Back to Journals » Clinical Ophthalmology » Volume 4

A case of acute retinal pigment epithelitis: spectral domain optical coherence tomography time course and physiopathologic hypothesis

Authors Puche N, Offret O, Bernard J, Behar-Cohen F 

Published 17 September 2010 Volume 2010:4 Pages 1029—1033


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Nathalie Puche1, Olivier Offret1, Jean-Antoine Bernard1, Francine Behar-Cohen1,2
1Department of Ophthalmology, Hotel Dieu de Paris, AP-HP, Université Paris Descartes; 2Inserm UMRS872, Physiopathology of Ocular Diseases: Therapeutic Innovations, Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Université Paris Descartes, Paris, France

Purpose: To report the time course of retinal morphologic changes in a patient with acute retinal pigment epithelitis (ARPE) using spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT).
Methods: A 30-year old man was referred for blurred vision of his right eye after five days that appeared suddenly 15 days after recovery from a flu-like syndrome. SD-OCT was performed immediately, followed by fluorescein and infracyanine angiography at eight days and then at three weeks.
Results: At presentation, a bubble of sub-macular deposit was observed on the right macula with central golden micronodules in a honeycomb pattern. SD-OCT showed an “anterior dislocation” of all the retinal layers up to the inner/outer segment (IS/OS) line and irregular deposits at the OS level together with thickening of the retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) layer. As visual acuity increased, eight days later, the OCT showed reduction of the sub-retinal deposits and an abnormal hyperflectivity of the sub-retinal and RPE layers was observed. The patient showed a positive serology for picornavirus.
Discussion: The acute SD-OCT sections of this patient with ARPE were compared with histological sections of a 35 day old Royal College of Surgeons rat. Similar findings could be observed, with preservation of the IS/OS line and accumulation of debris at the OS level, suggesting that ARPE symptoms could result from a transient phagocytic dysfunction of the RPE at the fovea, inducing reversible accumulation of undigested OS. Picornaviruses comprising enterovirus and coxsachievirus described as being associated with acute chorioretinitis. In this case, it was responsible for ARPE.
Conclusion: We hypothesize that ARPE syndrome results from a transient dysfunction of RPE, which can occur as a post viral reaction.

Keywords: acute retinal pigment epithelitis, picornavirus, SD-OCT

Creative Commons License This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License. By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms.