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Intravitreal dexamethasone implant use as first-line therapy for cancer-associated retinopathy

Abstract

We present a 65-year-old female smoker who presented with acute bilateral blurred vision. Investigations led to an endobronchial ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration resulting in an early diagnosis of limited stage small cell lung cancer. Positive recoverin antibodies supported the diagnosis of cancer-associated retinopathy (CAR). CAR was the first manifestation of systemic malignancy in our patient and early diagnosis enabled curative intent systemic treatment with chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Ocular-specific treatment is required in CAR, although no standardised treatment exists. Current treatment options include steroids and immunosuppressive agents. Our patient was administered bilateral intravitreal dexamethasone implants, resulting in significant visual field and electroretinogram improvement at 8 weeks post-intervention. To our knowledge, this represents the first reported successful use of intravitreal dexamethasone implants as first-line therapy, in conjunction with chemoradiotherapy. Intravitreal dexamethasone implants therefore may provide an effective and safe treatment for CAR by reducing intraocular inflammation without systemic effects.

  • ophthalmology
  • retina
  • lung cancer (oncology)

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