Symptoms of sickle cell anemia vary and are only somewhat based on the amount of HbS. Symptoms and complications result from chronic hemolysis or thrombosis.
- Anemia, with hemoglobin values in the range of 7 to 10 g/dL.
- Jaundice is characteristic, usually obvious in the sclera.
- Bone marrow expands in childhood, sometimes causing enlargement of bones of the face and skull.
- Tachycardia, cardiac murmurs, and often cardiomegaly are associated
with chronic anemia.
- Dysrhythmias and heart failure may occur in adults.
- Virtually any organ may be affected by thrombosis, but the primary sites involve those areas with slower circulation, such as the spleen, lungs, and central nervous system.
- There is severe pain in various parts of the body. All tissues and organs are vulnerable and susceptible to hypoxic damage or ischemic necrosis.
- Sickle cell crisis: sickle crisis,
aplastic crisis, or sequestration crisis.
- Acute chest syndrome: fever, cough, tachycardia, and new inﬁltrates seen
on the chest xray
- Pulmonary hypertension is a common sequela of sickle
cell disease, and often the cause of death.