Skip Navigation LinksHome > January 2009 - Volume 41 - Issue 1 > Central Retinal Vein Occlusion in a Sickle Cell Trait Carrie...
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise:
doi: 10.1249/MSS.0b013e31818313d0
Clinical Sciences

Central Retinal Vein Occlusion in a Sickle Cell Trait Carrier after a Cycling Race

HEDREVILLE, MONA1,2; CONNES, PHILIPPE1; ROMANA, MARC3; MAGNAVAL, GUILLAUME4; DAVID, THIERRY4; HARDY-DESSOURCES, MARIE-DOMINIQUE3; BELLOY, MARIE-SYLVAINE3; ETIENNE-JULAN, MARYSE3,5; HUE, OLIVIER1

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Abstract

A 26-yr-old man with sickle cell trait (SCT) suddenly lost visual acuity in the left eye after a cycling race in hot tropical environment. The cause was massive central retinal vein occlusion (CRVO) with hemorrhaging that rapidly worsened to neovascular glaucoma. Although medically treated, the eye is now marked by total retinal detachment. Cardiovascular function assessment shows no electrocardiographic abnormalities, no anomaly in the supra-aortic tree, and no evidence of structural heart disease. Although normal coagulation markers values (i.e., activated partial thromboplastin time, prothrombin time, fibrinogen concentration, antithrombin III, factor V, proteins C and S) were observed 2.5 months after the clinical event, a transesophageal echocardiogram performed few hours after the incident revealed the presence of four thrombi in the left atrium suggesting a postexercise hypercoagulable state at that time. Hemorheological measurements at distance of the events demonstrated high red blood cell rigidity at baseline. Therefore, marked blood rheological impairment and activation of the coagulation pathway in response to the heavy and prolonged cycling race could have promoted CRVO in this cyclist carrying SCT. These data suggest that SCT could be considered as a risk factor for significant ocular complications when severe exercise is performed and support the idea that SCT is a contributing factor in blood rheology and vascular dysfunctions.

© 2009 American College of Sports Medicine

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