Prophylaxis oral aspartame improves anaemia and decreases frequency and severity of vaso-occlusive painful crisis among sickle cell disease patients and noninferior to hydroxyurea

Butungeshwar Pradhan, Sagnika Tripathy, Chakradhar Majhi, Tushar K. Behera


Background: Sickle cell disease (HbSS) causes much of the morbidity and mortality due to its chronic anaemia and vaso-occlusive painful crisis. Hydroxyurea is now using to treat HbSS. Aspartame appears to have antisickling properties. The objective of this study was to asses the effects of prophylaxis oral Aspartame among HbSS patients on anaemia and vaso-occlusive painful crisis.

Methods: 208 cases of HbSS patients with history of vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC) and/or anaemia were selected for the study and divided into study group (n = 104) and control group (n = 104). 31 and 38 patients were on Hydroxyurea in study group and control group respectively. Baseline hemoglobin was estimated in all cases and oral Aspartame was given in a dose of 4 mg/kg/day in three divided doses. Monthly hemoglobin levels were measured in all cases for six months. Data were collected and compared with control data by using SPSS software version 25.

Results: Mean baseline hemoglobin was 6.99 gm% and increased to 8.43 gm% (P <0.05) after receiving Aspartame prophylaxis. Aspartame add on to Hydroxyurea also had increased in haemoglobin levels. Incidence of VOC was 7.26% in control group. In Hydroxyurea group 3.58% had VOC. In study group 1.2% and in add on to Hydroxyurea group had 1.125 of milder degree of VOC (P <0.05).

Conclusions: Aspartame appears to have antisickling properties and improves anaemia and decreases frequency and severity of VOC among HbSS patients and is non-inferior to Hydroxyurea.


Anaemia, Aspartame, Prophylaxis, Sickle cell disease

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