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Ophthalmology. 2003 Feb;110(2):437-42.

Posterior segment complications in patients with hepatitis C treated with interferon and ribavirin.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Louisiana State University Health Science Center, 1501 Kings Highway, Shreveport, LA 71130, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To determine the incidence and type of posterior segment complications associated with the use of interferon alpha 2b and ribavirin in patients with chronic hepatitis C.

DESIGN:

A prospective noncomparative case series.

PARTICIPANTS:

Forty-two patients (84 eyes).

METHODS:

Patients with chronic hepatitis C were evaluated for ocular changes while being treated with interferon alpha 2b and ribavirin. Patients were followed with sequential ocular examinations for 4 to 20 months.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Occurrence of posterior segment complications while on interferon and ribavirin therapy.

RESULTS:

Twenty-seven patients developed retinopathy. The retinopathy consisted of single-to-multiple cotton-wool spots and retinal hemorrhage and was transient in all cases. An additional patient (age 46) presented with asymptomatic disc edema and hemorrhage. One other individual developed a symptomatic permanent monocular visual field defect. Therapy was discontinued in three patients because of severe posterior segment pathology.

CONCLUSIONS:

Our study demonstrated that a high incidence of retinopathy is associated with the treatment of hepatitis C using interferon and ribavirin, but that this form of retinopathy is relatively benign. Regular ophthalmic monitoring should be performed in patients undergoing this treatment.

PMID:
12578794
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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