We surveyed 321 patients 1 to 18 years old who were followed at the sickle cell clinic at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia between 1970 and 1984 for urological complications of the disease. Mean followup was 5 years and all patients exhibited a typical spectrum of hemoglobin types. The urological problems encountered were those cited in the literature, namely hematuria, urinary tract infection and priapism. Surprisingly few of our patients experienced significant renal bleeding. Although the number of patients with infection evaluated radiographically was small, the frequency of renal parenchymal scarring was disturbingly high despite the reported rarity of reflux in black subjects. Our survey and a review of the literature indicate that most sicklemic children with urinary infection are not subjected to urological evaluation. We question the wisdom of that policy. Finally, we found that priapism responds most often to nonsurgical therapy and that it rarely results in impotence in young sickle cell patients.
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