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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-42

Electrocardiographic abnormalities in sickle cell disease patients in Kano, Northwest Nigeria

1 Department of Medicine, Public Health and Diagnostic Institute, Northwest University, Kano State, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Bayero University Kano, Kano State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Jamila Ado Yau
Public Health and Diagnostic Institute, Northwest University, Kano, Kano State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/njc.njc_30_18

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Background: Cardiovascular abnormalities are important causes of morbidity and mortality in sickle cell disease (SCD) patients. Data on electrocardiography (ECG) changes in SCD are lacking in Kano, Northwest Nigeria. This study, therefore, aimed to identify the pattern of ECG changes in steady state adult sickle cell patients. Methodology: A case–control cross-sectional study was conducted among SCD patients attending the sickle cell clinic in Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital, Kano. One hundred SCD patients were consecutively recruited and compared with 100 age- and sex-matched controls. All consenting participants had hemoglobin (Hb) electrophoresis and were subjected to electrocardiography. Results: The mean age of the cases is 20.98 ± 5.74 years, whereas that of the controls was 22.31 ± 3.27 years, P = 0.047. Among the cases, 57% were male, whereas in the control group, 55% were male (P = 0.443). The mean body mass index (BMI) for the cases was 18.14 ± 3.57 kg/m2, whereas that of the control was 22.74 ± 2.18 kg/m2, P < 0.001. The mean Hb concentration of the cases and the controls was 7.22 ± 0.94 g/dl and 12.00 ± 9.51 g/dl, respectively, P < 0.001. Nonspecific ST-T wave changes were the most common ECG abnormality detected in 76% of cases and 42% of controls, P < 0.0001. Other ECG abnormalities found among the SCD patients were right ventricular hypertrophy (64%), right atrial enlargement (24%), left atrial enlargement (4%), biatrial enlargement (8%), atrial ectopics (6%), premature ventricular contractions (1%), and prolonged PR interval (4%). An association was observed between low BMI and abnormal ECG findings among the cases (P = 0.006). Conclusion: ECG abnormalities are common in SCD patients and early identification would lead to early intervention to prevent cardiac events.

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