Branch retinal artery occlusion caused by toxoplasmosis in an adolescent

Chiang, E.; Goldstein, D. A.; Shapiro, M. J.; Mets, M. B.

Case Rep Ophthalmol. 2012 Nov 10; 3(3):333-8


PURPOSE: Branch retinal artery occlusion (BRAO), while not uncommon in elderly patient populations, is rare in children and adolescents. We report a case of a BRAO secondary to toxoplasmosis in this demographic. CASE: A previously healthy 17-year-old male developed a unilateral BRAO in conjunction with inflammation and increased intraocular pressure. Family history was positive for cerebrovascular accidents in multiple family members at relatively young ages. The patient had a hypercoagulable workup as well as a cardiovascular workup which were both normal. A rheumatologic workup was unremarkable. By 3 weeks, a patch of retinitis was more easily distinguished from the BRAO and the diagnosis of ocular toxoplasmosis was made. Treatment was started with prednisone and azithromycin with subsequent improvement in vision. Toxoplasma antibody levels were elevated for IgG and negative for IgM, IgA, and IgE. The etiology of the BRAO was attributed to ocular toxoplasmosis. CONCLUSIONS: Vascular occlusions are rare in toxoplasmosis. This is the third case report of a BRAO in a patient in the pediatric population. The diagnosis of ocular toxoplasmosis should be considered in young patients with retinal artery occlusions associated with inflammation.

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