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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 241-244

Ocular morbidity from sickle cell disease in a Nigerian cohort

Rachel Eye Center, P O Box 4108, Garki, Abuja, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
O E Babalola
Rachel Eye Center, P O Box 4108, Garki, Abuja
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Sickle cell Retinopathy is increasingly being recognised as a cause of significant ocular morbidity and blindness in Africa south of the Sahara. This study looked for retinopathy in a cohort of 90 Nigerians with Sickle Cell Disease (SCD).METHOD: The cohort consisted of black Nigerians from the Hausa-Fulani, Ibo and Yoruba, as well as other minority ethnic groups resident in the Federal Capital Territory aged between 5-36 yr. 88 patients were SS and only 2 SC. RESULTS: SCD related posterior lesions were seen in 22 patients (24%). Of these, 19 cases (21%) had Non Proliferative Sickle Retinopathy (NPSR) while 5 (5.6%) had Proliferative Sickle Retinopathy (PSR) in various stages of development, and 2 had both PSR and NPSR. Patients with PSR are at risk of blindness from vitreous haemorrhage and tractional retinal detachment. A 14-year-old male with arterio-venous anastomosis was the youngest with PSR while the most advanced PSR lesion was a sea fan in a 25-year-old female. CONCLUSIONS: standard treatment consisting of photocoagulation and/or vitrectomy is not available in many eye centres in sub-Saharan Africa and steps need to be taken to improve this situation. The role of anti-sickling remedies, if any, is the subject of ongoing investigations. Our findings with NIPRISAN, a phytomedicinal preparation currently undergoing trials, will be reported subsequently.

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