January 25th, 2015
By Sean Marshall
New news from Wailea Hawaii, reports from Helio.com an ocular sugary news site state that “spectral domain optical coherence tomography may be used to gauge retinal anatomic changes in eyes with sickle cell retinopathy.” Retinopathy for those who don’t know is a when the eyes retinal degrade and begin to thin, those with sickle cell often suffer from this.
The article focused on the work of Jennifer I. Lim M.D. at the 2015 Retina conference, an annual optometrist conference. Her work would suggest that many people suffering from sickle cell disease will also succumb to some sort of retinal degradation in their lifetime.
The article explained that “in a study including 128 eyes of 64 sickle cell anemia patients and 24 eyes of 12 age- and race-matched controls it was identified in 36 sickle cell eyes (56%) and no control eyes.”
Unfortunately the “it” that the study is referring to is sickle cell retinal thinning other such data included “visual acuity in sickle cell eyes with focal macular thinning ranged from 20/15 to 20/200. Most eyes had 20/20 vision and were asymptomatic.”
Lastly it was reveled that in another phase of the study “optic nerve and retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness was measured in 151 eyes of 88 sickle cell patients and 55 eyes of 30 controls. Results showed that sickle cell retinopathy eyes with macular thinning had thinner mean peripapillary RNFL in the nasal and superotemporal sectors than controls.”
If you would like to read the full article it can be found here: http://www.healio.com/ophthalmology/retina-vitreous/news/online/%7B8adc13a7-25df-4297-a8f7-e719d3567f7c%7D/sickle-cell-retinopathy-associated-with-retinal-thinning
Other news this week included new ways to model sickle cell behavior. An article from the Massachusetts institute of technology news has posted an article online about the development of a new type of machine that could “analyze the behavior of blood from sickle cell disease patients.” The device is being crafted Ming Dao a research scientist from MIT’s department of Materials Science and Engineering.
The device is suppose to “measure how long it takes blood cells to become dangerously stiff, which is when they become more likely to get trapped in blood vessels.” Another feature of the device is that according to the article it explains that the microfluidic device “mimics the conditions inside a blood vessel as oxygen leaves the blood.” The article also went on to say that “the cell flows through a narrow channel that wraps around a compartment containing oxygen. The oxygen then diffuses the gas compartment to the microfluidic channel allowing researchers to control how much oxygen cells are exposed to.”
This may be a lot to take in bit essentially the device would stop the effects of strokes on sickle cell patients while monitoring for upcoming health risks.
If you would like to read the whole article click the link: http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2015/microfluidic-device-predict-sickle-cell-behavior-0119
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