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July 1983

Retinal Abnormalities Associated With Anemia

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine at Cleveland Metropolitan General Hospital.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1983;101(7):1049-1052. doi:10.1001/archopht.1983.01040020051008

• The incidence of clinically apparent retinal changes in 35 anemic patients and 35 age- and sex-matched control subjects was studied. Retinal photographs of all subjects were obtained. From these, all vascular and extravascular retinal lesions were noted. No retinal abnormalities were observed in the control subjects. Seven (20%) of the anemic patients exhibited extravascular lesions. There was no relationship detected between the occurrence of these changes and the severity or the cause of the anemia. Employing the assumption that true venous length for a given net distance traveled correlates with the degree of venous tortuosity, venous length over a standard radial distance from the optic disc was assessed with a curvometer. A significant negative correlation was determined between venous length and the level of hematocrit, thereby implying that retinal venous tortuosity is directly related to severity of anemia.