Tricuspid regurgitant jet velocity (TRJV) >or= 2.5 m/sec. on echocardiography is a surrogate marker for pulmonary hypertension (PHT) in adults with sickle cell disease (SCD). We prospectively examined the relationship between TRJV and laboratory markers of hemolysis in 51 children and young adults with SCD at baseline. We found significant correlations between TRJV and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), hemoglobin (Hb), reticulocyte count (retic) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST). LDH, retic and AST were significantly higher and Hb was lower in subjects with TRJV >or= 2.5 m/sec. We conclude that hemolysis significantly contributes to TRJV elevation in children and young adults with SCD.