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Case of vaso-occlusive retinopathy in Kikuchi-Fujimoto and lupus overlap syndrome

Abstract

A 35-year-old woman presented with a constellation of systemic symptoms: rashes, weight loss, arthralgia and mouth ulcers. Six months afterwards, she experienced bilateral and sequential reduction in vision, and was found to have bilateral vaso-occlusive retinopathy, with critical macular ischaemia in the left eye. Her serological markers were consistent with a diagnosis of lupus. A lymph node biopsy confirmed Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease, a benign condition of unknown cause characterised by fever, cervical and axillary lymphadenopathy. Given that this overlap syndrome was associated with a number of systemic features and had affected the eyes, an immunosuppressive regime with rituximab was considered prudent. This rendered her vasculitis stable and non-progressive, and there were signs of partial retinal microvasculature recovery on optical coherence tomography angiography. There is increasing evidence of an overlap between Kikuchi-Fujimoto disease and systemic lupus erythematosus, which is associated with vaso-occlusive retinopathy. In these instances, a multidisciplinary approach is warranted, with consideration of appropriate treatment in order to prevent harmful sequelae of vasculitis. Our treatment with rituximab abated the disease process, although close follow-up is paramount to monitor results and side-effects of treatment.

  • retina
  • vasculitis
  • systemic lupus erythematosus
  • ophthalmology
  • pharmacology and therapeutics

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