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Abstract #2030

White matter abnormalities in children with sickle cell anaemia: Potential link with oxygen desaturation

Jamie M Kawadler 1 , Fenella J Kirkham 2 , Simon Barker 3 , Tim CS Cox 4 , and Chris A Clark 1

1 Imaging & Biophysics Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom, 2 Neurosciences Unit, UCL Institute of Child Health, London, United Kingdom, 3 Wessex Neurological Centre, Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust, Southampton, United Kingdom, 4 Radiology, Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Trust, London, United Kingdom

Sickle cell anaemia (SCA) is a genetic disorder affecting the oxygen-carrying capacity of haemoglobin. In children, overt and silent stroke are prevalent. In those with no apparent stroke on MRI, white matter (WM) abnormalities have been described, but links to disease-mediating factors (i.e. chronic anaemia and oxygen desaturation) are unknown. We performed a whole-brain voxel-wise WM analysis, finding anisotropy decreases in subcortical WM and increases in diffusivity widespread across the brain in patients compared to controls. We also found a trend correlation between lower daytime oxygen saturation and higher radial diffusivity in patients, which may have implications for oxygen therapy.

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