Purpose: To facilitate understanding of the long-term course and visual outcome of a severe variant of central serous chorioretinopathy.
Design: Consecutive observational case series.
Patients and methods: The authors reviewed 25 patients with multifocal posterior pigment epitheliopathy and bullous retinal detachment, who had a mean follow-up time of 10.6 years (range, 6-22 years), with reference to the demographic feature, fundus changes, recurrence, and final anatomic and visual outcome. Two patients underwent optical coherence tomography.
Results: The patients were 21 men and 4 women, with a mean age at disease onset of 43.1 years (range, 30-63 years). Twenty-one patients were otherwise healthy, and four developed ocular disease during systemic corticosteroid therapy for metabolic or autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus. The disease was bilateral in 21 patients (84%). Nine patients (36%) presented initially with classic central serous chorioretinopathy, followed by its severe variant 7 months to 9 years later. Active disease was characterized by multifocal exudative lesions in the posterior pole and bullous retinal detachment with shifting subretinal fluid in the inferior periphery. Optical coherence tomography of exudative lesions disclosed cloudy and fibrinous subretinal fluid. The exudative lesions were self-limited or responded to photocoagulation. During the follow-up period, 13 patients (52%) showed 1 to 5 recurrent disease, but the disease eventually became quiescent with multifocal atrophic scars in the posterior pole with or without atrophic tracts in the inferior periphery. Final best-corrected visual acuity was 2020 or better in 24 of 46 affected eyes (52%) of 25 patients and 2040 or better in 37 eyes (80.4%).
Conclusions: A severe variant of central serous chorioretinopathy characterized by multifocal posterior exudations and bullous inferior retinal detachment with shifting subretinal fluid may affect otherwise healthy, middle-aged males or individuals receiving systemic corticosteroid therapy for metabolic or autoimmune diseases. Exudative chorioretinal lesions are self-limited or respond to photocoagulation. Recurrence is common, but the disease eventually becomes quiescent with favorable visual acuity unless the macula is damaged.