Study of Adrenal Functions using ACTH stimulation test in Egyptian children with Sickle Cell Anemia: Correlation with Iron Overload.
Background: Sickle-cell anemia is characterized by defective hemoglobin synthesis with production of sickle hemoglobin. Sickle red blood cells become deformed and rigid with difficulty to pass through narrow capillaries and frequent clotting and thrombosis leading to repetitive vascular occlusions and progressive organ damage. We conducted this work to study some adrenal functions using ACTH stimulation test in Egyptian children with sickle cell anemia in correlation with iron overload.
Methods: This study was conducted on 60 children with sickle cell anemia who were attendants of Hematology unit, Pediatric department, Tanta university hospital in the period from April 2012 to May 2014 including 34 males and 26 females with their age ranging from 5-17 years and main age value of 13±2.9 in comparison with 30 healthy children matched for age and sex as a control group. For all patients the following were done: Complete blood count, Hb electrophoresis, serum ferritin, iron, iron binding capacity, sodium and potassium, random blood glucose, thyroid functions , morning basal cortisol levels and adrenocorticotrophic hormone stimulation test.
Results : There was significantly lower basal morning cortisol in patients than controls (mean value in patients were 8.78±3.53 ug/dl compared with 11.79±2.32 ug/dl in control group with p value of 0.021). No significant differences in adrenocorticotrophic hormone stimulation test between patients and controls were detected. (Mean value in patients were 23.078±3.709 ug/dl compared with 24.492±5.006 ug/dl in control group with p value of 0.389). Significant negative correlation was found between serum cortisol and ferritin in patients group (r= 0.625 and p value =0.003)
Conclusion: There was significantly lower basal morning cortisol in sickle-cell anemia patients with significant negative correlation with iron overload so regular follow up to adrenal functions to detect any adrenal impairment, as SCD patients are vulnerable to adrenal hypo function, is recommended.
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