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Severe ocular involvement in disseminated intravascular coagulation complicating meningococcaemia

  • Karinya Lewis
  • Edward N. HerbertEmail author
  • Tom H. Williamson
Case Report

Abstract

Background

Disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC) is characterized by inappropriate widespread activation of coagulation leading to extensive microvascular thrombosis and haemorrhage. Ocular involvement typically manifests as fibrin–platelet clots in the choroidal vessels of the posterior pole with overlying serous retinal detachment and sparing of the retinal vessels.

Methods

Case report.

Results

An 18-year-old female with meningococcal septicaemia and DIC developed bilateral dense vitreous haemorrhage. At vitrectomy multiple areas of sub-internal limiting membrane haemorrhage were evacuated and silicone oil injected. The patient developed bilateral large macular holes with inferior tractional retinal detachment. Two years later, final visual acuity was 6/36 OD and count fingers OS.

Conclusion

Ocular involvement in DIC can be more extensive than choroidal vascular occlusion alone. Previous reports suggest that DIC associated with sepsis (especially meningococcaemia) may present with more severe manifestations. This may be due to sub-clinical endophthalmitis or haemorrhagic ischemia. Visual prognosis can be poor.

Keywords

Meningococcaemia Disseminated intravascular coagulation Retinal detachment Vitreous haemorrhage 

References

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karinya Lewis
    • 1
  • Edward N. Herbert
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tom H. Williamson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologySt Thomas’ HospitalLondonUK

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