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Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol. 2012 Jan;19(1):13-21. doi: 10.4103/0974-9233.92111.

Update on sympathetic ophthalmia.

Author information

1
Retina Division, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, USA.

Abstract

Sympathetic ophthalmia (SO) is a bilateral diffuse granulomatous intraocular inflammation that occurs in most cases within days or months after surgery or penetrating trauma to one eye. The incidence of SO ranges from 0.2 to 0.5% after penetrating ocular injuries and 0.01% after intraocular surgery. Vitreoretinal surgery and cyclodestructive procedures are considered risk factors. The time from ocular injury to onset of SO varies greatly, ranging from a few days to decades, with 80% of the cases occurring within 3 months after injury to the exciting eye and 90% within 1 year. The diagnosis is based on clinical findings rather than on serological testing or pathological studies. It presents as a bilateral diffuse uveitis. Patients report an insidious onset of blurry vision, pain, epiphora, and photophobia in the sympathizing, non-injured eye. Classically this is accompanied by conjunctival injection and a granulomatous anterior chamber reaction with mutton-fat keratic precipitates (KPs) on the corneal endothelium. In the posterior segment, the extent of inflammation can vary. Systemic corticosteroids are the first line therapy for SO. If patients are non-responsive to steroid therapy or have clinically significant side effects, cyclosporine, azathioprine or other immunosuppressive agents can be used for long-term immunomodulatory therapy.

KEYWORDS:

Dalen–Fuchs Nodules; Diffuse Granulomatous Intraocular Inflammation; Ocular Autoimmune-Associated Disease; Ocular Trauma; Sympathetic Ophthalmia

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