March 1993

Interferon-Associated Retinopathy

Author Affiliations

From the Retinal Research Laboratory, Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital, New York, NY (Drs Guyer, Yannuzzi, and Slakter); Duke University Eye Center, Durham, NC (Dr Tiedeman); Department of Ophthalmology, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City (Dr Parke); Department of Ophthalmology, Greater Baltimore (Md) Medical Center (Dr Kelley); Department of Ophthalmology, University of Texas Medical School at Houston (Dr Tang); Department of Ophthalmology, Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif (Dr Marmor); Department of Ophthalmology, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee (Dr Abrams); and the Retina Service, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass (Drs Miller and Gragoudas). Dr Tiedeman is now with the Department of Ophthalmology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1993;111(3):350-356. doi:10.1001/archopht.1993.01090030068041

• Interferon alfa is used to treat various systemic disorders and recently has been suggested as a possible treatment for choroidal neovascularization. We report 10 cases of retinal ischemia associated with the use of interferon alfa for various illnesses. The retinal findings include cotton-wool spot formation, capillary nonperfusion, arteriolar occlusion, and hemorrhage. The retinal complications may sometimes be reversible when treatment is stopped. Our findings emphasize the need to have patients who are receiving interferon alfa therapy monitored for these retinal complications, which may rarely be associated with permanent loss of vision secondary to closure of retinal capillaries.