Although the seminal event in sickle cell disease is the polymerization of abnormal hemoglobin, the downstream pathophysiology of vasoocclusion results from heterotypic interactions between the altered, adhesive sickle cell red blood cells, neutrophils, endothelium, and platelets. Ischemia reperfusion injury, hemolysis, and oxidant damage all contribute to heightened inflammation and activation of the hemostatic system. These various pathways are the focus of emerging treatments with potential to ameliorate disease manifestations. This review summarizes the considerable progress in development of these agents despite challenges in selection of study end points and complex pathophysiology.

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