The influence of hydroxyurea on oxidative stress in sickle cell anemia

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Objective: The oxidative stress in 20 sickle cell anemia patients taking hydroxyurea and 13 sickle cell anemia patients who did not take hydroxyurea was compared with a control group of 96 individuals without any hemoglobinopathy. Methods: Oxidative stress was assessed by thiobarbituric acid reactive species production, the Trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity and plasma glutathione levels. Results: Thiobarbituric acid reactive species values were higher in patients without specific medication, followed by patients taking hydroxyurea and the Control Group (p < 0.0001). The antioxidant capacity was higher in patients taking hydroxyurea and lower in the Control Group (p = 0.0002 for Trolox-equivalent antioxidant capacity and p < 0.0292 for plasma glutathione). Thiobarbituric acid reactive species levels were correlated with higher hemoglobin S levels (r = 0.55; p = 0.0040) and lower hemoglobin F concentrations (r = -0.52; p = 0.0067). On the other hand, plasma glutathione levels were negatively correlated with hemoglobin S levels (r = -0.49; p = 0.0111) and positively associated with hemoglobin F values (r = 0.56; p = 0.0031). Conclusion: Sickle cell anemia patients have high oxidative stress and, conversely, increased antioxidant activity. The increase in hemoglobin F levels provided by hydroxyurea and its antioxidant action may explain the reduction in lipid peroxidation and increased antioxidant defenses in these individuals.




Torres, L. de S., da Silva, D. G. H., Belini Junior, E., de Almeida, E. A., Lobo, C. L. de C., Cançado, R. D., … Bonini-Domingos, C. R. (2012). The influence of hydroxyurea on oxidative stress in sickle cell anemia. Revista Brasileira de Hematologia e Hemoterapia, 34(6), 421–425.

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