Ocular findings in sickle cell disease patients in Lagos.

Department of Surgery, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, P. M. B. 12003, Idi-Araba, Lagos.
The Nigerian postgraduate medical journal 10/2004; 11(3):203-6.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Sickle cell disease has varied manifestations in all systems of the body, ocular manifestations can be severe and sudden blindness may result amidst other complications. The study aims at determining the ocular findings in patients with sickle cell anaemia (HbSS) and sickle cell haemoglobin C disease (HbSC). 99 subjects were recruited into the study carried out at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital over a 2 year period. A structured interview questionnaire was administered and physical examination was carried out at the Medical Out Patients' Sickle Cell Clinics. Subsequently in the (Guinness) Eye centre, examination for ocular manifestations was carried out using Snellen's chart, Slit light microscopy, direct and indirect ophthalmoscopy under mydriasis (with Gutt Tropicamide 1% , epinephrine 10% ) as well as tonometry and gonioscopy. The age of the 99 (51 males, 48 females) patients ranged from 13 to 43 years with a mean +/-SD of 20.42 +/- 6.13. There were 88 (88.9% ) SS and 11 (11.1% ) SC patients. The male to female ratio was 1.1: 1. Normal vision was present in 95 (96% ) of the patients [86 (97.8% ) SS and 9 (81.8% ) SC] while 4 (4.0% ) of the patients [2 (2.2% ) SS and 2 (18.2% ) SC] had impaired vision. Of the complaints, blurred vision was found in 12 (13.6% ) SS and one (9.0% ) SC patients. Itching of the eyes was found in 15 (17.0% ) SS and 3 (27.3% ) SC patients. Icterus was found in 50 (50.5% ), conjunctival signs were found in 49 (49.5% ), retinal vascular tortuosity was in 12 (12 .10% ), peripheral retinal degeneration was in 5 (5% ), iridescent spots was in 3 (3% ) and optic atrophy in 2 (2% ) patients. The tortuosity of major fundus vessels were graded into 4 according to Hook and Cooper's criteria 87 (87.9% ) of the patients were in grade 0. The conjunctival vessels anomalies were classified into 5 grades (criteria of Sergeant). 37 (37.5% ) were in grade 0, 35 (35.3% ) in grade 1, 8 (8.1% ) in grade 2, 7 (7.1% ) in grade 3 and 12 (12.1% ) in grade 4. Conjunctival abnormalities occur commonly while proliferative retinopathy and optic atrophy were uncommon in sickle cell disease patients in Lagos. Further studies are required with a larger number of subjects to investigate the low incidence of proliferative retinopathy and optic atrophy in Lagos.

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