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September 1984

Early Stage of Human Sympathetic Ophthalmia: Histologic and Immunopathologic Findings

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pathology, University of Kiel (West Germany) (Dr Müller-Hermelink), and the Department of Ophthalmology, University Eye Hospital, Heidelberg, West Germany (Drs Kraus-Mackiw and Daus).

Arch Ophthalmol. 1984;102(9):1353-1357. doi:10.1001/archopht.1984.01040031095033

• Sympathetic uveitis developed in a 64-year-old woman 11 weeks after posttraumatic vitrectomy accompanied by vitreous hemorrhage. After removal of the exciting eye three weeks later, the sympathetic inflammation in the second eye subsided. Histologic examination revealed typical signs of an early stage of sympathetic ophthalmia characterized by a focally pronounced infiltration of lymphoid and T cells exclusively in the choroid. These T cells consisted of Leu 2a+ suppressor-cytotoxic T cells and a few Leu 3a+ inducer T cells situated near HLA-DR+ cells of the uvea. The latter contained electron-lucent cytoplasm without pigment granules and may represent the accessory cells for the initiation of the T-cell reaction. The findings suggest that sympathetic ophthalmia represents a T-cell-mediated cytotoxic reaction (similar to allograft rejection and graft-v-host disease) toward antigens on or near the pigment epithelium or the uveal melanocytes.

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