Severe retinal vaso-occlusive disease in systemic lupus erythematous

Arch Ophthalmol. 1986 Apr;104(4):558-63. doi: 10.1001/archopht.1986.01050160114025.


Retinopathy in systemic lupus erythematosus generally consists of cotton-wool spots with or without intraretinal hemorrhages. Although rare, a more severe retinal vaso-occlusive disease, termed retinal vasculitis, has been described. We report data from 11 patients with SLE and severe retinal vaso-occlusive disease. Visual outcome was often poor, with 55% of the involved eyes suffering visual loss, frequently to an acuity of worse than 20/200. The systemic feature significantly associated with severe retinal vascular disease was central nervous system involvement (CNS lupus), present in eight (73%) of the 11 patients vs an overall prevalence of 37%. The association of CNS lupus with severe retinal vaso-occlusive disease probably reflects a similar pathogenetic mechanism and microangiopathy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Constriction, Pathologic
  • Female
  • Fundus Oculi
  • Humans
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinal Diseases / etiology
  • Retinal Vessels / pathology*