Purpose: To report two cases; bilateral arteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (AAION) and bilateral acute zonal occult outer retinopathy (AZOOR) after COVID-19 mRNA vaccination.
Case Reports: The first patient was a 79-year-old female was presented to us 35 days after a sudden bilateral loss of vision, which occurred two days after receiving the second recombinant mRNA vaccine (Pfizer) injection. Temporal artery biopsy was compatible with AAION. At presentation, the best-corrected visual acuity was 20/1250 and 20/40 in the right and left eyes on the Snellen acuity chart, respectively. There was 3+ afferent pupillary defect in the right eye. The anterior segment and posterior segment exams were normal except for pallor of the optic nerve head in both eyes. Intraocular pressure was normal in both eyes. She was diagnosed with bilateral AAION and Subcutaneous tocilizumab 162 mg weekly was recommended with monitoring her ESR, CRP, and IL-6. The second patient was a 33-year-old healthy female who was referred to us for a progressive nasal field defect in her left eye, and for flashes in both eyes. Her symptoms started 10 days after receiving the second recombinant mRNA vaccine (Moderna) injection. Complete bloodwork performed by a uveitis specialist demonstrated high ESR (25) and CRP (19) levels. As a result, she was diagnosed with unilateral AZOOR in her left eye and was subsequently treated with an intravitreal dexamethasone implant in the same eye. At presentation, vision was20/20 in both eyes. The anterior segment and posterior segment exams were completely normal except for the presence of abnormal white reflex in the temporal macula of her left eye. We diagnosed her with bilateral AZOOR. Since she was nursing, intravitreal dexamethasone implant was recommended for the right eye.
Conclusion: There may be a correlation between ocular inflammatory diseases with autoimmune mechanism and the mRNA COVID-19 vaccination.
PurposeTo examine the efficacy of rituximab as a monotherapy or in combination therapy for the treatment of patients with non-paraneoplastic autoimmune retinopathy.MethodsTwelve eyes of six patients with non-paraneoplastic autoimmune retinopathy who were treated with rituximab and had at least 6 months of follow-up were included. Demographic data, clinical data, visual field parameters, electroretinography parameters, and anti-retinal and anti-optic nerve autoantibody bands were collected from the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution database between September 2010 and January 2015. Changes in visual acuity, visual field parameters, electroretinography parameters, and anti-retinal and anti-optic nerve autoantibody bands from the initial visit to the most recent visit were examined.ResultsFrom the initial visit to the last visit, visual acuity was stable in eight (66.7%) eyes. Visual field was stable in six (50%) eyes and improved in two (16.7%) eyes. Electroretinography was stable or improved in eight (66.7%) eyes. The average number of anti-retinal and anti-optic nerve antibody bands was reduced.ConclusionStabilization and/or improvement of visual acuity, visual field parameters, and electroretinography parameters were observed in a high number of patients (75%) on rituximab, as a monotherapy (one patient) or in combination therapy.
The majority (67.25%) of our patients enjoyed a good visual outcome (most recent visit best-corrected visual acuity equal to or better than 20/40 and within one line or better from the baseline) with immunomodulatory therapy. We found that cystoid macular edema, macular ischemia, and lower best-corrected visual acuity during the first consultation visit were significant independent risk factors for poor visual outcome.
Uveitis is the third most common cause of blindness in developed countries. Considering the systemic and local complications of long-term corticosteroid therapy and the intolerance due to side effects and ineffectiveness of conventional chemotherapy, use of biologic response modifiers is a reasonable alternative in the treatment of non-infectious uveitis and persistent uveitic macular edema. The majority of the evidence presented here comes from open uncontrolled analyses. Based on these studies, tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors, especially infliximab and adalimumab, have been shown to be effective in the treatment of non-infectious uveitis in numerous studies. More research is necessary, particularly multi-center randomized clinical trials, to address the choice of biologic response modifier agent and the length of treatment as we employ biologic response modifiers in different types of uveitis and persistent uveitic macular edema.
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