Prevalence of choroidal nevus and retinal pigment epithelial alterations in vitiligo patients

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2018 May;256(5):927-933. doi: 10.1007/s00417-018-3958-0. Epub 2018 Mar 16.


Purpose: To investigate ocular manifestations in patients with vitiligo by multimodal imaging, including optical coherence tomography (OCT), color fundus photography, and fundus autofluorescence (FAF).

Methods: In this prospective, observational clinical study, vitiligo patients underwent ophthalmologic and dermatologic clinical assessment and imaging by spectral-domain OCT, FAF, and color fundus imaging. Ocular echography was performed as indicated. Statistical analysis was performed using paired T test and Pearson correlation.

Results: A total of 61 eyes of 31 vitiligo patients were examined. Ocular findings consisted of choroidal nevi (n = 10, 32%), of which four (40%) were bilateral; two patients (6.5%) had a prominent choroidal pattern, two (6.5%) had hypopigmentary retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) lesions, and one (3.2%) had peripapillary atrophy of the RPE. Choroidal nevi were demonstrated only in eyes of patients with generalized vitiligo and were more common with upper body involvement (p = 0.02) and more prevalent in women (p = 0.02). Hypopigmentary lesions were detected in two patients and demonstrated on OCT as RPE atrophy and as photoreceptor/RPE changes.

Conclusions: In this case series, vitiligo patients had a higher rate of choroidal nevi than previously reported. The hypopigmentary vitiliginous fundus lesions were depicted on OCT as photoreceptor and RPE atrophy. These findings may suggest the advisability of regular ocular monitoring for vitiligo patients.

Keywords: Choroidal nevus; Hypopigmentary lesion; RPE; Vitiligo.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Choroid Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Choroid Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Fluorescein Angiography
  • Humans
  • Israel / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Nevus, Pigmented / diagnostic imaging
  • Nevus, Pigmented / epidemiology*
  • Photography
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Retinal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Retinal Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium / pathology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence
  • Vitiligo / diagnosis
  • Vitiligo / epidemiology*