The impact of sickle cell anemia (SCA) and its complications on physical functioning and cardiopulmonary/aerobic fitness in affected individuals is significant. Although limited data support the safety of maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) for children and adults with SCA, the safety of submaximal moderate and high intensity, and longer duration, exercise in this population is not clear. The Sickle Cell Pro-Inflammatory Response to Interval Testing Study (SPRINTS) is a multicenter, randomized, prospective trial. SPRINTS leverages unique collaborations between investigators in pediatric hematology and exercise science to evaluate the impact of exercise intensity on the acute phase inflammatory response to exercise and changes in airway dynamics in children and young adults with SCA. Here we describe the study design and methodological strategies employed in SPRINTS, including an exercise challenge that mimics real-life patterns of childhood physical activity, characterized by multiple moderate and high intensity brief bouts of exercise interspersed with rest periods. Primary outcomes comprise pre- and post-exercise biomarkers of inflammation and endothelial dysfunction and spirometry. Secondary outcomes include assessment of physical activity and functioning, genomic studies and near-infrared spectroscopy measurements to assess tissue oxygenation status during exercise. SPRINTS aims to enroll 70 subjects with SCA and 70 matched, healthy controls. We anticipate that data from SPRINTS will address gaps in our understanding of exercise responses and safety in SCA and support the future development of evidence-based, exercise prescription guidelines in this population.
© 2020 Published by Elsevier Inc.