Retinal Hemorrhage after SARS-CoV-2 Vaccination

J Clin Med. 2021 Dec 5;10(23):5705. doi: 10.3390/jcm10235705.


To report retinal vein occlusion (RVO) and age-related macular degeneration (AMD)-related submacular hemorrhage developing after administration of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, a single-center, retrospective observational case series was conducted. Clinical data including fundus photographs and optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans were reviewed. Twenty-three eyes of 21 patients were included with the median age at symptom presentation being 77 years (range: 51-85 years). Twelve eyes (52.2%) had submacular hemorrhage and 11 (47.8%) had RVO. Twelve patients (60.9%) had been vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine (BNT162b2) and 8 with the AstraZeneca (ChAdOx1) vaccine. Sixteen patients (76.2%) experienced ocular disease exacerbation after the first vaccination and 4 (19.0%) after the second vaccination. The median visual acuity (logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution; logMAR) before symptom development was 0.76 (interquartile range: 0.27-1.23); the median logMAR at symptom presentation was 1.40 (interquartile range 0.52-1.70). The median time between vaccination and symptom exacerbation was 2.0 days (interquartile range: 1.0-3.0 days). Five patients (23.8%) underwent tests for hematological abnormalities, including the presence of anti-PF4 antibodies; all were negative. Further studies with larger patient group for evaluation of effect of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination on retinal hemorrhage are necessary.

Keywords: BNT162b2; ChAdOx1 nCoV-19; SARS-CoV-2; retinal vein occlusion; submacular hemorrhage; vaccine.