The Pro-Inflammatory Effects of Acute Exercise in Children With Sickle Cell Anemia

About the study

Recommendations for exercise prescription currently do not exist for individuals with sickle cell anemia (SCA) despite the known impact that SCA-related complications has on physical functioning and fitness. A major barrier to increasing physical activity in SCA is the concern that the well-described inflammatory effects of exercise could precipitate or exacerbate complications such as vaso-occlusive pain or airway bronchoconstriction (i.e. exercise-induced asthma). Although the investigator’s preliminary data suggest that increasing physical activity may be beneficial rather than harmful in children with SCA, the pro-inflammatory effects associated with repeated bouts of moderate to vigorous exercise remain poorly understood in this population. The long term goal is to address the safety and health impact of regular exercise in children with SCA. This proposal would help establish the safety of moderate to vigorous intensity exercise in children with SCA and importantly, will inform the design of future clinical trials focused on exercise training as a transformative strategy to improve fitness and overall well-being in this population.

Study point of contact

Robert Liem, MD
[email protected]
Connie Casale, BS
[email protected]


10 Years - 21 Years


hemoglobin SS

Study type






participation requirements

Provide signed and dated informed consent form
Willing to comply with all study procedures and be available for the duration of the study
Male or female, aged 10 years to 21 years old
Diagnosis of hemoglobin SS or S/Beta0 thalassemia confirmed by hemoglobin electrophoresis

participation restrictions

Inability to perform CPET due to physical limitation (e.g. severe hip osteonecrosis or stroke)
Enrollment on chronic transfusion program
History of exercise-induced arrhythmia or syncope
Diagnosis of asthma, defined as physician diagnosis or use of daily asthma medications
Known exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, defined as physician diagnosis by exercise challenge test
History of any cardiac diagnosis precluding exercise testing, unless cleared by a cardiologist
Anything that would place the individual at increased risk or preclude the individual’s full compliance with or completion of the study

Last updated 2021-08-02