Pulmonary disease is a frequent acute and chronic manifestation in sickle cell disease (SCD), presenting high morbidity and mortality. This study sought to identify the prevalence and association of asthma, allergic sensitization and altered pulmonary function in patients with SCD.

Seventy patients with SCD and 44 controls, aged 6-18, responded to the questionnaire of the International Study of Asthma and Allergies in Childhood, complemented with an anamnesis regarding the associated clinical outcomes. All patients underwent immediate hypersensitivity skin tests with aeroallergens and a pulmonary function evaluation. Tests were considered significant when p<0.05.

There was no significant difference between the patients and controls regarding the prevalence of asthma and allergic sensitization. Asthma and wheezing in the last 12months had significant associations with obstructive pulmonary function. The number of occurrences of acute chest syndrome per patient per year was significantly higher for asthmatic patients than for non-asthmatic patients. Obstructive pulmonary function occurred in 30.9% of the patients and in 5.4% of the controls, and restrictive pulmonary function occurred in 5.5% of the patients and 5.4% of the controls.