Little is known about the impact of blood rheology on the occurrence of retinopathy in sickle cell disease (SCD). Fifty-nine adult SCD patients in steady-state condition participated to the study: 32 with homozygous SCD (sickle cell anemia; SCA) and 27 with sickle cell hemoglobin-C disease (SCC). The patients underwent retinal examination and were categorized according to the classification of Goldberg: 1) no retinopathy (group 1), 2) non-proliferative or proliferative stage I-II retinopathy (group 2) and 3) proliferative stage III-IV-V retinopathy (group 3). Hematological and hemorheological (whole blood viscosity, RBC deformability and aggregation properties) measurements were performed for each patient. In the whole SCD group (SCA + SCC patients) and in SCC patients, the group 3 had higher platelets count than group 2 but the difference between group 3 and group 1 did not reach statistical significance. No difference was observed for the other parameters between the three groups. SCC patients from the group 3 exhibited higher whole blood viscosity than SCC patients from the group 1. No significant difference was observed between the three groups in SCA patients. This study revealed that severe sickle proliferative retinopathy is associated with blood hyperviscosity in SCC patients but not in SCA patients.
- Blood rheology
- Sickle cell disease