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The purpose of this study is to determine whether giving abciximab (ReoPro) to children with sickle cell disease who are hospitalized for acute pain crisis will improve their pain and shorten the time spent in the hospital, when compared with standard supportive care. The study will start in September 2013 and it is expected to be completed in September 2015.

More information: clinicaltrials.gov, ITHANET Clinical Trials

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Sickle Cell Disease is caused by an inherited hemoglobin disorder. Healthy red blood cells are discoid and can deform and move through small blood vessels to carry oxygen to all parts of the body. In Sickle Cell disease, as red blood cells circulate and oxygen is released in the circulatory system, the deoxygenated abnormal Hemoglobin S can begin to polymerize. When this occurs, the red blood cells can become sticky and elongated. These sickled red blood cells are less flexible and will obstruct small blood vessels and block normal red blood cells from traveling through the circulatory system, which limits oxygen delivery to tissues and organs. This is known as a "sickling crisis" or "vaso-occlusive crisis" and is the leading cause of hospitalization in patients with Sickle Cell disease.

Patients suffering from a sickle crisis experience severe pain and are at risk of stroke, heart attack or even death. Current therapy is limited to hydration and symptomatic pain relief. The administration of MP4CO as an adjunct treatment to standard therapy may alleviate pain associated with a sickle cell crisis and potentially reduce the severity and duration of a crisis. This could shorten the time in hospital and potentially improve the quality of life for patients with sickle cell anemia.

More information: clinicaltrials.gov, ITHANET Clinical Trials