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Clin Ophthalmol. 2011;5:75-80. doi: 10.2147/OPTH.S16026. Epub 2011 Jan 11.

Optical coherence tomography findings of quinine poisoning.

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The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, OH, USA.



To report a case of acute quinine poisoning, document acute and chronic macular changes with optical coherence tomography imaging and fluorescein angiography (FA), and to review the literature on ocular toxicity of quinine.


A 32-year-old white female presented to our Emergency Department after ingesting over 7.5 g of quinine. She underwent a complete ophthalmologic examination, fluorescein angiography, Stratus time-domain optical coherence tomography (OCT), and electroretinography at 72 hours and 15 months postingestion. Stratus time-domain and Cirrus spectral-domain OCT, fundus autofluorescence, and FA were obtained at 28 months postingestion.


Fluorescein angiography at 72 hours postingestion revealed normal filling times and vasculature. OCT showed marked thickening of the inner retina bilaterally. At 15 and 28 months follow-up, fundus photography and fluorescein angiography demonstrated optic nerve pallor, severely attenuated retinal vessels while OCT showed inner retinal atrophy. Fundus autofluorescence did not reveal any retinal pigmentary abnormalities.


Quinine toxicity as seen by OCT reveals increased thickness with inner retinal hyperreflectivity acutely with development of significant retinal atrophy in the long-term. Fundus autofluorescence reveals an intact retinal pigment epithelial layer at 28 months. These findings suggest that quinine poisoning may produce a direct toxic effect on the inner retina in the acute phase resulting in long-term retinal atrophy.


optical coherence tomography; quinine toxicity; retinal

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