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February 1978

Sympathetic Ophthalmia: A Long-Term Follow-up

Arch Ophthalmol. 1978;96(2):257-262. doi:10.1001/archopht.1978.03910050125004

• Seventeen cases of sympathetic ophthalmia have been followed up for as long as 23 years (average 10.6 years). Sixty-five percent of those patients treated with corticosteroids retained a visual acuity of 20/60 or better.

Complications were frequent and included secondary glaucoma, cataract, exudative retinal detachment, and choroidal scarring. Uneventful cataract extraction was done on five patients. The glaucoma was difficult to manage, requiring frequent changes in the steroid dosage, and in one patient two glaucoma procedures.

The duration of steroid therapy was quite variable and ranged from a few months to six years or longer. Relapses were common and several occurred many years after the initial episode had resolved.

If the histopathologic picture were moderate or severe, the clinical course most often would be difficult and protracted.