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U.C. Schaller, S. Abdi, M. Kollmann, D.R. Ilako; Ocular Findings In Patients With Sickle Cell Disease At Kenyatta National Hospital; Nairobi; Kenya . Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(13):5166.
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Sickle Cell Disease(SCD) is an inherited blood disorder which affects the structure of haemoglobin. Ocular findings result from vascular changes involving the conjunctiva, iris, choroid and retina. The eye offers a unique opportunity for direct observation of vaso–occlusive processes in SCD. The study was performed to document ocular changes in patients with SCD at Kenyatta National Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya.
Over a period of 6 months 100 patients with SCD had a complete eye examination. All patients had Hb SS/SF disease. Age, sex, province of birth, ocular signs and symptoms were noted.
The age ranged from 1 to 41 years. 89% were less than 20 years of age. 40 male and 60 female patients were examined. Most patients were from Western Kenya Province where SCD is more common. Visual acuity was normal in 70% of studied cases. Changes of the conjunctiva were seen in 82 %, at the disc 26.7% like atrophy and retina 37% (e.g. black sun burst, salmon patch). Peripheral neovascularization was seen in only 2 patients. The sea–vans were already fibrosed.
The majority of patients had conjunctival findings but no retinal findings. The neovascularizations of 2 patients were already fibrosed. No treatment was required. Because of the very low incidence of severe complications due to SCD the need of a costly regular eye examination should be discussed for a developing country like Kenya.
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