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Retinopathy in systemic lupus erythematosus: pathogenesis and approach to therapy.

Authors
  • Giorgi, D
  • Pace, F
  • Giorgi, A
  • Bonomo, L
  • Gabrieli, C B
Type
Published Article
Journal
Human Immunology
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Aug 01, 1999
Volume
60
Issue
8
Pages
688–696
Identifiers
PMID: 10439314
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The starting point in the assessment of SLE-retinopathy is the clinical examination by ophthalmoscopy and retinal fluorescein angiography. It is noted that two major clinical forms of retinopathy may occur in SLE; (1st) the "classic" type characterized by cotton-wool spots with or without intraretinal hemorrhages, and (2nd) the thrombosis of larger retinal blood vessels, such as central or branch arteries/veins. However, a well-defined pathogenetic classification of SLE-retinopathy has still not been proposed as yet. A practical classification based on the pathogenesis could be of aid to commence a more appropriate treatment. The aims of this paper are; (1st) to focus on the most implicate mechanisms of retinal vascular disease in SLE, (2nd) to mention the most common features associated with the different forms of retinopathy, and finally (3rd) to assess the prevalence of retinopathy in SLE. In our opinion, it seems that two major types of retinopathy exist in SLE: firstly, the Hughes' retinopathy due to antiphospholipid-induced retinal vascular thrombosis, for which anticoagulation is the best treatment, and secondly, the "classic" retinopathy in which at least two major causes could be associated; vasculitis and accelerated atherosclerosis. In patients with "classic" retinopathy, the most appropriate treatment still needs to be established. If "classic" retinopathy is due to vasculitis, immunosuppressive drugs should be administered, while if atherosclerosis play an etiologic role, a prophylaxis with antioxidants or the use of low-dose aspirin should be assessed.

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