The invisible string of coagulation, complement, iron, and inflammation in sickle cell disease

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Purpose of reviewThis review provides an update on recent advances in mechanistic studies of thromboinflammatory mechanisms that contribute to the disease pathology in sickle cell disease (SCD). There is a focus on novel pathways, clinical relevance, and translational potential of these findings. We hope to encourage more advances in this area to reduce organ damage in young patients prior to gene therapy, and to serve the aging SCD patient population.Recent findingsNovel insights into the roles of neutrophils, the ADAMTS-13/VWF axis, oxidative stress, and the intrinsic coagulation cascade, as well as relevant clinical trials, are discussed.SummarySeveral studies implicate dysregulation of the ADAMTS-13/VWF axis as playing a major role in vaso-occlusive events (VOE) in SCD. Another highlight is reducing iron overload, which has beneficial effects on erythrocyte and neutrophil function that reduce VOE and inflammation. Multiple studies suggest that targeting HO-1/ROS in erythrocytes, platelets, and endothelium can attenuate disease pathology. New insights into coagulation activation identify intrinsic coagulation factor XII as a central regulator of many thromboinflammatory pathologies in SCD. The complement cascade and modulators of neutrophil function and release of neutrophil extracellular traps are also discussed.




Beckman, J. D., & Sparkenbaugh, E. M. (2023). The invisible string of coagulation, complement, iron, and inflammation in sickle cell disease. Current Opinion in Hematology, 30(5), 153–158.

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