The Retina Reference

Sickle Cell Retinopathy

Sickle Cell Retinopathy In sickle cell retinopathy, the abnormal sickle-shaped red blood cells can create sluggish blood flow through retinal vessels, creating ischemic (oxygen deprived) areas in the retina. If this occurs in the macula, the center of the retina, blind spots are noticed. In the retinal periphery, if severe enough, new vessels grow out of normal ones. These new vessels are immature and fragile, sometimes breaking and causing hemorrhage in the vitreous, experienced as floaters by the patient.