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Case Report/Case Series
November 2013

Acute, Bilateral, Concurrent Central Retinal Artery Occlusion in Sickle Cell Disease After Use of Tadalafil (Cialis)

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, University of Florida College of Medicine, Jacksonville

Copyright 2013 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA Ophthalmol. 2013;131(11):1471-1473. doi:10.1001/jamaophthalmol.2013.5047

Importance  Sickle cell disease (SCD) is characterized by vaso-occlusive crisis. In the eye, central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) is a rare complication in SCD, with only 1 previous report of bilateral, concurrent CRAO. We report a case of bilateral, concurrent CRAO in a patient with SCD, possibly precipitated by the use of phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors.

Observations  A 37-year-old African American woman with a known medical history significant for SCD and pulmonary arterial hypertension who was receiving treatment with tadalafil, a phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitor, developed bilateral, concurrent CRAO that persisted after exchange transfusion.

Conclusions and Relevance  Bilateral CRAO secondary to SCD is extremely rare, with only 1 previous case report in the literature. The use of phosphodiesterase 5 inhibitors is an additional risk factor and may have contributed to the development of concurrent CRAO in this patient.