King's College London

Research portal

Pulmonary complications for women with sickle cell disease in pregnancy: systematic review and meta-analysis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Sivarajini Inparaj, Mickey Buckingham, Laura Oakley, Paul T Seed, Sebastian Lucas, Eugene Oteng-Ntim

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.

King's Authors


BACKGROUND: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a multisystem disease characterised by vaso-occlusive crisis, chronic anaemia and a shorter lifespan. More patients with SCD are living till reproductive age and contemplating pregnancy. Pulmonary complications in pregnancy are significant causes of maternal morbidity and mortality but yet this has not been systematically quantified. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted to quantify the association between SCD and pulmonary complications in pregnancy.

METHODS: MEDLINE, EMBASE, Web of Science, Cochrane and Maternity and Infant Care databases were searched for publications between January 1998 and April 2019. Observational studies involving at least 30 participants were included. Random-effects models were used for statistical meta-analysis.

FINDINGS: Twenty-two studies were included in the systematic review and 18 in the quantitative analysis. The meta-analysis included 3964 pregnancies with SCD and 336 559 controls. Compared with women without SCD, pregnancies complicated by SCD were at increased risk of pulmonary thromboembolism (relative risk (RR) 7.74; 95% CI 4.65 to 12.89). The estimated prevalence of acute chest syndrome and pneumonia was 6.46% (95% CI 4.66% to 8.25%), with no significant difference between the HbSS and HbSC genotypes (RR 1.42; 95% CI 0.90 to 2.23).

INTERPRETATION: This meta-analysis highlighted a strong association between SCD and maternal pulmonary complications. Understanding the risks of and the factors associated with pulmonary complications would aid preconceptual counselling and optimal management of the condition in pregnancy, thereby reducing associated maternal morbidity and mortality.


View graph of relations

© 2018 King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS | England | United Kingdom | Tel +44 (0)20 7836 5454