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J Nephrol. 2011 Jul-Aug;24(4):522-9. doi: 10.5301/JN.2011.6244.

Choroidopathy in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus with or without nephropathy.

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Department of Clinical Sciences, Division of Nephrology, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy.



The aim of this study was to evaluate indocyanine green angiographic findings in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) with or without lupus nephritis. In particular, the presence of choroidal abnormalities at indocyanine green angiography (ICG-A) that could not be detected by fluorescein angiography (FAG) was investigated.


Sixteen patients with SLE underwent simultaneous ICG-A and FAG. Patients were divided into 2 groups based on whether renal disease was present (group A, n=9) or not (group B, n=7).


Drusen-like deposits were ophthalmoscopically evident in only 1 out of 9 group A patients (11.1%). While FAG disclosed the deposits in 4 out of 9 group A patients (44.4%), drusen-like deposits were otherwise found in all group A patients (100%) by ICG-A. FAG and ICG-A did not show choroidal alterations in group B patients.


ICG-A can provide information that is not detectable by clinical or FAG examination in patients with lupus nephritis (group A). The findings of choroidopathy by ICG-A represent an indicator of ocular involvement and could be an indirect sign of renal involvement. Given that histological lesions may be present where there are no anomalies in urinary sediment and/or proteinuria, the positivity of ICG-A could help in deciding whether or not to carry out a renal biopsy. Therefore, ICG-A could be useful in the screening of patients with SLE, especially where there are no evident signs of renal involvement.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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