Abstract

In countries with access to organized health care, survival of children with sickle cell disease (SCD) has greatly improved, resulting in a growing population of adults with SCD. Transition from pediatric to adult care presents many challenges for the patient, who now faces the reality of emerging complications in many organs that are cumulative, adding to other age-related nonsickle conditions that interact and add to the disease morbidity. We recommend regular comprehensive annual assessments, monitoring for early signs of organ damage and joint clinics with relevant specialists, if applicable. While maintaining a low threshold for intervention with disease-modifying therapies, we should always keep in mind that there is no single complication that is pathognomonic of SCD, and nonsickle comorbidities should always be excluded and treated if present. We need to reevaluate our approach to managing adults with SCD by putting a greater emphasis on multidisciplinary care while proactively considering curative options (hematopoietic stem cell transplant and gene therapy) and experimental pharmacological agents for adults with SCD of all ages before complications render the patients ineligible for these treatments.

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