Ocular manifestations of children with sickle cell disease in Ibadan, Nigeria

  • T.S. Oluleye
  • B.J. Brown
  • O Olawoye


Background: Children with sickle cell disease can present with ocular complaints. Regular eye examination can detect sight threatening conditions amenable to treatment. The aim of the study was to describe ocular manifestation of children with sickle cell disease attending the Pediatric Outpatient Department of the University College Hospital Ibadan.

Methodology: Children 15 year and below diagnosed with sickle cell disease at the Pediatric Outpatient of the University College Hospital were examined in detail by the Ophthalmologist to document ocular findings.

Results: One hundred and five (105) patients were examined. Mean age was 3.22 ± 2.49 years with a male to female ratio of 1.2: 1. Ninety children (85.7%) had Hemoglobin SS while HB SC had 15(14.3%). The commonest ocular finding was retinal vascular tortuosity in 15(14.3%). Other important findings were central retinal artery occlusion in 2 (1.9%) patients; black sunbursts pigmentation 2(1.9%); chorioretinal atrophy 3(2.8%), salmon patch retina hemorrhage 1(0.95%); retina holes1(0.95%) and retina coloboma1(0.95%). The only anterior segment finding was jaundice in all the patients. No conjunctiva vascular abnormalities were found.

Conclusion: Retinal vascular tortuosity is the commonest ocular manifestation of children with sickle cell disease in Ibadan. Central retinal artery occlusion, a devastating condition is an emerging manifestation. Regular eye examination for sickle cell retinopathy in children less than 15 years of age is not recommended.


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