Aim To evaluate spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT) changes in central retina and choroid in patients with sickle cell disease (SCD).
Methods Data on visual acuity, severity of sickle cell retinopathy, macular volume scans and choroidal thickness on SD-OCT were analysed from 208 eyes of 107 consecutive patients referred for screening for SCD. The retinal and choroidal thickness of eyes with SCD were also compared with age and ethnicity matched controls.
Results 44% of the eyes of patients with SCD showed discrete areas of retinal thinning in the temporal macular area. Proliferative sickle cell retinopathy was more prevalent in these eyes compared with SCD eyes with normal macular morphology (67% vs 48%; p=0.0017). The temporal total and inner retinal thickness, macular volume and choroidal thickness were significantly lower in patients with SCD compared with age, gender and ethnicity matched controls. Macular splaying (widening of the macular contour) was noted in 30% of eyes in both groups. The choroidal and retinal thickness values showed good intergrader reliability using weighted κ statistics (0.550–0.9).
Conclusions Quantitative and qualitative changes on SD-OCT are present in asymptomatic SCD eyes. Proliferative retinopathy is more prevalent in eyes with discrete areas of macular thinning.