International Ophthalmology

, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 221–227 | Cite as

Sympathetic ophthalmia following vitreoretinal surgery

  • Zeynep Ozbek
  • Gul Arikan
  • Aylin Yaman
  • Hakan Oner
  • Meltem Soylev Bajin
  • A. Osman Saatci
Case Report


The objective is to discuss the characteristics of three patients who developed sympathetic ophthalmia following vitreoretinal surgery. The first case was a 29-year-old man who underwent placement of an encircling band, pars plana vitrectomy, foreign body removal, endolaser photocoagulation, transscleral cryotherapy, and silicone oil injection due to a retained foreign body 3 months after a corneoscleral rupture repair. He experienced visual loss in the fellow eye 2 months after the vitrectomy. An extensive exudative detachment was detected in the fellow eye. Sympathetic ophthalmia was diagnosed and systemic steroids together with azathioprine were initiated. The injured eye was enucleated as there was no useful vision. The other two cases were operated for rhegmatogenous retinal detachments. One underwent placement of an encircling band, pars plana vitrectomy, silicone oil injection, and endolaser photocoagulation with good anatomic outcome. However, 4 months later, the fellow eye experienced severe visual loss with disc swelling and hyperemia and exudative retinal detachment. Systemic steroid was sufficient to reverse the process and the visual acuity recovered. The other case underwent placement of an encircling band, subretinal fluid drainage, SF6 injection and 360° indirect laser photocoagulation. Two years later, he noted a sudden visual decrease in the fellow eye in which we detected a Harada-like extensive exudative detachment. Systemic steroid without immunosuppressive therapy rendered regression of the detachment and recovery of good visual acuity. Sympathetic ophthalmia may occur following vitreoretinal surgery either for trauma-related problems or rhegmatogenous retinal detachment. Since it may present with relatively mild anterior segment findings and mainly posterior segment involvement; any visual disturbance in the fellow eye of a patient with a history of perforating trauma or vitreoretinal surgery should be thoroughly evaluated for sympathetic ophthalmia.


Ocular perforating trauma Sympathetic ophthalmia Vitreoretinal surgery 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zeynep Ozbek
    • 1
  • Gul Arikan
    • 1
  • Aylin Yaman
    • 1
  • Hakan Oner
    • 1
  • Meltem Soylev Bajin
    • 1
  • A. Osman Saatci
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyDokuz Eylul University School of MedicineIzmirTurkey

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