Sickle cell retinopathy study offers key insights into inherited retinal conditions
A study conducted by the Sickle Cell Clinical Research and Intervention Program underscores the critical importance of regular ophthalmic intervention for individuals with sickle cell disease (SCD). The study, which examined pediatric patients with SCD over a substantial period, found that 1 in 3 patients had retinopathy, with 9% of them requiring treatment.
In the study, a total of 652 patients underwent comprehensive eye examinations across 2240 visits. Overall, 33% exhibited nonproliferative retinopathy (NPR), while 6% displayed proliferative retinopathy (PR).
The study further noted that 30 eyes required panretinal photocoagulation, a treatment primarily administered for PR stage 3, accounting for 43% of the cases. In addition, intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy was administered to 5 eyes, all of which presented with PR.
Complications observed in the study encompassed retinal detachment and retinal artery occlusion, each affecting two patients. Notably, vision loss (defined as a final best corrected visual acuity of 20/60) was observed in only 1 patient who suffered from a central retinal artery occlusion.
Smith B, et al. Evaluation of Pediatric Patients With SCR Enrolled in a Cohort Study at One of the Largest Sickle Cell Programs in the Country. Presented at: AAO 2023.