Author(s): Dosunmu A. O, Akinbami A. A, Onakoya J. A. A, Yemitan O. K., Adebola Arogundade M.O.
Sickle cell anaemia in South West Nigeria has a prevalence of 2.4 %. It is characterized by recurrent crisis like bone pain, hyper haemolysis, acute sequestration, red cell aplasia and progressive or gan damage. These cause high absenteeism at school and at work with a significant reduction in life expectancy. The phytochemical extract of sorghum bicolor has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect; and to increase the haemoglobin in experimental rat. The extract is consumed widely in Nigeria by patients with sickle cell anaemia. This study seeks to assess the effect of this extract on haemopoiesis in these patients. The study population was the patients attending the adult haematology clinic of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. It was a randomized open label study with 105 consenting participants. One group was given folic acid 5mg twice daily and paludrine 200mg daily. The other group had in addition, 1gm of extract per day in two divided doses for 4 weeks. The haematological parameters were taken weekly. After 4 weeks of taking the extract, there were reduction in white blood cells (p= 0.10) and platelet counts (p= 0.03).There were significant reductions in the mean red cell haemoglobin (p=0.0004), mean cell haemoglobin concentration (p=0.0001) while the reduction in mean cell volume and haematocrit changes were minimal (p=0.3and 0.5 respectively). The reduction in leukocytes and platelets counts suggests an anti-inflammatory effect of the extract which may have a clinically positive effect. The significantly reduced cellular haemoglobin concentration and minimal changes in haematocrit demonstrate that the extract will not unduly increase the red cell haemoglobin concentration which may promote sickling. Key words: Haematological parameters. Phytochemical. Sickle cell anaemia. Sorghum bicolor