Vitreoretinal management and surgical outcomes in proliferative sickle retinopathy: A case series

Royce W.S. Chen, Harry W. Flynn, Wen Hsiang Lee, D. Wilkin Parke, Ryan F. Isom, Janet L. Davis, William E. Smiddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Purpose To report the outcomes of current vitreoretinal surgical management of proliferative sickle retinopathy and to compare current methods to previous studies. Design A retrospective, interventional case series. Methods Fifteen eyes of 14 patients with proliferative sickle retinopathy were managed with vitreoretinal surgery over a 12-year period at a single institution. Results Nine patients had a sickle cell-hemoglobin C (SC) profile, 1 was sickle cell-beta+ thalassemia (S beta+-thal), and 4 were sickle cell trait (AS). All 15 eyes underwent pars plana vitrectomy (PPV): 6 for vitreous hemorrhage (VH), 1 for epiretinal membrane (ERM), and an additional 8 for tractional retinal detachment (RD) and/or rhegmatogenous RD. In addition, an encircling scleral buckle (SB) was used in 2 cases. In 7 cases, 20 gauge PPV was used; 23 gauge was used in 3; and 25 gauge was used in 5. All 7 eyes with VH or ERM had improved vision postoperatively. Four of the 8 patients with traction and/or rhegmatogenous RD developed recurrent detachments and required a second operation. All retinas were attached at last follow-up, and visual acuity was 20/400 or better in all eyes. No cases of anterior segment ischemia were encountered. Conclusions Anterior segment ischemia is no longer a common occurrence in eyes undergoing surgery for proliferative sickle retinopathy. Although PPV has replaced the use of SB in many situations, an encircling SB may still be used in this population when necessary. Surgery for VH and ERM generally results in favorable outcomes, but eyes undergoing surgery for traction/rhegmatogenous RD carry a more guarded prognosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)870-875.e1
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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