Serous Retinal Detachments Complicating Interferon-α and Ribavirin Treatment in Patients with Hepatitis C

Case Rep Ophthalmol. 2011 Jan;2(1):105-10. doi: 10.1159/000326747. Epub 2011 Mar 12.


Purpose: To report the cases of two patients with chronic hepatitis C infection showing serous retinal detachments similar to Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) disease.

Methods: We reviewed the clinical records of two patients who were diagnosed with VKH-like disease during combined interferon-α (IFNα) and ribavirin treatment.

Results: Interruption of IFNα and ribavirin treatment in association with oral corticosteroids resulted in a favorable visual outcome in the case of diffuse retinal detachment (case 1). On the contrary, visual acuity did not improve when late cicatricial stage disease was already present (case 2).

Conclusions: There is increasing evidence of a link between hepatitis C virus infection treated with pegylated IFNα-2b and the development of VKH-like disease. Knowing the potential side effects of IFNα and ribavirin administration is fundamentally important, as is the need to closely follow up those patients that need to undergo this treatment.

Keywords: Hepatitis C; Interferon; Serous retinal detachment; Uveitis; Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada.

Publication types

  • Case Reports