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Interferon beta 1a retinopathy in a patient with multiple sclerosis

Poster Details

First Author: A.De Casas SPAIN

Co Author(s):    S. Abenza   J.C. Elvira               0   0 0   0 0   0 0   0 0

Abstract Details


To report a case of bilateral retinal cotton wool spots occurring in a young female patient under treatment with Interferon beta 1a.


Department of Ophthalmology, Hospital del VinalopĆ³-Elche, Alicante. EspaƱa.


We describe a case of acute vision loss in a 24 years old female with multiple sclerosis (MS) under treatment with Interferon beta 1a. The patient underwent detailed clinical examination with fundus photography at the diagnostic and after the treatment was withdrawn.


After a period of 4 months of treatment with subcutaneous Interferon, the patient complained of blurred vision in both eyes. Funduscopy revealed retinal cotton wool spots as symptoms of microinfarctions in the retina, which resolved after interferon was discontinued and the patient was found to be asymptomatic. A diagnosis of Interferon-retinopathy was made according to the clinical and funduscopy evolution.


The existence of retinopathy secondary to Interferon alfa has been known since 1990; it is attributed to deposits of inmunocomplexes and complement activation in the blood vessels of the retina. Very few cases of Interferon beta-retinopathy in MS have been reported in the literature, but the physician must be mindful of this adverse effect and regularly check the fundus.

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