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Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice

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Bilateral Simultaneous Macular Infarction with Spontaneous Visual Recovery in Genotype SS Hemoglobinopathy Patient

ON Okonkwo, AO Hassan, ME Gyasi, O Oderinlo

Abstract


To report the rare and dramatic event of bilateral macular infarction in a sickle cell hemoglobinopathy (SS genotype) patient, resulting in bilateral severe reduction in visual acuity. Without any intervention, the patient’s vision gradually improved over the follow‑up period. Central visual field defects however persisted. A 21‑year‑old male Nigerian, presented with a 1‑week history of bilateral sudden painless loss of vision. His symptom was associated with fever, feeling of heaviness in the chest and head, and a dizzy spell. Visual acuity was reduced to 20/200 in both eyes and near acuity was; right eye: N24, left eye: N36. Funduscopy showed a pale, milky white, thickened retinal patch superotemporal to the fovea in both eyes. Fluorescein Angiograph: revealed features consistent with occlusion of the parafoveal terminal arterioles in both eyes. Although he did not receive any ocular treatment, and exchange blood transfusion was not done, he regained near‑normal visual acuity in both eyes over a 17‑month follow‑up period, central visual field defects persisted in both eyes. Visual recovery in this patient demonstrates that macular function could improve over time following macular ischemia, without any treatment. Patients and caring physicians should be aware of this possibility.

Keywords: Macular infarction, macular ischemia, sickle cell, visual loss




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