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Table 3 Differential diagnosis between vaso-occlusive crisis and other acute emergencies

From: Organizing national responses for rare blood disorders: the Italian experience with sickle cell disease in childhood

Site of pain Differential diagnosis Exams to consider
Head Hemorrhagic stroke MRI, MRA
Sinusitis CT
Migraine/headache Lumbar puncture
Meningitis  
Neck/throat Meningitis Lumbar puncture
Torticollis/stiff neck Throat swab
Pharyngitis/tonsillitis Esophago gastro duodenal endoscopy
Esophagitis/gastroesophageal reflux  
Thorax Acute chest syndrome/reactive airway disease/asthma Thorax X-ray
Osteochondritis ECG
Heart (myocardial infarction) Esophago gastro duodenal endoscopy
Gastroesophageal reflux  
Abdomen Acute abdomen: Abdomen X-ray
Appendicitis Abdomen ultrasound
Cholecystitis Amylase/lipase
Other Thorax X-ray
Gallbladder stones Throat swab
Pancreatitis Urine exam and culture
Splenic sequestration
Acute chest syndrome
Urinary infection/pyelonephritis
Extremities/joints Osteomyelitis X-ray
Septic arthritis Ultrasound
  Limping without pain MRI, MRA