Macular vitelliform lesion in desferrioxamine-related retinopathy

Doc Ophthalmol. 2010 Oct;121(2):161-6. doi: 10.1007/s10633-010-9236-z. Epub 2010 Jun 9.


To report a case of a macular vitelliform lesion associated with desferrioxamine treatment. Ocular, electrophysiological, psychophysical, perimetric, fluorescein angiographic, fundus autofluorescence, and spectral-domain OCT examinations were obtained on a 45-year-old Caucasian woman with thalassemia major treated with blood transfusions and desferrioxamine. The patient was observed to have a vitelliform macular lesion in the right eye with a hypopigmented macular lesion and retinal pigment mottling in the left. At the most recent follow-up visit, best-corrected visual acuity was 20/70 in the right eye and 20/25 in left. Full-field electroretinogram (ERG) testing showed normal cone and rod responses. Mild localized elevations of rod psychophysical thresholds were found. A vitelliform macular lesion can develop in patients treated with desferrioxamine. Some such patients may not show diffuse photoreceptor cell functional loss as determined by electrophysiological testing.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Deferoxamine / adverse effects*
  • Electroretinography
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinal Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnosis
  • Retinal Diseases / physiopathology
  • Siderophores / adverse effects*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Visual Field Tests
  • Visual Fields / physiology
  • beta-Thalassemia / drug therapy


  • Siderophores
  • Deferoxamine