Ocular manifestations of sickle cell disease among patients attending Mulago sickle cell clinic
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Background. Over 100 million people worldwide especially blacks are afflicted with sickle cell disease. In Uganda, 25,000 babies are born with sickle cell disease (SS) each year. In Mulago sickle cell clinic, with an average of 19,200 attendances per year, there is no information on the ocular complications of sickle cell disease, inspite of the fact that many ocular complications have been reported in other Countries. Aims and Objectives. The study aimed at finding out the magnitude of ocular manifestations and their relative frequencies amongst patients with sickle cell disease attending sickle cell clinic Mulago Hospital. It specifically determined the prevalence of ocular manifestations and their frequencies. Methods and Materials. It was a hospital based cross sectional descriptive study conducted at the sickle cell clinic at Upper Mulago Hospital Kampala. Three hundred and fifteen patients were examined between June 2004 and February 2005. Patients with homozygous sickle cell disease and not in sickle cell crises were consecutively enrolled after consent. Social demographic data was obtained by interview and a general and ophthalmic examination was done. Data entry and analysis was done using SPSSI EPI-INFO 6. Frequency distribution tables and pie charts were used to summarize the results. Chi-square was used to test for significance of associations between categorical variables and ocular manifestations. Results. The prevalence of ocular disorders in the study population was 34%. Ocular disorders found were lid edema 4.1%, lid tenderness 1.6% conjunctival vessel abnormality 12.7%, keratic precipitates 0.3%, iris atrophy and depigmentation 3.2%, cataract 0.9%, vitreous haemorrhage 0.3%, retinal vascular abnormalities 9.5%, retinal detachment 0.3 %. Conclusion. The prevalence of ocular disorders in patients attending Mulago sickle cell clinic was 34%. The commonest ocular disorders being conjunctival vessel abnormalities and retinal vascular abnormalities. Proliferative sickle cell retinopathy was not found.