How Would You Treat This Patient With Acute and Chronic Pain From Sickle Cell Disease?: Grand Rounds Discussion From Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Annals Beyond the Guidelines

Sickle cell disease is prevalent in large numbers of patients in the United States and has a significant global impact. Its complications span numerous organs and lead to reduced life expectancy. Acute and chronic sickle cell pain is a common cause of patient suffering. The American Society of Hematology published updated guidelines on management of acute and chronic pain from sickle cell disease in 2019. Several of the recommendations are conditional and leave specific decisions to the treating physician. These include conditional recommendations about the use of ketamine for acute pain and the initiation and discontinuation of long-term opioid therapy for chronic pain. Here, 2 hematologists discuss these guidelines and make contrasting recommendations for the management of acute and chronic pain for a patient with sickle cell disease.


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Annals Beyond the Guidelines

From Annals of Internal Medicine (, Beyond the Guidelines is an educational feature based on recent guidelines. Each considers a patient (or patients) who "falls between the cracks" of available evidence and for whom the optimal clinical course in unclear. Presented at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) Grand Rounds, each conference reviews the background evidence and experts then discuss the patient(s) and field audience questions. Videos of the interviews and conference, the slide presentation, and a CME/MOC activity accompany each module.