Correlation between Transabdominal Sonographic and Clinical Findings in Children with Sickle Cell Disease

  • Pam S. Daniel
  • E. Gyang
  • A.E. Gabkwet
  • P.M. Gwom
  • E.O. Igoh
  • Y.F. Taiwo
  • A.J. Salaam
  • S.M. Danjem


Background: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa where intraabdominal manifestations of the disease are common. Objective: To correlate transabdominal sonographic and clinical findings in children with sickle cell disease. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study of 400 SCD patients aged 1-15 years, conducted in the Radiology department of Jos University Teaching Hospital. Patients were scanned using Aloka 3500 Ultrasound machine with frequency transducer range 2-10MHz. The patient lies supine and a hypoallergic gel is applied over the abdomen and the intra-abdominal organs are then scanned and their measurement/morphology are then documented. Results: Normal sonographic findings were seen in 192 (48.0%) patients while 208 (52.0%) had various abnormal findings. Two hundred and ninety-seven (74.2%) patients had various clinical abdominal presentations while 103 (25.8%) had none. The commonest abnormal transabdominal ultrasonographic (TAUS) finding was hepatomegaly seen in 120 (25.2%) patients, autosplenectomy seen in 77 (16.2%) and hyposplenism seen in 5 (1.1%). Higher abnormal TAUS findings were noted in the older age groups 11-15 years with 69 (85.2%). Patients who had a history of blood transfusion had significant abnormal TAUS findings (p-0.001). Conclusion: Abdominal ultrasonographic imaging of patients with sickle cell disease revealed various abdominal abnormalities.Keywords: Sickle Cell Disease, Ultrasonographic, Transabdominal