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Med J Malaysia. 2002 Dec;57(4):490-2.

Optic neuritis and retinal vasculitis as primary manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Yaacob Latiff, 56000, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a common multisystem disorder. However, retinal vasculitis as a primary manifestation of SLE is uncommon, accounting for only 4% of causes of retinal vasculitis. The postulated mechanism appeared to be vaso-occlusion of the retinal arterioles by thrombosis, with resultant ischaemia. Optic neuropathy in SLE is also rare, with a prevalence of 1%. This is a case report of a young lady who presented to us with retinal vasculitis as her initial presentation of SLE. Interestingly, the pathologic mechanism appeared to be inflammatory and not vaso-occlusive.

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