Severe Retinal Vaso-Occlusive Disease in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Douglas A. Jabs, Stuart L. Fine, Marc C. Hochberg, Steven A. Newman, Gordon G. Heiner, Mary Betty Stevens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

160 Scopus citations


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 vasoocclusive 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)558-563
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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