Pregnancies and Neonatal Outcomes in Patients with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) : Still a (High-)Risk Constellation?

Background: This monocentric study conducted at the University Hospital of Essen aims to describe maternal and fetal/neonatal outcomes in sickle cell disease (SCD) documented between 1996 to 2021 (N = 53), reflecting the largest monocentric analysis carried out in Germany.

Methods/Results: 46 pregnancies in 22 patients were followed. None of the patients died. In total, 35% (11/31) of pregnancies were preterm. 15 pregnancies in eight patients were conceived on hydroxycarbamide (HC), of which nine had a successful outcome and three were terminated prematurely. There was no difference regarding the rate of spontaneous abortions in patients receiving HC compared to HC-naive patients prior to conception. In patients other than HbS/C disease, pregnancies were complicated by vaso-occlusive crises (VOCs)/acute pain crises (APCs) (96%, 23/24); acute chest syndrome (ACS) (13%, 3/24), transfusion demand (79%, 19/24), urinary tract infections (UTIs) (42%, 10/24) and thromboembolic events (8%, 2/24). In HbS/C patients complications included: VOCs/APCs (43%, 3/7; ACS: 14%, 1/7), transfusion demand (14%, 1/7), and UTIs (14%, 1/7). Independent of preterm deliveries, a significant difference with respect to neonatal growth in favor of neonates from HbS/C mothers was observed.

Conclusion: Our data support the results of previous studies, highlighting the high rate of maternal and fetal/neonatal complications in pregnant SCD patients.


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