Sickle Cell Disease:


Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a hereditable condition that causes blood cells clumping inside the vessels and leads to the occlusion of the small arteries in the brain. It is estimated that approximately 100,000 people with SCD lives in the US and millions worldwide. Stroke constitutes one of the most disabling and devastating complications of SCD. In specific subgroups, the risk of suffering a stroke can be as high as 30% per year. Survivors can suffer seizures, language deficits, slurred speech, vision loss, focal weakness or unbalance. Studies have shown that, in addition, approximately 17% of the children with sickle cell under the age of 14 have silent strokes which may affect intellectual and cognitive abilities, including memory, attention, and concentration.

Different mechanisms are involved in the occurrence of stroke in sickle patients, including the occlusion of the large or small arteries supplying blood to the brain and cardiac arrhythmia. Research studies have shown that, with the proper treatment, the risk of stroke in Sickle Cell Disease can be reduced by approximately 90%.

There are about 72,000 people in the United States with sickle cell disease and the majority of them are African American. Our team of stroke specialists treat this complication and work in conjunction with the Sickle Cell Specialists on preventing another stroke from occurring.

The Stroke-Sickle Cell Disease clinic of the University of Illinois is specialized in the management and prevention of stroke in patients with Sickle Cell Disease. Doctors with expertise in the management of this unique population work in the close collaboration using state-of-the-art technology and innovative approaches with the goal of preventing the occurrence of stroke and its devastating consequences.


Additional Resources:

For additional information about stroke and Sickle Cell Disease, please visit the American Heart Association web site at:

For additional information about Sickle Cell Disease, please visit any of the following:

Sickle Cell Disease Association of America:

Sickle Cell Disease Association of Illinois:

Sickle Cell Information Center: 


If you would like to schedule an appointment, please contact Maureen Hillmann at:
(312) 355-3863.