Purpose: To report the efficacy and safety of interferon (IFN) α-2a in patients with cystoid macular edema (CME) associated with presumed ocular tuberculosis (TB).
Methods: We reviewed the clinical records of 5 patients with presumed ocular TB who had been treated with IFN α-2a for recurrent CME during or after completion of anti-tubercular therapy. IFN α-2a was administered at an initial dose of 3 million IU per day and then tapered after the initial response. Treatment efficacy was assessed by central macular thickness (CMT) measurement using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography and visual acuity.
Results: Three patients were men, and 2 were women. Patients were aged between 38 and 66 years. Mean CMT was 483 ± 178.6 μm at baseline, 302.3 ± 56 μm at 1 week, 312.3 ± 49.5 μm at 1 month, and 286.2 ± 31.9 μm at 3 months. Mean LogMAR visual acuity was 0.6 ± 0.4 at baseline, 0.4 ± 0.3 μm at 1 week, 0.3 ± 0.3 at 1 month, and 0.3 ± 0.3 at 3 months. The treatment was interrupted for 10 days because of neutropenia after 2 weeks in 1 patient and discontinued in another after 10 days because of intolerance. Total treatment duration was 3-24 months in the remaining 4 patients.
Conclusion: The present small case series suggests that IFN α-2a may be an effective and safe therapeutic option for CME that is associated with presumed ocular TB.
Keywords: inflammation; macular edema; uveitis.