Implementation of transcranial Doppler ultrasonography screening and primary stroke prevention in urban and rural sickle cell disease populations

Samiya Hussain, Fenwick Nichols, Latanya Bowman, Hongyan Xu, Cindy Neunert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background: Transcranial Doppler (TCD) ultrasonography identifies children with sickle cell disease (SCD) at increased risk of stroke. Initiation of chronic transfusions as primary stroke prevention in children with abnormal TCD significantly reduces stroke risk. Here, we report the results describing the implementation of TCD screening and primary stroke prevention in both urban and rural clinical practices. Procedure: Retrospective chart review identified children ages 2-16 years with Hgb SS or Sß0-thalassemia and no history of stroke followed in either the local urban or rural SCD clinics at Georgia Regents University. We defined standard of care (SOC) as having one TCD performed annually between January 2010 and December 2012 starting at age 2 years. Results: A total of 195 patients were included in the evaluation of SOC screening, overall 41% achieved SOC. There was no difference in SOC between the two clinics (35% urban and 47.4% rural). The majority of patients with abnormal TCDs are on chronic transfusions (83%), and none have experienced a stroke. Monitoring of effects of transfusion was difficult with 38% and 31% of rural patients lacking documentation of Hgb S% and ferritin levels, respectively, in the past year. Conclusions: We report here data describing primary stroke prophylaxis in rural patients. SOC rates are similar between the two clinical settings. While implementation of primary stroke prevention in rural patients was difficult, rural TCD screening is feasible and can achieve SOC equal to that in an urban setting. This suggests that barriers exist in provided primary stroke prevention to all patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-223
Number of pages5
JournalPediatric Blood and Cancer
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015


  • Chronic transfusion therapy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Transcranial Doppler ultrasonography
  • Treatment adherence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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