Design of the silent cerebral infarct transfusion (SIT) trial

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



Anemia, Sickle Cell; *Blood Transfusion; Cerebral Infarction; Child; Humans; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; Research Design; Stroke


Bioinformatics | Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


BACKGROUND: Silent cerebral infarct (SCI) is the most common cause of serious neurological disease in sickle cell anemia (SCA), affecting approximately 22% of children. The goal of this trial is to determine whether blood transfusion therapy will reduce further neurological morbidity in children with SCI, and if so, the magnitude of this benefit.

PROCEDURE: The Silent Cerebral Infarct Transfusion (SIT) Trial includes 29 clinical sites and 3 subsites, a Clinical Coordinating Center, and a Statistical and Data Coordinating Center, to test the following hypothesis: prophylactic blood transfusion therapy in children with SCI will result in at least an 86% reduction in the rate of subsequent overt strokes or new or progressive cerebral infarcts as defined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain. The intervention is blood transfusion versus observation. Two hundred and four participants (102 in each treatment assignment) will ensure 85% power to detect the effect necessary to recommend transfusion therapy (86% reduction), after accounting for 10% drop out and 19% crossover rates. MRI examination of the brain is done at screening, immediately before randomization and study exit. Each randomly assigned participant receives a cognitive test battery at study entry, 12-18 months later, and study exit and an annual neurological examination. Blood is obtained from all screened participants for a biologic repository containing serum and a renewable source of DNA.

CONCLUSION: The SIT Trial could lead to a change in standard care practices for children affected with SCA and SCI, with a consequent reduction in neurological morbidity.

DOI of Published Version



Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2010 Mar;27(2):69-89. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Pediatric hematology and oncology

PubMed ID


Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed