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Case Reports
, 122 (1), 110-6

Pericentral Retinopathy and Racial Differences in Hydroxychloroquine Toxicity

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Case Reports

Pericentral Retinopathy and Racial Differences in Hydroxychloroquine Toxicity

Ronald B Melles et al. Ophthalmology.

Abstract

Purpose: To describe patterns of hydroxychloroquine retinopathy distinct from the classic parafoveal (bull's eye) maculopathy.

Design: Retrospective case series.

Participants: Patients from a large multi-provider group practice and a smaller university referral practice diagnosed with hydroxychloroquine retinopathy. Patients with widespread or "end-stage" retinopathy were excluded.

Methods: Review of ophthalmic studies (fundus photography, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, fundus autofluorescence, multifocal electroretinography, visual fields) and classification of retinopathy into 1 of 3 patterns: parafoveal (retinal changes 2°-6° from the fovea), pericentral (retinal changes ≥ 8° from the fovea), or mixed (retinal changes in both parafoveal and pericentral areas).

Main outcome measures: Relative frequency of different patterns of hydroxychloroquine retinopathy and comparison of risk factors.

Results: Of 201 total patients (18% Asian) with hydroxychloroquine retinopathy, 153 (76%) had typical parafoveal changes, 24 (12%) also had a zone of pericentral damage, and 24 (12%) had pericentral retinopathy without any parafoveal damage. Pericentral retinopathy alone was seen in 50% of Asian patients but only in 2% of white patients. Patients with the pericentral pattern were taking hydroxychloroquine for a somewhat longer duration (19.5 vs. 15.0 years, P < 0.01) and took a larger cumulative dose (2186 vs. 1813 g, P = 0.02) than patients with the parafoveal pattern, but they were diagnosed at a more severe stage of toxicity.

Conclusions: Hydroxychloroquine retinopathy does not always develop in a parafoveal (bull's eye) pattern, and a pericentral pattern of damage is especially prevalent among Asian patients. Screening practices may need to be adjusted to recognize pericentral and parafoveal hydroxychloroquine retinopathy.

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