Cardiovascular manifestations of sickle cell disease

Nadjib Hammoudi, François Lionnet, Alban Redheuil, Gilles Montalescot

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most frequent genetic haemoglobinopathy worldwide. Early childhood mortality has dramatically decreased in high-income countries, and most patients now survive beyond the 5th decade. However, in the aging SCD population, the morbidity related to chronic organ damage, especially kidney and heart, has become a major concern. While pulmonary hypertension has attracted most attention, it appears that this condition is frequently linked to left heart failure (HF). Accordingly, SCD-associated cardiomyopathy is emerging as a major cause of reduced quality of life and early mortality in these patients. The diagnosis of this particular phenotype of high-output HF is challenging. Exercise intolerance and dyspnoea in SCD patients are linked to multiple causes including chronic anaemia. Moreover, echocardiographic features are unusual and can be misinterpreted. The classical diagnosis algorithm for HF is generally not suitable in SCD patients, and HF is poorly recognized and mostly diagnosed at a late congestive stage in routine practice. Such patients need to be identified at an earlier stage of myocardial dysfunction via improved phenotyping. This constitutes the first step towards further investigations in SCD needed to improve the prognosis and the quality of life. This article provides an updated review of the recent advances in the pathophysiology and diagnosis, and in addition, perspectives of new therapeutic approaches in SCD-related cardiac manifestations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1365-1373
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Heart Journal
Issue number13
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Diastolic dysfunction
  • Heart failure
  • High output
  • Sickle cell disease


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