Methods: cross-sectional evaluation of 75 patients (36 females) with sickle cell disease (6 to 17 years of age) that underwent the following tests: spirometry (pre and post bronchodilator), impulse oscilometry, skin prick test and symptom questionnaire (ISAAC).
Results: wheezing in the last year was reported by 11% of the patients, severe attacks by 5%, diagnose of asthma by 15% and nocturnal cough by 20%. Allergic sensitization was founded in 33 (44%) patients, mainly to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus (35%) and Blomia tropicalis(31%). Median values for spirometry were: FVC=94%; FEV1=91%; FEV1/FVC=97% and FEF25-75=72%. Bronchodilator response (≥12% FEV1) was noted in 16% of the patients and abnormal spirometry was identified in 35% of the patients with the predominance of obstructive pattern. Median values of resistance at 5hz (R5) and 20hz (R20) were 103% and 98%, respectively. No difference was observed in spirometry and oscilometry values when patients were divided by the presence of hospitalization, blood transfusion or acute thoracic syndrome in the last year.
Conclusions: the prevalence of asthma and respiratory symptoms among patients with sickle cell disease was not superior to those observed in the general population. Allergic sensitization was found in almost half of the patients. The high prevalence of abnormal lung function reinforces the need for special attention to this group of children.