American journal of ophthalmology

Purtscher-like retinopathy in systemic lupus erythematosus.

PMID 25205559


To investigate clinical characteristics of Purtscher-like retinopathy and its clinical implications among patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Observational case series. setting: Tertiary medical center. patient population: Patients with SLE who were diagnosed with Purtscher-like retinopathy between 2002 and 2013. observation procedures: Assessment and follow-up in the ophthalmology department. main outcome measure: Visual acuity and funduscopic examination at presentation and at 6 month follow-up, with analysis of the association between Purtscher-like retinopathy and other systemic involvement of SLE and overall disease activity. Among 5688 patients with SLE evaluated, 8 cases of Purtscher-like retinopathy were diagnosed. Typical fundus abnormalities included Purtscher flecken, cotton-wool spots, retinal hemorrhages, macular edema, optic disk swelling, and a pseudo-cherry red spot. Fluorescein angiography abnormalities included areas of capillary nonperfusion corresponding to the retinal whitening, late leakage, peripapillary staining, precapillary occlusion, and slower filling of vessels. The prevalence of central nervous system lupus was significantly higher among those with Purtscher-like retinopathy (6/8) than among 240 patients randomly sampled from those without Purtscher-like retinopathy. A very high SLE Disease Activity Index (≥20) was present in all 8 patients with Purtscher-like retinopathy. All patients received corticosteroids combined with immunosuppressants. For the majority of patients, optic atrophy developed during follow-up with persistent low visual acuity. As a rare and severe ophthalmic complication of SLE, Purtscher-like retinopathy was associated with central nervous system lupus and highly active disease. Visual acuity recovery was usually poor despite prompt treatment.