Neuroretinitis: a review

Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2018 Nov;29(6):514-519. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0000000000000527.


Purpose of review: Neuroretinitis is an inflammatory disorder of the eye presenting with optic disc edema and the delayed development of a macular star secondary to optic nerve swelling toward the macular structures. Neuroretinitis can be divided into idiopathic, infectious (including neuroretinitis associated with cat scratch disease) and recurrent.

Recent findings: The clinical presentation of neuroretinitis includes impaired visual acuity, dyschromatopsia, relative afferent pupillary defects and visual field abnormalities - particularly cecocentral and central scotomas. Features suggesting recurrent neuroretinitis include poorer visual recovery and visual field abnormalities representing damage to greater parts of the optic nerve. Treatment of neuroretinitis is based upon the cause of the disease. Specifically, in patients with cat scratch neuroretinitis, visual recovery is often favorable regardless of treatment with medication. However, some authors favor treatment with antibiotics early in the course of disease to limit progression and ensure eradication of the organism.

Summary: Neuroretinitis can result from a number of infectious and noninfectious causes and it is essential that clinicians recognize the disease and determine the underlying etiology to ensure the best possible treatment and visual prognosis for the patient.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bartonella henselae / pathogenicity
  • Cat-Scratch Disease / complications
  • Humans
  • Papilledema / diagnosis
  • Retinitis* / diagnosis
  • Retinitis* / etiology
  • Scotoma / diagnosis