CASE REPORTS
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Retinopathy in haemoglobin C trait.

Eye 1996
Retinopathy associated with sickle-C and sickle cell disease is well described. Sickle trait and haemoglobin C trait are generally considered benign conditions, with infrequent systemic manifestations. Rare cases of retinopathy in sickle trait, in the presence of contributory factors, exist and we recently reported three such patients. The occurrence of retinopathy in haemoglobin C trait is even less well documented. Haemoglobin C does not cause red blood cell sickling but is known to decrease erythrocyte plasticity and increase blood viscosity. We report three cases in which haemoglobin C trait was associated with significant peripheral vascular occlusion and seafan formation (confirmed by fluorescein angiography) similar to that seen in sickle retinopathy. Two patients had coexistent systemic disease (hypertension and diabetes mellitus). Vitreous haemorrhage was the presenting feature in two patients. It is evident that haemoglobin C trait may be associated with sight-threatening complications.

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