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Autonomic Function in Sickle Cell Disease

Biophysical Markers of Autonomic Cardiovascular Function in Sickle Cell Disease

Sickle-cell disease is characterized by the occurrence of extensive obstruction of microvascular flow, which occur on top of a progressive, chronic vascular disease. It is still not known why or how transient regional vaso-occlusion cascades into large-scale painful episodes of vaso-occlusive crisis. However, recent studies suggest that the autonomic nervous system likely plays an important role in mediating these transitions. As part of the NIH-funded Excellence in Hemoglobinopathies Research Award program carried out at CHLA, Dr. Khoo and his team have developed multiple biophysical markers of human cardiorespiratory responses to a variety of autonomic challenges, using minimal modeling techniques.

Representative publications: