October, 10 2019

A Pilot Study of Acupuncture for the Treatment of Pain in Sickle Cell Disease


1 United States site


8 to 22 Years



About the study

Sickle cell disease (SCD) is the most common genetic disorder in the United States affecting
approximately 100,000 individuals primarily of African ancestry. Pain is the most common
complication of SCD. Currently, the mainstay therapy for pain in SCD is opioids. The CDC
recommends using non-opioid, non-pharmacologic therapies for pain. There is a growing body of
literature to support the use of various integrative therapies for pain.

Acupuncture therapy is a non-pharmacological Chinese medicine approach which has been used in
many non-SCD conditions associated with pain. Proposed study will test acceptability and
feasibility of use of acupuncture in SCD patients hospitalized for pain. It is hypothesized
that the use of acupuncture as an adjuvant therapy will be acceptable to SCD patients
admitted for pain control. Its impact on opioid use and circulating cytokines and
neuropeptides will also be determined.

Study Type





8 to 22 Years



Inclusion Criteria

– subjects with SCD (HbSS, HbSC, HbSβ0 thalassemia, HbSOArab)

– Admitted for management of pain at Children’s National.

– Ability to provide informed consent/assent

Exclusion Criteria

– Inability to give informed consent/assent as determined by the investigators

– SCD related complications such as acute chest syndrome requiring supplemental oxygen,
fever with bacteremia or concern for serious infection ex. osteomyelitis Local -skin
infection or condition not feasible for acupuncture

– Pregnancy or lactation


  • Other

Outcome measures

  • Recruitment ratio


  • Children's National Health System, Washington, District of Columbia, United States, 20010 [Recruiting]

Contact Research Team

  • Deepika Darbari, MD

More info

View on ClinicalTrials
Site is under construction