March 1980

Sickle Cell Dactylitis

Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(3):439. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330150153037

To the Editor.  —Sickle cell dactylitis is a well-known clinical and roentgenologic entity. It has been described in homozygous sickle hemoglobinopathy, sickle cell C disease, and sickle-β thalassemia.1,2 To our knowledge, this complication of sickle cell disease has not been reported in patients above the age of 10 years. We report the case of an adult with sickle-β thalassemia in whom dactylitis of both hands developed.

Report of a Case.  —A 26-year-old black man had been observed for sickle-β thalassemia. Past history included four to five pain crises each year since childhood. There was no history of the hand-and-foot syndrome as a child. The patient was admitted to Cook County Hospital, Chicago, for sudden onset of fever and diffuse swelling of both hands of five days' duration. Physical examination showed a young man in moderate distress from pain, with temperature of 38.3 °C. He had jaundice; the spleen was

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