Long-term follow-up of a bilateral acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy following COVID-19 infection: a case report

Casper Lund-Andersen, Oliver Niels Klefter, Miklos Schneider*

*Corresponding author for this work

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy (APMPPE) is a rare inflammatory eye disorder that is characterized by the presence of multiple placoid lesions in the posterior pole of the eye. Relentless placoid chorioretinitis (RPC) is an inflammatory chorioretinopathy that combines clinical features of APMPPE and serpiginous chorioretinitis, which is a progressive condition with a high risk of visual disability. Patients with COVID-19 can develop various ocular manifestations, however, there have been limited reports of APMPPE and RPC associated with the infection. We report a case of a patient who developed APMPPE after a COVID-19 infection and subsequently progressed into RPC.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 17-year-old male presented with a one-week history of painless gradual visual loss in both eyes. Two months prior to the visual symptoms, the patient had a SARS CoV-2 infection, confirmed by polymerase chain reaction test. Clinical findings with fundoscopy, optical coherence tomography and fluorescein angiography were consistent with APMPPE. Due to the severely affected vision in both eyes, the patient was started on 50 mg oral prednisolone daily, after which vision began to improve rapidly. Two months after symptom onset during steroid taper, the impression of continued inflammatory activity and new lesions in the retinal periphery of both eyes suggested RPC. Adalimumab 40 mg every other week was initiated with 12.5 mg prednisolone daily followed by slow tapering. Vision improved and five months after the start of the adalimumab treatment, the steroid was discontinued and there were no signs of active inflammation. The patient has been followed for a total of 21 months since presentation, had full visual recovery and good tolerance of the immunosuppressive treatment.

CONCLUSION: COVID-19 might cause long-lasting activity of APMPPE. The scarcity of reports compared with the number of confirmed COVID-19 infections worldwide suggests a rare entity. The association of APMPPE with a variety of infections may suggest a common immunological aberrant response that might be triggered by various factors. Further examinations and case reports are needed to understand the role of biological therapy in the treatment of such cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2
JournalJournal of ophthalmic inflammation and infection
Volume14
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)2
ISSN1869-5760
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jan 2024

Keywords

  • Acute posterior multifocal placoid pigment epitheliopathy
  • Adalimumab
  • APMPPE
  • Coronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Prednisolone
  • Relentless placoid chorioretinitis
  • RPC
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Steroid

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