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n Cardiovascular Journal of Africa - Electrocardiographic abnormalities and dyslipidaemic syndrome in children with sickle cell anaemia : cardiovascular topics
Background: Lipid and electrocardiographic (ECG) abnormalities have been reported in adults with sickle cell anaemia (SCA) and may reflect underlying structural and/ or functional damage. However, the relationship between ECG and lipid abnormalities among children with sickle cell disease is not fully understood.
Objectives: To compare the steady-state lipid and ECG abnormalities in children with SCA to the controls and examine the hypothesis that lipid abnormalities are closely related to electrocardiographic abnormalities, and therefore are a reflection of cardiac damage among these children.
Methods: Clinical, laboratory and ECG profiles of 62 children with SCA and 40 age- and gender-matched haemoglobin AA controls were compared. The influence of clinical characteristics, lipids profiles, markers of haemolysis, and renal and hepatic dysfunction on ECG pattern in children with SCA was then determined.
Results: The patients had lower average diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels than the controls, (p = 0.001, 0.002, 0.000 and 0.000, respectively). The mean triglyceride level was significantly higher (p < 0.001), while high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels were comparable (p = 0.858). The cases were about six times more likely to have left ventricular hypertrophy than the controls (OR = 6.4, 95% CI = 2.7-15.6, p = 0.000). Haematocrit level had a negative correlation with QTC (r = -0.3, p = 0.016) and QT intervals (r = - 0.3, p = 0.044). Triglyceride levels had a positive correlation with the PR interval (r = 0.3, p = 0.012), while serum alanine transferase (ALT) concentrations had an inverse correlation with PR interval (r = -0.3, p = 0.015). There was no statistical difference in the sociodemographic and clinical characteristics of the SCA children with or without ECG abnormalities. However, the mean triglyceride and serum ALT levels in those with ECG abnormalities were significantly higher than those without (p = 0.007 and 0.045, respectively).
Conclusion: Lipid and ECG abnormalities are common in children with SCA. Elevated triglyceride and serum ALT levels are possible biochemical markers of ECG abnormalities in these patients.
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