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Oral Urea Therapy in Sickle-Cell Anemia: A Preliminary Report

EDMUND C. LIPP JR., M.D.; RICHARD A. RUDDERS, M.D.; and ANTHONY V. PISCIOTTA, M.D.
[+] Article and Author Information

Supported in part by grant 5 M01 PR00058-09 from the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Edmund C. Lipp, Jr., M.D., 8700 West Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee, Wis. 53226.


Milwaukee, Wisconsin


Ann Intern Med. 1972;76(5):765-768. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-76-5-765
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Oral urea was administered to five patients with homozygous sickle-cell anemia who were not in crisis, to study its effect on chronic hemolysis. After a suitable control period the subjects were given urea orally (1 g/kg body weight · day) for 3½ to 7 weeks. At the end of the study period there was no significant change in the level of anemia nor degree of hemolysis in each subject. One patient developed a painful crisis while receiving urea. The only statistically significant group change noted was elevation of the blood urea nitrogen. In three patients there may have been increased hemolysis during therapy, reflected by increased fecal urobilinogen excretion. In these five patients there was no apparent clinical benefit from oral urea administration.

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