Of 45 patients with proliferative sickle retinopathy in stages III, IV, and V, nine patients (eight with hemoglobin SC disease, one with sickle cell thalassemia) showed spontaneous regression (autoinfarction) of retinal sea fans. One mechanism involved in autoinfarction of neovascular tissue is progressive, centripetal retraction of the anterior vascular arcade of the peripheral retina. In addition, vitreous traction on feeder vessels may result in sluggish blood flow and occlusion of these vessels, or may tear the sea fan completely away from its feeder vessels. In view of the many incidences of vitreous hemorrhages that occur in patients with proliferative retinopathy, however, we recommend treatment of neovascularization rather than prolonged observation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas