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Spectral domain optical coherence tomography in patients with sickle cell disease
  1. Raeba Mathew1,
  2. Rinoza Bafiq1,
  3. Jayashree Ramu1,
  4. Elizabeth Pearce1,
  5. Matthew Richardson1,
  6. Emma Drasar2,
  7. Swee Lay Thein2,3,
  8. Sobha Sivaprasad1,4
  1. 1Laser and Retinal Research Unit, Department of Ophthalmology, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Hematological Medicine, King's College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Molecular Hematology, King's College London, James Black Centre, London, UK
  4. 4NIHR Moorfields Biomedical Research Centre, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Sobha Sivaprasad, Laser and Retinal Research Unit, Department of Ophthalmology, King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK; senswathi{at}


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.

  • Choroid
  • Imaging
  • Macula
  • Retina

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