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What is SPRINTS ?

Sickle cell Pro-inflammatory Response to Interval Training Study

Listen to Dr. Robert Liem tell you more about SPRINTS

Click on the following links to download the SPRINTS brochure if have SCA and are interested in being a subject or you do not have SCA and are interested in being a control in our study.

What we hope to learn from SPRINTS

Children should exercise every day whether they are healthy or have a disorder like SCA. But we do not know what levels of physical activity and exercise are safe for children with SCA. This makes it hard for doctors to tell children with SCA and their parents how much and how hard children with SCA can exercise or play sports.

Exercise can increase inflammation, which can be harmful in SCA. In this study, we hope to learn if inflammation caused by different levels of exercise is similar in children with SCA and without SCA.  We also want to see if exercise-related inflammation can cause changes in the lungs that look like asthma.

What is involved in SPRINTS

This study includes 2 study visits (Visits 1 and 2) that involve tests to help doctors learn more about how the body responds to exercise in children with and without SCA. 


The purpose of Visit 1 is to make sure it is safe for participants to be in the study and have them complete some written surveys, blood and urine tests, a bone health x-ray, and breathing tests. Visit 1 will also include the first bicycle exercise test, which will measure your overall fitness level. Visit 2 will include a longer bicycle exercise test at either a low or high intensity and additional blood tests. This exercise test will look at how exercise intensity affects inflammation in the body. Breathing tests will be done before and after each exercise test to see if exercise causes asthma-like symptoms in SCA.


How old do I need to be to participate?

You must be between 10 and 21 years old at the time you join the study.

What kind of SCA do I need to have in order to participate?

You must have hemoglobin SS or S/Beta 0 thalassemia). This will be confirmed with a lab test.

​Can I participate if I am on hydroxyurea or regular blood transfusions?

You are eligible to participate if you are on hydroxyurea, but you must be taking your medication at the same dose for at least two months. Unfortunately, you are not eligible for this study if you are on monthly transfusions.​

Can I join the study even if I am not a patient at the participating sites?

Yes! If you meet the requirements to be in the study and would like to join, please fill out the contact form so that we can help you find the study site closest to you.

Are there any conditions that would not allow me to join the study?

You cannot participate if you are unable to perform the exercise testing due to physical limitations, like stroke or hip problems (i.e. avascular necrosis), or if you have experienced fainting or abnormal heart rhythms during exercise.

Can I join the study if I have asthma or exercise-induced asthma?

No, unfortunately you cannot join the study if you have diagnosis of asthma by a physician or daily use of asthma medication.

What if I do not have SCA?

You can still join the study even if you do not have SCA because we want to compare results in children both with and without SCA. Contact us to see if you qualify!

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