Clinical features, visual outcome, and poor prognostic factors in occlusive retinal vasculitis

Can J Ophthalmol. 2021 Apr 7;S0008-4182(21)00091-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjo.2021.03.001. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

Objective: To investigate the clinical features, treatment, and visual outcome of occlusive retinal vasculitis (ORV), with a focal analysis on prognostic factors associated with poor visual outcome.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study in patients diagnosed with ORV with at least 6 months of follow-up. Demographic data, ocular features, best corrected visual acuity (BCVA), fluorescein angiography, therapy regimens, and outcomes were collected from the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution database from 2006 to 2017. Multivariate logistic regression was performed to analyze the factors independently predicting poor visual outcome.

Results: Fifty-two patients (69 eyes) were enrolled, 42 with noninfectious cause, 9 with infectious cause, and 1 with masquerade uveitis. Systemic inflammatory diseases, including necrotizing vasculitis, sarcoidosis, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Behçet's disease comprised the causes of ORV. Forty of the 42 patients with noninfectious ORV received immunomodulatory therapy (IMT), and 35 patients (87.5%) were able to achieve steroid-free remission. Compared with the BCVA at the initial visit (0.66 [±0.11] logMAR), there was significant improvement at the most recent visit (0.37 [±0.07] logMAR, p = 0.001). A multivariate analysis demonstrated that optic nerve atrophy, macular ischemia, and poor BCVA at initial presentation were independently correlated with poor visual outcome.

Conclusions: ORV could be caused by a wide spectrum of systemic inflammatory diseases. Aggressive IMT is preferred to achieve a steroid-free durable remission for noninfectious ORV. Optic nerve atrophy, macular ischemia, and poor BCVA at the initial visit predict a poor visual outcome.