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ARTICLE
Year : 2005  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 110-114

Changes in erythrocytes following supplementation with alpha-tocopherol in children suffering from sickle cell anaemia


Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P.M.B. 12003, Lagos, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
S I Jaja
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P.M.B. 12003, Lagos
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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INTRODUCTION: Low plasma vitamin E level in children with sickle cell anaemia has been related to elevated level of irreversibly sickled cells which has been implicated in the pathogenesis of painful crisis. In adult patients supplementation with alpha-tocopherol has been shown to reduce irreversibly sickled cell count. In-addition, vitamin E supplementation increases resting forearm blood flow and reduces forearm vascular resistance in adult sickle cell anaemia sufferers. AIM: The aim of the study was to examine the effects of supplementation with alpha-tocopherol on arterial blood pressure, some haematological parameters and osmotic fragility in children suffering from sickle cell anaemia. METHODOLOGY: The effects of supplementation with alpha-tocopherol (100 mg. per day for 6 weeks) on packed cell volume (PCV) haemoglobin concentration ([Hb]), mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC), per cent foetal haemoglobin (% HbF), per cent irreversibly sickled cells (%ISC), erythrocyte osmotic fragility and blood pressure have been assessed in ten (10) children suffering from sickle cell anaemia. Their ages ranged from 4.0 to 10.0 years. RESULTS: Supplementation with alpha-tocopherol significantly increased packed cell volume (p<0.001), haemoglobin concentration (p<0.01) and per cent foetal haemoglobin (p<0.001), but significantly reduced mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (p<0.01) and per cent irreversibly sickled cells (p<0.001). alpha-Tocopherol also increased the resistance of the cells to lysis. Supplementation with alpha-tocopherol had little or no effect on arterial blood pressure. CONCLUSION: This study shows that short-term supplementation with alpha-tocopherol may be beneficial to the paediatric sickle cell sufferer.


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