Long-term follow-up of patients enrolled in a randomized prospective trial of feeder vessel photocoagulation for proliferative sickle retinopathy has been completed. Of the 44 patients enrolled in Chicago, nearly a decade followup has been achieved on 29 patients (45 eyes). There were 20 control untreated eyes and 25 argon laser-treated eyes. Prolonged loss of visual acuity was rare in both groups. Argon laser photocoagulation has had a sustained effect on reducing the incidence of vitreous hemorrhage and visual loss from vitreous hemorrhage. Nine (45%) of 20 control eyes had vitreous hemorrhage, and it was recurrent in six (66%) of these nine eyes. A single episode was the only hemorrhagic event in the treated eyes. The laser-induced complications of choroidal neovascularization or retinal detachment were not associated with longterm visual sequelae. New sea fan evolution in 47% of study eyes suggests that these patients require long-term surveillance.
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