Two Studies Provide Insight Into Stroke Risk And Prevention In Young Sickle Cell Anemia Patients

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Monthly blood transfusions combined with daily medication to remove the resulting excess iron remains the best approach for reducing the risk of recurrent strokes in young patients with sickle cell anemia, according to a preliminary analysis of a multicenter trial that includes St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

The study compared the efficacy of two treatments for the potentially life-threatening problem of iron overload caused by chronic transfusion therapy. The transfusions are used to guard against additional strokes in young sickle cell anemia patients. The trial, known as SWiTCH or Stroke with Transfusion Changing to Hydroxyurea, was halted in May after an interim safety review determined the alternative therapy was not significantly better than the standard treatment at reducing iron buildup and was associated with an increased stroke risk.

 

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