickled red blood are removed and replaced with normal red blood cells. However, the exchange process is longer, requires more donor blood and is more expensive than standard blood transfusions.

"Because of a lack of sufficient data, physicians today have to make a judgment call on whether to administer red cell exchange to their patients," said co-principal investigator Darrell Triulzi, M.D., professor of pathology and director of the division of transfusion medicine at Pitt School of Medicine.

"Physician opinions on whether red cell exchange is effective at preventing or reversing organ damage are equally divided, suggesting the real need for a definitive clinical trial such as this one to determine whether red cell exchange should be added to the standard of care for these high-risk patients."

In the new trial, called the Sickle Cell Disease and Cardiovascular Riskā€”Red Cell Exchange (SCD-CARRE) trial, patients will randomly be assigned to receive either the standard of care alone or in combination with monthly red cell exchange treatments for one year. The study goal is to determine whether red cell exchange can lower deaths, reduce hospitalizations, and slow down or reverse the development of major .


Explore further

Sickle cell drug showing promise in clinical trial

Citation: Can red cell exchange treat advanced sickle cell disease? (2019, July 10) retrieved 20 July 2019 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2019-07-red-cell-exchange-advanced-sickle.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jul 10, 2019

I have been suffering from HIV and Genital Herpes for the past 3 years and 8 months, and ever since then i have been taking series of treatment but there was no improvement until i came across testimonies of Dr TAKUTA on how he has been curing different people from different diseases all over the world, then i contacted him as well. After our conversation he sent me the medicine which i took according to his instructions. When i was done taking the herbal medicine i went for a medical checkup and to my greatest surprise i was cured from Herpes. My heart is so filled with joy. If you are suffering from Herpes or any other disease you can contact Dr TAKUTA today on this Email address: takutaspellalter@gmail.com or WhatsApp him on this Tell.Number +27788634102....

Dr.TAKUTA also cures:
1. HEPATITIS A,B,C
2. HERPES 1/2
3.DIABETES
4.STROKE.
5.STDS and STI
6. MARRIAGE COUNSELLING
7.LOVE SPELL CASTING
8.JOB PROMOTION SPELLS
9.MARITAL PROBLEM
10.MAGIC MONEY SPELLS

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more