PREVIOUS QUESTION:

 

NEXT QUESTION:

 

How can stem cell or bone marrow transplants cure sickle cell disease?

ANSWER

They’re the only way to cure sickle cell disease. Stem cells are immature cells in your bone marrow that grow into new red or white blood cells and platelets (cells that help form blood clots).

Transplants are usually done in children under age 16 who've had sickle cell complications like pain and strokes. Older people don’t get transplants as often because they’re more likely to have complications.

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Sickle Cell Anemia: Symptoms and Causes,” “Sickle Cell Anemia: Diagnosis and Treatment."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How Is Sickle Cell Disease Treated?" "What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease?"

Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center: “Transfusion Therapy.”

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital: "Bone Marrow (Stem Cell) Transplant for Sickle Cell Disease," “Red Blood Cell Transfusions for Sickle Cell Disease.”

The Internet Stroke Center: "Stroke as a Complication of Sickle Cell Disease," “Blood Transfusions for Children With Sickle Cell Disease.”

U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Hydroxyurea."

American Family Physician: “Practical Tips for Preventing a Sickle Cell Crisis.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on August 11, 2020

SOURCES:

Mayo Clinic: "Sickle Cell Anemia: Symptoms and Causes,” “Sickle Cell Anemia: Diagnosis and Treatment."

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: "How Is Sickle Cell Disease Treated?" "What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Sickle Cell Disease?"

Indiana Hemophilia and Thrombosis Center: “Transfusion Therapy.”

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital: "Bone Marrow (Stem Cell) Transplant for Sickle Cell Disease," “Red Blood Cell Transfusions for Sickle Cell Disease.”

The Internet Stroke Center: "Stroke as a Complication of Sickle Cell Disease," “Blood Transfusions for Children With Sickle Cell Disease.”

U.S. National Library of Medicine: "Hydroxyurea."

American Family Physician: “Practical Tips for Preventing a Sickle Cell Crisis.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on August 11, 2020

NEXT QUESTION:

When does pain happen in people with sickle cell disease?

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

"ALEXA, ASK WEBMD"

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

    Other Answers On: