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Case Report: Hydroxychloroquine Retinopathy

Eldeeb, Mohab, MBBCh1; Chan, Errol W., MBBS1,2; Omar, Amer, MD1,3*

Optometry and Vision Science: June 2018 - Volume 95 - Issue 6 - p 545–549
doi: 10.1097/OPX.0000000000001226

SIGNIFICANCE Hydroxychloroquine retinopathy causes irreversible central visual loss and can progress despite medication discontinuation. Appropriate dosing and recognition of early disease are important to minimize adverse visual sequelae. In 2016, the American Academy of Ophthalmology updated its 2011 recommendations for dosing, screening, and monitoring of hydroxychloroquine retinopathy.

PURPOSE The aim of this study was to report a case of hydroxychloroquine retinopathy in a patient who developed toxicity on a dose meeting safety thresholds from the 2011 guidelines (i.e., 6.5 mg/kg ideal body weight and cumulative dose <1000 g), but exceeding that from the 2016 revised recommendations (i.e., 5.0 mg/kg real body weight).

CASE REPORT A 61-year-old woman with rheumatoid arthritis treated with 400 mg/kg hydroxychloroquine daily for 6 years (daily dose, 5.72 mg/real body weight or 6.5 mg/kg ideal body weight; cumulative dose, 876 g) experienced progressive central vision loss and a scotoma affecting her reading ability and was referred to the Retina service. Prior yearly examination with only Ishihara color vision and Amsler grid testing was normal. On examination, visual acuity was 20/40 in the right eye and 20/30 in the left eye. A fundus examination showed bilateral bull's-eye maculopathy, a classic finding of hydroxychloroquine retinal toxicity. Fundus autofluorescence showed a parafoveal ring of speckled hypoautofluorescence and an external ring of increased signal. There were characteristic structural changes on spectral domain–optical coherence tomography, including parafoveal loss of the ellipsoid zone and outer nuclear layer. Humphrey visual field testing of the central 10-2 revealed incomplete paracentral annular scotoma. Subsequently, hydroxychloroquine was switched to sulfasalazine.

CONCLUSIONS The 2016 American Academy of Ophthalmology guidelines for hydroxychloroquine retinopathy were revised to reflect new dosing and care guidelines for early detection of retinal toxicity and to minimize the extent of irreversible vision loss.

1Montreal Retina Institute, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

2Department of Ophthalmology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

3Eye Health MD, Montreal, Quebec, Canada *

Submitted: December 23, 2017

Accepted: April 2, 2018

Funding/Support: None of the authors have reported funding/support.

Conflict of Interest Disclosure: EWC reports personal fees from Bayer, outside the submitted work. ME and AO have nothing to disclose.

Author Contributions: Conceptualization: ME, EWC, AO; Project Administration: ME; Supervision: AO; Visualization: ME, EWC; Writing – Original Draft: ME, EWC, AO; Writing – Review & Editing: ME, EWC, AO.

© 2018 American Academy of Optometry