Stroke risk in sickle cell anaemia (SCA) can be detected by abnormalities of cerebral blood flow velocities (CBFV), measurable by Transcranial Doppler Imaging (TCDI) ultrasonography. This has become an important strategy in the routine care of children with SCA globally.
To determine the pattern of CBFV and document the proportion of children with SCA at risk of stroke at National Hospital Abuja (NHA), Nigeria using TCDI.
This was a cross-sectional study of 130 children aged 2-16 years with SCA attending the haematology clinic at NHA. Systematic random sampling method was used in recruiting the participants and CBFV over the middle cerebral artery (MCA) were measured by TCDI technique. The criteria from the stroke prevention (STOP) trial in SCA used to stratify stroke risk, as modified for TCDI was employed to evaluate CBFV from the study. Thus, CBFV (stroke risk) were normal (standard) 180cm/sec.
There were 130 children with SCA, aged 7.7 ± 4.1 (mean age ± SD) years; and 59.2% were males. This study documented CBFV (stroke risk) as: normal 106 (81.5%), conditional 15 (11.5%) and abnormal (high) 9 (6.9%) in the MCA. The highest CBFV was recorded in the right MCA and ICA with 272cm/sec and 262cm/sec, respectively. There were significant interhemispheric differences between the CBFV on the right and left of PCA and ICA.
This study documented that a significant proportion of children with SCA in Nigeria were at risk of stroke. Hence, the need for routine monitoring for stroke risk in children with SCA.

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