Hydroxyurea Is Associated with Early Onset Malaria Episode in Treated Sickle Cell Disease Patients

Aldiouma Guindo, Yeya dit Sadio Sarro, Boubacari Ali Toure, Baba Fane, Mody Coulibaly, Oumahane Ouane Diallo, Alain Dorie and Dapa Aly Diallo


Hydroxyurea (HU) is the only drug which has demonstrated efficacy in terms of reduced incidence of VOC and ACS, reduced need for hospitalization and reduced number of blood transfusion in sickle cell disease. African countries are among those with highest rate of both malaria and sickle cell disease. Despite of that the heterozygous form (HbAS) is known to protect against malaria, there is no documented studies on the clinical effect of HU on malaria. 36 patients aged 4 to 60 years old and treated by HU at the sickle cell disease research and control center of Bamako for at least 2 years. The treated group was compared to a matched untreated sickle cell patients group. During the follow-up, malaria incidence and onset to clinical episode of malaria were compared between treated SCD patients and untreated group. Results of the comparison show that there is no increased incidence of malaria in the treated group after 2 years follow-up (P=0.9). However, a reduction on the time to first malaria episode within the sickle cell population treated with HU was observed (P=0002).Based on this observed reduced time to first malaria episode in HU treated SCD patients, the use of HU in malaria endemic areas needs to be revaluated. It is howether clear that a more comprehensive approach would hopefully reduce the morbidity due to HU use for SCD affected children.

Disclosures No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.

  • * Asterisk with author names denotes non-ASH members.