A Case Series of Cat-Scratch Disease with Ocular Manifestations: Clinical Findings and Treatment Approach

Turk J Ophthalmol. 2023 Aug 19;53(4):226-233. doi: 10.4274/tjo.galenos.2022.44692.


Objectives: To present the clinical and demographic characteristics, imaging findings, diagnosis and treatment approach in cases of cat scratch disease (CSD) with ocular involvement.

Materials and methods: The records of 19 patients followed-up and treated between 2010 and 2020, including detailed ophthalmological examinations, imaging findings, and treatment approach, were evaluated retrospectively.

Results: Twenty-three eyes of 19 patients, 7 female (37%) and 12 male (63%), were included in the study. The mean age was 34.1±13.3 (range: 11-56) years, and the mean follow-up duration was 12.6±18.0 (range: 1-81) months. Unilateral involvement was observed in 15 cases (79%). Cat contact was reported in 14 cases (74%). In 6 cases (32%), flu-like symptoms were present before the ocular complaints. The mean visual acuity (VA) at presentation was 0.42±0.36 (range: 0.001-1.0). Anterior uveitis was observed in 3 eyes (13%). Posterior segment findings included neuroretinitis in 14 (61%), superficial retinal infiltrate(s) in 8 (35%), papillitis in 3 (13%), branch retinal artery occlusion in 2 (8%), and cilioretinal artery occlusion in 1 (4%) of the eyes. All cases were positive for Bartonella henselae immunglobulin (Ig)M and/or IgG. Systemic antibiotic therapy was administered to all patients. Intravenous pulse or oral corticosteroids were given, especially in cases with optic disc involvement. The mean final VA was 0.80±0.25 (range: 0.01-1.0).

Conclusion: CSD may present with different ocular involvement patterns. Apart from the classical neuroretinitis and macular star appearance, patients may present with isolated optic disc edema, branch retinal artery occlusion, and retinal infiltrations. In such patients, cat contact history and Bartonella serology should be evaluated to differentiate CSD.

Keywords: Cat scratch disease; branch retinal artery occlusion; imaging; neuroretinitis; prognosis; treatment.

MeSH terms

  • Cat-Scratch Disease* / complications
  • Cat-Scratch Disease* / diagnosis
  • Cat-Scratch Disease* / drug therapy
  • Chorioretinitis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Retina
  • Retinal Artery Occlusion*
  • Retinitis* / diagnosis
  • Retinitis* / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies