Samples of bone marrow from 33 Ghanaian children with homozygous sickle cell anaemia who presented with profound anaemia (haemoglobin less than 5 g/dl) were studied. The principal finding was depression of erythropoiesis (aplastic crisis) in 14 children and erythroid hyperplasia in 17. A splenic sequestration crisis was clinically diagnosed in the remaining two children. Stainable iron was absent in the marrow of 14 children and reduced in another five. Megaloblastic changes compatible with folate deficiency were present in 8 children. It is suggested that iron and folate deficiencies may complicate sickle cell anaemia in children living in geographical areas where nutritional deficiencies are prevalent.
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