Abdominal Imaging - Original Article

Prevalence of abdominal ultrasonographic abnormalities in patients with sickle cell disease

  • Ali Balcı
  • Sinem Karazincir
  • Özlem Sangün
  • Edip Gali
  • Turgay Daplan
  • Cihangir Cingiz
  • Ertuğrul Eğilmez

Received Date: 22.01.2008 Accepted Date: 05.03.2008 Diagn Interv Radiol 2008;14(3):133-137


The aim of this study was to evaluate the type and prevalence of abdominal ultrasonographic abnormalities in patients with sickle cell disease.


A total of 102 patients with sickle cell disease at the Center of Hemoglobinopathy of the Antakya State Hospital were screened for intra-abdominal abnormalities by abdominal ultrasonography (US). Eightyfour patients were homozygous for sickle-cell disease (S/S), and 18 patients were compound heterozygotes for sickle cell-ß thalassemia (S/ßthal). At the time of examination, 15.7% (16/102) of patients had undergone splenectomy, and 18.6% (19/102) of patients had undergone cholecystectomy.


The most frequent US findings (expressed as percentages of all patients) were hepatomegaly (71.6%), renal enlargement (30.4%), autosplenectomy (33.3%), cholelithiasis (30.4%) and splenomegaly (17.4%). A bright liver was identified in 6 patients (5.9%), an echogenic pancreas in 4 patients (3.9%), and pancreatic punctate echogenic foci were identified in 5 patients (4.9%). Medullary or diffusely increased renal echogenicity was observed in 16 patients (15.7%). Sonographic findings typical of renal papillary necrosis were observed in one patient with S/S. Periportal lymphadenopathy was detected in 10 (11.9%) of 84 patients of the S/S group, and 2 (11.1%) of 18 patients of S/ßthal group.


Abdominal ultrasonographic imaging of patients with sickle cell disease revealed a high prevalence of abdominal abnormalities, especially in solid organs.

Keywords: sickle cell disease • ultrasonography • abdomen • liver • kidney