Vaso-occlusive crisis often results in tissue necrosis. Organs affected include the bone marrow, brain, lungs, kidneys, liver, and spleen. Disorders that may result include bone and joint pathology, stroke, acute chest syndrome, nephropathies, and infections.
Triggering mechanisms for this crisis include infection, fever, acidosis, dehydration, cold temperatures, anxiety, stress, and depression.
Adults may experience acute chest syndrome due to pulmonary infarcts caused by sickling in the pulmonary microvasculature; children with sickle cell disease can experience acute chest syndrome due to infections.