ISSN: 2161-1149 (Printed)
Isabel M McFarlane, David J Ozeri, Yair Saperstein, Milena Rodriguez Alvarez, Su Zhaz Leon, Kristaq Koci, Sophia Francis, Soberjot Singh and Moro Salifu
The advent of hydroxyurea and advanced medical care, including immunizations has led to improved survival, among patients with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD). This prolonged survival however introduces, a chronic inflammatory disorder, Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA), which presents at a relatively older age and is rarely reported among SCD patients. In this review, we highlight the epidemiological association of SCD-RA and discuss the underlying common pathogenetic mechanisms, such as endothelial dysfunction, the role of inflammatory cytokines and oxidative stress. We also point to the difficulties in ascertaining the clinical diagnosis of RA in SCD patients. Finally, we provide rationale for therapeutic options available for RA and the challenges in the management of these patients with agents that are known to increase the risk of infection and immunosuppression such as steroids, disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and biologics.