Samir K Ballas

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IMPORTANCE Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a life-threatening genetic disorder affecting nearly 100,000 individuals in the United States and is associated with many acute and chronic complications requiring immediate medical attention. Two disease-modifying therapies, hydroxyurea and long-term blood transfusions, are available but underused. OBJECTIVE To(More)
Painful crises in patients with sickle cell anemia are caused by vaso-occlusion and infarction. Occlusion of blood vessels depends on (at least) their diameter, the deformability of red cells, and the adhesion of blood cells to endothelium. Deoxygenated sickle cells are rigid because they contain linear polymers of hemoglobin S (Hb S); polymerization is(More)
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is a pleiotropic genetic disorder of hemoglobin that has profound multiorgan effects. The low prevalence of SCD ( approximately 100,000/US) has limited progress in clinical, basic, and translational research. Lack of a large, readily accessible population for clinical studies has contributed to the absence of standard definitions(More)
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has value in characterizing normal and abnormal bone marrow because of its ability to distinguish fat from other tissues. Due to this advantage, hematologic disorders resulting in alterations of the normal cellular and fatty marrow distribution can be appreciated. In this article, the role of MRI in diffuse hematologic(More)
CONTEXT Hydroxyurea increases levels of fetal hemoglobin (HbF) and decreases morbidity from vaso-occlusive complications in patients with sickle cell anemia (SCA). High HbF levels reduce morbidity and mortality. OBJECTIVE To determine whether hydroxyurea attenuates mortality in patients with SCA. DESIGN Long-term observational follow-up study of(More)
Patients with sickle cell anemia were treated with daily doses of hydroxyurea, to assess pharmacokinetics, toxicity, and increase in fetal hemoglobin (Hb) production in response to the drug. Plasma hydroxyurea clearances were not a useful guide to maximum tolerated doses of the drug. The mean daily single oral dose that could be maintained for at least 16(More)
Traditional reticulocyte counts provide only a partial estimate of the erythropoietic bone marrow activity and do not account for qualitative variations of reticulocyte cellular indexes and hemoglobin content in particular. We have studied a new integrated parameter, reticulocyte hemoglobin (retHb), that quantifies in grams per liter the hemoglobin(More)
Pain is the insignia of sickle cell disease and the acute painful crisis is the number-one cause of hospital admissions. Tissue damage due to vaso-occlusion releases numerous inflammatory mediators that initiate the transmission of painful stimuli and the perception of pain. The acute sickle cell painful crisis evolves along four distinct phases coupled(More)
The acute sickle cell painful episode is the most common cause of hospitalization of patients with sickle cell anemia. Its detailed clinical features and peri-discharge features are not well known. In order to determine the actual pattern of hospital admissions of patients with SS and the causes of frequent hospital readmissions and their prognostic(More)