Real-life experience with hydroxyurea in sickle cell disease: A multicenter study in a cohort of patients with heterogeneous descent.
Rigano P., De Franceschi L., Sainati L., Piga A., Piel FB., Cappellini MD., Fidone C., Masera N., Palazzi G., Gianesin B., Forni GL., Italian Multicenter Study of Hydroxyurea in Sickle Cell Anemia Investigators None.
We conducted the first nation-wide cohort study of sickle cell disease (SCD) in Italy, a Southern European country exposed to intense recent flux migration from endemic areas for SCD. We evaluate the impact of hydroxyurea on a total of 652 pediatric and adult patients from 33 Reference Centers for SCD (mean age 24.5±15years, 51.4% males). Hydroxyurea median treatment duration was 7years (range: <1year to 29years) at a mean therapeutic dose of 18±4.7mg/kg/day. Hydroxyurea was associated with a significant increase in mean total and fetal hemoglobin and a significant decrease in mean hemoglobin S, white blood and platelet counts, and lactate dehydrogenase levels. Hydroxyurea was associated with a significant reduction in the incidence of acute chest syndrome (-29.3%, p<0.001), vaso-occlusive crisis (-34.1%, p<0.001), hospitalization (-53.2%, p<0.001), and bone necrosis (-6.9%, p<0.001). New silent cerebral infarction (SCI) occurred during treatment (+42.4%, p<0.001) but not stroke (+0.5%, p=0.572). These observations were generally consistent upon stratification for age, descent (Caucasian or African), genotype (βS/βS, βS/β0 or βS/β+) and duration of treatment (< or ≥10years). There were no new safety concerns observed compared to those commonly reported in the literature. Our study, conducted on a large population of patients with different descent and compound state supports the benefits of hydroxyurea therapy as a treatment option. Registered at clinical trials.gov (NCT02709681).