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Bartonella and intraocular inflammation: a series of cases and review of literature

Authors Kalogeropoulos C, Koumpoulis I, Mentis A, Pappa C, Zafeiropoulos P, Aspiotis M

Published 16 June 2011 Volume 2011:5 Pages 817—829


Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Chris Kalogeropoulos1, Ioannis Koumpoulis1, Andreas Mentis2, Chrisavgi Pappa1, Paraskevas Zafeiropoulos1, Miltiadis Aspiotis1
1Department of Ophthalmology, Medical School, University of Ioannina, Greece; 2Laboratory of Medical Microbiology, Hellenic Pasteur Institute, Athens, Greece

Purpose: To present various forms of uveitis and/or retinal vasculitis attributed to Bartonella infection and review the impact of this microorganism in patients with uveitis.
Methods: Retrospective case series study. Review of clinical records of patients diagnosed with Bartonella henselae and Bartonella quintana intraocular inflammation from 2001 to 2010 in the Ocular Inflammation Department of the University Eye Clinic, Ioannina, Greece. Presentation of epidemiological and clinical data concerning Bartonella infection was provided by the international literature.
Results: Eight patients with the diagnosis of Bartonella henselae and two patients with B. quintana intraocular inflammation were identified. Since four patients experienced bilateral involvement, the affected eyes totaled 14. The mean age was 36.6 years (range 12–62). Uveitic clinical entities that we found included intermediate uveitis in seven eyes (50%), vitritis in two eyes (14.2%), neuroretinitis in one eye (7.1%), focal retinochoroiditis in one eye (7.1%), branch retinal vein occlusion (BRVO) due to vasculitis in one eye (7.1%), disc edema with peripapillary serous retinal detachment in one eye (7.1%), and iridocyclitis in one eye (7.1%). Most of the patients (70%) did not experience systemic symptoms preceding the intraocular inflammation. Antimicrobial treatment was efficient in all cases with the exception of the case with neuroretinitis complicated by anterior ischemic optic neuropathy and tubulointerstitial nephritis.
Conclusion: Intraocular involvement caused not only by B. henselae but also by B. quintana is being diagnosed with increasing frequency. A high index of suspicion is needed because the spectrum of Bartonella intraocular inflammation is very large. In our study the most common clinical entity was intermediate uveitis.

Keywords: Bartonella, neuroretinitis, intermediate uveitis, retinal vascular occlusion

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