Bartonella henselae- and quintana-associated uveitis: a case series and approach of a potentially severe disease with a broad spectrum of ocular manifestations

  • Dimitrios KalogeropoulosEmail author
  • Ioannis Asproudis
  • Maria Stefaniotou
  • Marilita M. Moschos
  • Andreas Mentis
  • Konstantinos Malamos
  • Chris KalogeropoulosEmail author
Original Paper



To evaluate the clinical manifestations of intraocular inflammation associated with Bartonella infection and describe the assessment and management of patients with cat-scratch disease (CSD).


This is a retrospective review of the clinical records of patients diagnosed with Bartonella henselae and Bartonella quintana intraocular inflammation from 2011 to 2018 in the Department of Ocular Inflammations and Infections of the University Eye Clinic of Ioannina (Greece). An analysis of the current literature concerning Bartonella-related intraocular infections was also carried out.


This is a retrospective study of 13 patients (7 males and 6 females) with a mean age of 39.2 years that were diagnosed with unilateral intraocular inflammation, except one case with bilateral affection, attributed to Bartonella (either henselae or quintana). Twelve (12) patients (92.3%) had a positive history of traumatic cat contact. The main ocular clinical findings with regard to the type of uveitis included neuroretinitis in 5 eyes (38.5%), vasculitis in 3 eyes (23.1%), iridocyclitis in 2 eyes (15.4%), intermediate uveitis in 2 eyes (15.4%), posterior uveitis in 1 eye (7.7%), panuveitis in 2 eyes (15.4%), retinochoroiditis in 2 eyes (15.4%), vitritis in 1 eye (7.7%), peripheral choroidal granuloma in 1 eye (7.7%). Immunoglobulin (Ig) G was positive in all cases. All patients were treated with antibiotics (mainly rifampicin, doxycycline and azithromycin). The visual acuity was noted to be improved in all patients after treatment, but some of them experienced disturbing complications.


CSD may manifest with various ocular pathological findings. Taking into consideration the increasing frequency of infections by B. henselae and B. quintana, clinicians should always incorporate CSD in the differential diagnosis of such presentations of uveitis. Educating vulnerable groups (children, immunosuppressed, etc.) and also general population, the appropriate preventing measures can contribute in limiting the risk of infection.


Bartonella Cat-scratch disease Neuroretinitis Uveitis Optic neuropathy Retinal vasculitis/vascular occlusion Choroidal granuloma Retinochoroiditis Endophthalmitis 



Special thanks to Dr. Aliki Geka (Department of Ophthalmology, Olympion Private Hospital, Patras, Greece), Dr. Dimitrios Kournetas (Laser & Ophthalmos S.A., Thessaloniki, Greece) and Dr. Neoklis Razis (Razis eye clinic, Limassol, Cyprus).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

The research followed the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki. The Scientific Committee of the University Hospital of Ioannina (Greece) approved the current study on the 6th of November 2018 (Protocol number 1326).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, School of Health SciencesUniversity of IoanninaIoanninaGreece
  2. 2.First Department of Ophthalmology, General Hospital of Athens G. Gennimatas, Medical SchoolNational and Kapodistrian University of AthensAthensGreece
  3. 3.Laboratory of Medical MicrobiologyHellenic Pasteur InstituteAthensGreece

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