What causes the ocular manifestations of sickle cell disease (SCD)?

Updated: Jul 22, 2021
  • Author: Mark Ventocilla, OD, FAAO; Chief Editor: Andrew G Lee, MD  more...
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The ocular manifestations of sickle cell disease (SCD) result from vascular occlusion, which may occur in the conjunctiva, iris, retina, and choroid. Because the ocular changes produced by SCD can be seen in other diseases, it is important to rule out other causes of occlusion, including central retinal vein occlusion, Eales disease, and retinopathy secondary to diabetes and other disorders. [1] Other causes of ocular changes that should also be considered include familial exudative vitreoretinopathy, polycythemia vera, talc and cornstarch emboli, and uveitis.

Treatment is directed toward preventing vision loss from vitreous hemorrhage, retinal detachment, and epiretinal membranes. [2, 3] Treatment may be medical or surgical. Recent advances in genetic manipulation, including the use of CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat), offers great promise in the treatment of SCD.

Go to Sickle Cell Anemia for complete information on this topic.

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