Duan et al reported factors associated with sickle cell retinopathy and the need to treat. The authors are from the Johns Hopkins University.

Patient selection: SS, sickle-thalassemia, SC, S Lepore


Proliferative retinopathy - one or more of the following:

(1) retinal revascularization

(2) vitreous hemorrhage

(3) tractional retinal detachment


Nonproliferative retinopathy - both of the following:

(1) none of the features of proliferative retinopathy

(2) one or more of the following:

(2a) black sunbursts/chorioretinal lesions

(2b) iridescent spots

(2c) salmon patches

(2d) vascular arteriovenous malformations

(2e) vessel tortuosity

(2f) retinal nonperfusion

(2g) sclerotic retinal vessels

(2h) vascular loops


Progression of sickle cell retinopathy is associated with visual symptoms such as blurred vision or floaters.


Risk factors for laser photocoagulation or vitrectomy surgery associated with proliferative sickle cell retinopathy:

(1) older age

(2) visual symptoms

(3) higher hemoglobin levels

(4) no chronic transfusions

To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.