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Ophthalmology. 2017 Feb;124(2):170-177. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.10.011. Epub 2016 Nov 30.

Ophthalmic Manifestations and Causes of Vision Impairment in Ebola Virus Disease Survivors in Monrovia, Liberia.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Emory Eye Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.
2
Infectious Diseases Institute, Kampala, Uganda.
3
Department of Ophthalmology, Emory Eye Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia; Department of Neurology, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia; Department of Epidemiology, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.
4
Ministry of Health and Sanitation, Monrovia, Liberia.
5
Eternal Love Winning Africa Hospital, Monrovia, Liberia.
6
Department of Ophthalmology, Emory Eye Center, Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia. Electronic address: steven.yeh@emory.edu.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To describe the ocular findings, visual impairment, and association of structural complications of uveitis with visual impairment in a cohort of survivors of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Monrovia, Liberia.

DESIGN:

Retrospective, uncontrolled, cross-sectional study.

PARTICIPANTS:

Survivors of EVD who were evaluated in an ophthalmology clinic at Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia.

METHODS:

A cohort of EVD survivors who underwent baseline ophthalmic evaluation at ELWA Hospital were retrospectively reviewed for demographic information, length of Ebola treatment unit (ETU) stay, visual acuity (VA), and ophthalmic examination findings. For patients with uveitis, disease activity (active vs. inactive) and grade of inflammation were recorded according to Standardization of Uveitis Nomenclature criteria. The level of VA impairment was categorized according to World Health Organization classification for VA impairment as follows: normal/mild, VA 20/70 or better; moderate, VA 20/70-20/200; severe, VA 20/200-20/400; blindness, VA <20/400. Visual acuity, length of ETU stay, and structural complications were compared between EVD survivors with and without uveitis. Structural complications associated with moderate VA impairment or poorer were analyzed.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Frequency of ocular complications including uveitis and optic neuropathy in EVD survivors, level of VA impairment in EVD survivors with uveitis, and structural complications associated with VA impairment in EVD survivors.

RESULTS:

A total of 96 survivors of EVD were examined. A total of 21 patients developed an EVD-associated uveitis, and 3 patients developed an EVD-associated optic neuropathy. Visual acuity was blind (VA >20/400) in 38.5% of eyes with uveitis. Anatomic subtypes of uveitis included anterior, posterior, and panuveitis in 2, 13, and 6 patients, respectively. Examination findings associated with at least moderate visual impairment by World Health Organization criteria (VA <20/70) included keratic precipitates (P < 0.002), posterior synechiae (P < 0.002), vitritis (P < 0.005), and chorioretinal scars (P < 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS:

Survivors of EVD are at risk for uveitis, which may lead to secondary structural complications, visual impairment, and blindness. Eye care resources should be mobilized for EVD survivors in West Africa because of the frequency of this spectrum of disease complication and its potential for severe VA impairment and blindness.

PMID:
27914832
PMCID:
PMC5272811
DOI:
10.1016/j.ophtha.2016.10.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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