Sickle-cell disease history and symptoms

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Shyam Patel [2]


Symptoms of sickle-cell disease include mild pain in the arms an legs to severe pain from sickle cell crises and acute chest syndrome.

History and Symptoms

The most common symptoms of sickl cell disease are bone pain, numbness and tingling.


The location of vaso-occlusive episodes determines the types of symptoms a patient will experience. For example, vaso-occlusive crisis in the bones will cause bone pain. Bones, especially weight-bearing bones, are a common target of vaso-occlusive damage due to bone ischemia.


Common symptoms of sickle cell disease include:[1][2][3]

Acute chest crisis

Symptoms of acute chest crisis include:[4][5]


  1. Lonergan GJ, Cline DB, Abbondanzo SL (2001). "Sickle cell anemia". Radiographics. 21 (4): 971–94. doi:10.1148/radiographics.21.4.g01jl23971. PMID 11452073.
  2. Prengler M, Pavlakis SG, Prohovnik I, Adams RJ (May 2002). "Sickle cell disease: the neurological complications". Ann. Neurol. 51 (5): 543–52. doi:10.1002/ana.10192. PMID 12112099.
  3. Brandow AM, Farley RA, Panepinto JA (March 2014). "Neuropathic pain in patients with sickle cell disease". Pediatr Blood Cancer. 61 (3): 512–7. doi:10.1002/pbc.24838. PMC 4357477. PMID 24167104.
  4. Desai PC, Ataga KI (June 2013). "The acute chest syndrome of sickle cell disease". Expert Opin Pharmacother. 14 (8): 991–9. doi:10.1517/14656566.2013.783570. PMID 23534969.
  5. Vichinsky EP, Styles LA, Colangelo LH, Wright EC, Castro O, Nickerson B (March 1997). "Acute chest syndrome in sickle cell disease: clinical presentation and course. Cooperative Study of Sickle Cell Disease". Blood. 89 (5): 1787–92. PMID 9057664.