Improved exercise performance after exchange transfusion in subjects with sickle cell anemia

D. M. Miller, R. M. Winslow, H. G. Klein, K. C. Wilson, F. L. Brown, N. J. Statham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ten patients with sickle cell anemia underwent partial exchange transfusion with hemoglobin-A-containing cells using a technique that allowed hemoglobin concentration and blood volume to remain constant. The mean fraction of hemoglobin-A in these patients increased from 9% to 55%, but the mean hemoglobin concentration increased by only 1.44 g/dl. The exchange resulted in a large improvement in submaximal exercise capacity: the mean of the anaerobic threshold (the work at which lactic acid begins to accumulate in the blood) increased from 68 to 114 W. The mean work performed at a heart rate of 170/min, an estimation of maximal work capacity, increased from 128 to 187 W. Improved exercise performance after partial exchange transfusion may result from the superior flow properties of hemoglobin-A-containing red cells. Furthermore, we believe that exercise testing in sickle cell anemia has great potential utility as a means to monitor therapy and to evaluate the benefits of exchange transfusion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1127-1131
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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