Enigma of serpiginous choroiditis

Indian J Ophthalmol. 2019 Mar;67(3):325-333. doi: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_822_18.

Abstract

Serpiginous choroiditis (SC) is an asymmetrically bilateral inflammation of the choroid that leads to loss of choriocapillaris atrophy or loss of overlying retinal pigment epithelium. Over the last few decades, SC has passed through a long evolution of nomenclature, etiologies and morphological variations. Initially diagnosed in patients with tuberculosis and syphilis, SC was predominantly considered as autoimmune process. With the advancement of molecular diagnosis, a new aspect of infectious subtypes of SC has emerged out. The terminologies such as serpiginous-like choroiditis (SLC) and multifocal serpiginoid choroiditis are now used to denote the subtypes of SC which are associated with infectious etiologies especially tuberculosis. In a country endemic for tuberculosis such as India, it is very important to differentiate between classic SC and SLC before initiating aggressive immunomodulatory therapy. Also, management of paradoxical worsening of the clinical condition with antitubercular treatment is another challenge in SLC and ophthalmologists should be aware of such situations. With advent of newer imaging modalities, monitoring the patient with choroiditis and identification of complications such as choroidal neovascular membrane have become much easier. This article aims to review the existing literature on SC with a special emphasis on management of SC and SLC.

Keywords: Immunosuppressive; multifocal choroiditis; optical coherence tomography angiography; serpiginous choroiditis; serpiginous-like choroiditis; tuberculosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Choroid / pathology*
  • Choroiditis / diagnosis*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Fluorescein Angiography / methods*
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Multifocal Choroiditis
  • Retinal Pigment Epithelium / pathology*
  • Tomography, Optical Coherence / methods*

Supplementary concepts

  • Multifocal choroiditis