The aim of this prospective study was to determine the cardiorespiratory factors associated with dyspnea in patients with sickle cell SS-hemoglobin disease, with a specific interest in lung vascular involvement. Forty-nine patients (29 women and 20 men; mean [+/- SD] age: women, 29 +/- 6 years; men, 31 +/- 11 years) underwent direct evaluations (Borg scale evaluation during a 6-min walk test) and indirect evaluations (modified Medical Research Council [MRC]score) of their dyspnea, pulmonary function tests (PFTs) [spirometry, volumes, diffusing capacity of the lung for carbon monoxide (Dlco), diffusing capacity of the alveolar-capillary membrane, and pulmonary capillary blood volume measurements], echocardiography, and biological evaluation. Thirty-four patients complained of significant breathlessness (MRC score, > 1). Indirect and direct evaluations of dyspnea were correlated. PFT results depicted a very mild restrictive pattern (mean total pulmonary capacity, 86 +/- 11% predicted) and an impairment of Dlco (mean Dlco corrected for the degree of anemia, 69 +/- 13% predicted). The statistical analysis demonstrated that dyspnea and exercise performance were closely linked to indexes of Dlco but not with any echocardiographic or ...Continue Reading
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