How is elevated intraocular pressure treated in sickle cell disease (SCD)?

Updated: Sep 30, 2020
  • Author: Mark Ventocilla, OD, FAAO; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

Blood in the anterior chamber in patients with sickle cell disease is a medical emergency. A sickle screen is warranted for every black patient who has an unexplained hyphema. [12, 13] The environment of the anterior chamber promotes sickle hemoglobin polymerization, which can result in elevated intraocular pressure due to blockage of the trabecular meshwork.

Because patients with sickle cell disease are particularly prone to central retinal artery occlusion and optic atrophy, even with mildly elevated intraocular pressures, closely monitor the intraocular pressure. Do not allow it to exceed 25 mm Hg for longer than 24 hours.


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