Acute Unilateral Central Serous Chorioretinopathy after Immunization with Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine: A Case Report and Literature Review

Semin Ophthalmol. 2022 Aug;37(6):690-698. doi: 10.1080/08820538.2022.2082255. Epub 2022 Jun 3.

Abstract

Introduction: A 43-year-old Caucasian male presented to our ophthalmology clinic with blurry vision and metamorphopsia in his right eye, 24 hours after receiving the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Methods: Clinical examination and imaging tests were consistent with acute unilateral central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR) that completely resolved after 2 months without any treatment. He had no significant ophthalmic or medical history. He also lacked the classical risk factors for CSCR such as recent psychosocial stressors, Type-A personality traits, history of exogenous steroid use, connective tissue disorders and obstructive sleep apnea.

Results: This appears to be only the second reported case of CSCR, temporally associated with a recombinant COVID-19 mRNA vaccine. We also present a summary of published reports demonstrating intraocular complications associated with the novel recombinant COVID-19 mRNA vaccines.

Conclusion: Findings in this report should not deter COVID-19 vaccinations given the rarity of aforementioned ocular complications and the greater benefit of protection from COVID-19 infection. Medical practitioners, however, should remain mindful of potential ocular complications, given the greater likelihood of occurrence with increasing vaccination booster rates.

Keywords: Adverse event; COVID-19; CSCR; Central serous chorioretinopathy; Pfizer–BioNTech; mRNA vaccine.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • BNT162 Vaccine* / adverse effects
  • COVID-19* / prevention & control
  • Central Serous Chorioretinopathy* / chemically induced
  • Central Serous Chorioretinopathy* / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Vaccination / adverse effects
  • Vision Disorders / diagnosis

Substances

  • BNT162 Vaccine