International Ophthalmology

, Volume 30, Issue 1, pp 41–50 | Cite as

Suboptimal therapy controls clinically apparent disease but not subclinical progression of Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease

  • Tatsushi Kawaguchi
  • Shintaro Horie
  • Nadia Bouchenaki
  • Kyoko Ohno-Matsui
  • Manabu Mochizuki
  • Carl P. Herbort
Original Paper


Purpose To evaluate clinical and angiographic differences in patients with Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) disease during the early 4-month treatment phase with high- or medium-dose systemic corticosteroid therapy. Methods VKH patients treated at the Centre for Ophthalmic Specialized Care, Lausanne, Switzerland (n = 4), or the Department of Ophthalmology, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan (n = 5), underwent a pre-treatment indocyanine green angiography (ICGA) and a follow-up ICGA four months after treatment began. Lausanne patients received high-dose, systemic corticosteroid therapy, with or without immunosuppressive therapy. Tokyo patients received medium-dose systemic corticosteroid therapy that included 3 days of intravenous pulse methylprednisolone. ICGA signs including choroidal stromal vessel hyperfluorescence and leakage, hypofluorescent dark dots (HDD), fuzzy vascular pattern of large stromal vessels and disc hyperfluorescence were retrospectively compared. Results The pre-treatment ICGA demonstrated that each of the nine patients had choroidal inflammatory foci, as indicated by HDD. At 4-month follow-up, clinical and fluorescein findings had improved almost equally in both groups. HDD had resolved in the Lausanne group but persisted in the Tokyo group. Sunset glow fundus occurred in three of the Tokyo patients and none of the Lausanne patients. Conclusions Submaximal doses of inflammation suppressive therapy are sufficient to suppress clinically apparent disease but not the underlying lesion process. This explains the propensity for sunset glow fundus in seemingly controlled disease.


Choroiditis Indocyanine green angiography Sunset glow fundus Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tatsushi Kawaguchi
    • 1
  • Shintaro Horie
    • 1
  • Nadia Bouchenaki
    • 2
  • Kyoko Ohno-Matsui
    • 1
  • Manabu Mochizuki
    • 1
  • Carl P. Herbort
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology and Visual ScienceTokyo Medical and Dental University Graduate School of MedicineTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Inflammatory and Retinal Eye DiseasesCentre for Ophthalmic Specialized CareLausanneSwitzerland
  3. 3.Inflammatory and Retinal Eye Diseases, Centre for Ophthalmic Specialized Care and University of LausanneLausanneSwitzerland

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