Cat scratch disease: posterior segment manifestations

Ophthalmology. 1999 Aug;106(8):1546-53. doi: 10.1016/S0161-6420(99)90452-9.


Objective: To evaluate the posterior segment findings seen in ocular cat scratch disease.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Participants: There were 24 patients (35 eyes) with choroidal, retinal, or optic disc manifestations of Bartonella infection evaluated at the authors' institutions over a 6-year period.

Main outcome measures: Clinical and photographic records were reviewed for evidence of disc edema, macular star, foci of retinitis or choroiditis, choroidal masses, optic nerve masses, vascular-occlusive events, or other findings.

Results: Discrete white retinal or choroidal lesions, 50 to 3000 microm in diameter, were the most common posterior segment findings in this series of patients (83% of eyes, 83% of patients). Optic disc swelling was the second most common finding (46% of eyes, 63% of patients) followed by a macular star (43% of eyes, 63% of patients). Vascular-occlusive events were also seen (14% of eyes, 21% of patients), and the site of occlusion was found to be intimately associated with the aforementioned retinal lesions. Final visual acuity was 20/25 or better in 26 (74%) of 35 eyes and was similar in both treated and untreated patients.

Conclusion: Isolated foci of retinitis or choroiditis were the most common ocular manifestation of cat scratch disease in the authors' patient population, but an array of posterior segment findings may occur.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cat-Scratch Disease / diagnosis*
  • Cat-Scratch Disease / drug therapy
  • Child
  • Choroiditis / diagnosis*
  • Choroiditis / drug therapy
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / diagnosis*
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Papilledema / diagnosis*
  • Papilledema / drug therapy
  • Retinitis / diagnosis*
  • Retinitis / drug therapy
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis
  • Visual Acuity


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents