The clinical manifestations of sickle cell disease are related to the polymerization of hemoglobin S. The chronic hemolysis caused by this condition often causes the formation of gallstones that can migrate and block the common bile duct leading to acute abdomen.Objective
This study aimed to evaluate the profile of patients with sickle cell disease and cholelithiasis.Methods
Patients with sickle cell disease were separated into groups according to the presence or absence of cholelithiasis. Socioepidemiological and clinical characteristics, such as gender, age, use of hydroxyurea and the presence of other hemoglobinopathies were researched in the medical records of patients.Results
A hundred and seven patients with sickle cell anemia were treated at the institution. Of these, 27 (25.2%) had cholelithiasis. The presence of cholelithiasis was higher in the 11–29 age group than in younger than 11 years and over 29 years. No association was found for the presence of cholelithiasis with gender, use of hydroxyurea or type of hemoglobinopathy (hemoglobin SS, hemoglobin SC or sickle beta-thalassemia). Sixteen of the patients had to be submitted to cholecystectomy with 14 of the surgeries being performed by laparoscopy. Complications were observed in three patients and one patient died for reasons unrelated to the surgery.Conclusion
A quarter of patients with sickle cell disease had gallstones, more commonly in the 11- to 29-year age range. Patients should be monitored from childhood to prevent cholelithiasis with preoperative, intra-operative and postoperative care being crucial to reduce the risk of complications in these patients.