Which histologic findings are characteristic of hemoglobinopathy retinopathy?

Updated: Sep 03, 2019
  • Author: Brian A Phillpotts, MD; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
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Histologic findings may include the following:

  • RPE atrophy

  • RPE hyperplasia

  • RPE migration into partially degenerated retina and perivascular location

  • Retinal thinning with loss of outer retinal layers

  • Retinal detachment with cystic degeneration

  • Retinal layers may be disorganized.

  • Pigment-laden macrophages are seen within and beneath the retina.

  • Pupillary space may be filled by a thin fibrovascular membrane.

  • Cataractous changes may be noted.

  • Thick-walled blood vessels often are filled with sickled erythrocytes.

  • Proliferation of blood vessels may be seen in the retina and the vitreous, leading to intravitreal neovascularization.

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