PURPOSE: To report a dramatic occlusive event of the macula surrounding the foveal avascular zone, causing severe and permanent loss of vision in a child with sickle cell disease. METHODS: Case report. A nine-year-old boy with SS hemoglobinopathy and oculocutaneous albinism developed acute unilateral loss of vision. RESULTS: Ophthalmoscopy revealed a pale, milky white, thickened retinal lesion centered on the fovea in the right eye as well as foveal hypoplasia in the left eye. The presence of macular malformation associated with oculocutaneous albinism precluded formation of a cherry-red spot. Fluorescein angiography of the right eye demonstrated extensive occlusions of the arterioles surrounding the foveal avascular zone. The presence of occlusions surrounding the fovea from multiple directions suggested the possibility of central retinal artery occlusion with migration of microemboli downstream. CONCLUSION: The patient, the youngest case reported, developed an irreversible macular infarction that was not improved by an exchange erythrocyte transfusion. He was placed on a long-term monthly transfusion protocol to protect his unaffected eye.
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