Abstract

Progress in the care of sickle cell disease (SCD) has been hampered by the extreme complexity of the SCD phenotype despite its monogenic inheritance. While epidemiological studies have identified clinical biomarkers of disease severity, with a few exceptions, these have not been routinely incorporated in clinical care algorithms. Furthermore, existing biomarkers have been poorly apt at providing objective parameters to diagnose sickle cell crisis, the hallmark, acute complication of SCD. The repercussions of these diagnostic limitations are reflected in suboptimal care and scarcity of adequate outcome measures for clinical research. Recent progress in molecular and imaging diagnostics has heralded a new era of personalized medicine in SCD. Precision medicine strategies are particularly timely, since molecular therapeutics are finally on the horizon. This chapter will summarize the existing evidence and promising data on biomarkers for clinical care and research in SCD.

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