Sickle Cell Disease and Kidney

      Sickle cell disease causes several kidney manifestations. They include defects in urine concentration, impaired handling of potassium and hydrogen ion, albuminuria, acute kidney injury, and chronic kidney disease to name a few. Glomerular hyperfiltration, tubular hyperfunctioning, endothelial damage from repeated sickling and vaso-occlusive episodes, and iron-induced proinflammatory changes in the glomerular mesangium and tubulointerstitium are some of the mechanisms of kidney damage. Albuminuria is one of the most and common clinical features of kidney disease and progresses with age. Kidney disease in patients with sickle cell is associated with increased mortality. Annual screening for proteinuria starting at age 10 years and limiting the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents and the use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors may help in early detection and delaying the progression of kidney disease. Adequate hydration, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, and adequate control of sickle cell are the main stay of treatment for albuminuria. The hemoglobin goal for patients with sickle cell nephropathy is lesser (10 g/dL) than that for patients with chronic kidney disease due to other causes given that a higher hemoglobin level increases viscosity and the risk of precipitating vaso-occlusive episodes. A multidisciplinary approach is recommended for managing patients with sickle cell and kidney diseases.

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