COVID-19 outcomes in sickle cell disease and sickle cell trait

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Throughout the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, understanding the effects of COVID-19 on persons with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) and Sickle Cell Trait (SCT) has garnered interest. Patients with SCD diagnosed with COVID-19 utilize the emergency department and are hospitalized at significantly higher rates compared to the general population, with vaso-occlusive crisis and acute chest syndrome as the leading presentations. Whether SCD alone increases the likelihood of severe COVID-19 illness remains uncertain; however, potential risk factors for severe disease among patients with SCD include older age, frequent acute care visits for pain, haemoglobin SC disease, and pre-existing end-organ disease. SCT status may also influence COVID-19 outcomes, particularly among those with pre-existing co-morbidities. Corticosteroids in patients with SCD and COVID-19 should be used with extreme caution given strong associations between corticosteroid exposure and severe vaso-occlusive crisis, with prophylactic transfusion administered if corticosteroids are deemed necessary. Hydroxyurea may be protective in COVID-19.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number101382
JournalBest Practice and Research: Clinical Haematology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Anemia
  • COVID-19
  • Sickle cell
  • Sickle cell trait

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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