Progressive outer retinal necrosis in immunocompetent patients treated initially for optic neuropathy with systemic corticosteroids

Matthew S. Benz, Joel S. Glaser, Janet L. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations

Abstract

PURPOSE: To report two cases of progressive outer retinal necrosis occurring in immunocompetent individuals after treatment with corticosteroids for presumed optic neuropathy. DESIGN: Observational case report. SETTING: University-based tertiary eye hospital. METHODS: Retrospective review of existing clinical records. RESULTS: Two patients were treated empirically with systemic corticosteroids for suspected inflammatory papillopathy. Subsequently, both were diagnosed with necrotizing herpetic retinitis with features of progressive outer retinal necrosis. Anterior chamber paracentesis confirmed varicella-zoster infection. Both patients were human immunodeficiency virus negative; one patient with rheumatoid arthritis was taking etanercept. Both became completely blind in one eye despite intensive treatment with antiviral medication intravenously and intravitreally. CONCLUSIONS: Progressive outer retinal necrosis is not confined to patients with underlying severe immunodeficiency, such as acquired immune deficiency syndrome. Initial treatment of acute, unexplained vision loss with systemic corticosteroids may lead to catastrophic visual loss in patients with evolving necrotizing herpetic retinopathy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)551-553
Number of pages3
JournalAmerican journal of ophthalmology
Volume135
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology

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