Tubercular serpiginous-like choroiditis presenting as multifocal serpiginoid choroiditis

Ophthalmology. 2012 Nov;119(11):2334-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2012.05.034. Epub 2012 Aug 11.


Purpose: To describe the clinical features, course, and outcome in tubercular serpiginous-like choroiditis.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Participants: A total of 105 patients (141 eyes) between May 2002 and July 2010.

Methods: Patients had the following inclusion criteria: (1) complete clinical records and digital fundus images at baseline and follow-up visits, (2) positive tuberculin skin test or QuantiFERON-TB Gold (Cellestis International Pty Ltd. Chadstone, Victoria, Australia) test result, (3) active serpiginous-like choroiditis in at least 1 eye, (4) all known causes of infectious (except tuberculosis) and noninfectious uveitis ruled out, and (5) a minimum of 9 months of follow-up from initiation of treatment that included antitubercular therapy (ATT) with oral corticosteroids (93 patients) or corticosteroids alone (12 patients).

Main outcome measures: Clinical characteristics and evolution of choroiditis lesions from the acute to healed stage, recurrence, visual outcome, and complications.

Results: Mean age was 33 ± 9.3 years (range, 12-54 years; 75 male and 30 female patients). Serpiginous-like choroiditis was bilateral (at least 1 eye active) in 66 patients (62.9%). Of 171 affected eyes, 141 (82.45%) had active lesions at presentation. Of 141 eyes, 115 (81.56%) showed vitreous inflammation. Lesions were multifocal in 133 eyes (94.3%), were noncontiguous to optic disc in 122 eyes (86.52%), and involved the macula in 125 eyes (88.65%). Of patients receiving ATT, all showed resolution of lesions and 9 (9.7%) developed recurrences (median follow-up, 21 months). In addition, 12 patients (12.9%) showed continued progression over a median 3.5 weeks after initiation of therapy. Of 12 patients treated with corticosteroids alone, none showed progression but 9 (75%) developed recurrence (median, 26.5 months). Final visual acuity of ≥ 6/12 was achieved in 108 eyes (76.60%) versus 72 eyes (51.06%) before treatment. Fovea was spared in 95 of 125 eyes (76%) with macular involvement. Five eyes (3.5%) developed choroidal neovascular membrane.

Conclusions: Tubercular serpiginous-like choroiditis presented as multifocal serpiginoid choroiditis affecting predominantly young to middle-aged men. It was frequently bilateral with vitreous inflammation and characterized by multifocal lesions that were noncontiguous to the optic disc and showed serpiginoid spread. Antitubercular therapy significantly reduced recurrences. Lesions responded to combined antitubercular and steroid therapy, usually spared fovea, and had a good final visual acuity.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Choroiditis / diagnosis*
  • Choroiditis / drug therapy
  • Choroiditis / physiopathology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberculin Test
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / physiopathology
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Young Adult


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Glucocorticoids