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Retin Cases Brief Rep. 2019 Nov 21. doi: 10.1097/ICB.0000000000000941. [Epub ahead of print]

AUTOIMMUNE RETINOPATHY MIMICKING HERITABLE RETINAL DEGENERATION IN A PATIENT WITH COMMON VARIABLE IMMUNE DEFICIENCY.

Author information

1
Institute for Vision Research, Iowa City, Iowa.
2
Internal Medicine, Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

1) To describe a case of autoimmune retinopathy mimicking heritable photoreceptor degeneration in a patient with common variable immune deficiency and 2) to investigate the humoral and cell-mediated branches of the immune system in this patient to better understand the mechanism of immune-mediated photoreceptor damage in this disease.

METHODS:

Retrospective chart review with evaluation of multimodal imaging, genotype analysis, and investigation of circulating autoantibodies and T-cell response to retinal antigens.

RESULTS:

A 40-year-old woman with bilateral, progressive vision loss was referred for evaluation of a possible inherited retinal degeneration. She was found to have asymmetric peripheral visual field constriction, cystoid macular edema, vitreous cells, and bone spicule-like pigmentary changes in both eyes. An extensive workup for underlying infectious or inflammatory causes was unrevealing, and molecular analysis for heritable retinal degeneration failed to identify a plausible disease-causing genotype. Screening for antiretinal antibodies showed the presence of multiple antiretinal antibodies, consistent with a diagnosis of autoimmune retinopathy. Immunologic workup demonstrated markedly decreased levels of serum IgA and IgG, consistent with common variable immune deficiency. T-cells isolated from the patient showed increased proliferation when stimulated with human retinal proteins, supporting a role for both cell- and humoral-mediated autoimmunity. Treatment with mycophenolate mofetil and intravenous immunoglobin therapy slowed the progression of disease and resulted in preservation of her central vision.

CONCLUSION:

Autoimmune retinopathy can be seen in common variable immune deficiency and has clinical findings similar to heritable photoreceptor degeneration. Both the humoral and cellular immune responses are involved in the pathophysiology. Immune modulatory therapy has stabilized the disease course in this patient and may play an important role in the management of autoimmune retinopathy.

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