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Serum Hepcidin Status of Sickle Cell Disease Subjects with Multiple Blood Transfusion in Nigeria

David Bolaji Akinbo, Adedeji David Atere, Eniola Yewande Fashola, Olumide Faith Ajani, Love Adeiye Ajani


Objectives: No effective physiological mechanism for excess iron excretion is known in humans. Conditions such as sickle cell disease (SCD), where red blood cell transfusion is a frequently employed therapy can subsequently result in ready accumulation and circulation of exogenous iron as non-transferrin bound iron in tissues with possible impairment of iron homeostasis in them. Aim: The influence of multiple blood transfusions on the patterns of iron homeostasis in correlation with the degree of sickle cell anaemia was investigated in patients with SCD in Southern Nigeria. Materials and Methods: A total of 90 subjects comprising of 30 SCD patients with vaso-occlusive crisis, 22 SCD patients in stable state, and 38 apparently healthy individuals with HbAA as control who were age, sex and socioeconomic status matched were recruited for the study. Complete blood counts, haemoglobin electrophoresis and serum levels of hepcidin expression were performed on study subjects and controls. Results: The expression of serum hepcidin was significantly (p<0.05) increased in the SCD groups than control groups with highest values in the SCD crisis group. The mean cell volume (MCV), mean cell haemoglobin (MCH), mean cell haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) and red cell distribution width (RDW) were also increased significantly (p<0.05) in the crisis and steady SCD groups when compared with the control group. Irrespective of the gender, there was also a significant (p< 0.05) increase in the serum level of hepcidin expression in SCD groups with a history of blood transfusion as compared to the control group. Conclusion: SCD groups with multiple blood transfusions had elevated serum hepcidin levels than the control groups and the anaemia of chronic inflammation was confirmed to be a contributing factor to the anaemia of SCD patients.


Keywords: hepcidin, sickle cell disease (SCD), iron overload, anaemia, chronic inflammation

Cite this Article

David Bolaji Akinbo, Adedeji David Atere, Eniola Yewande Fashola, Olumide Faith Ajani, Love Adeiye Ajani. Serum Hepcidin Status of Sickle Cell Disease Subjects with Multiple Blood Transfusion in Nigeria. Research & Reviews: Journal of Medicine. 2019; 9(2): 1–9p.


Hepcidin, Sickle cell disease, Iron overload, Anaemia, Chronic Inflammation, Multiple blood transfusions

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