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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 211

Serpiginoid choroiditis, tuberculosis, and sarcoidosis

Department of Ophthalmology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital; Department of Ophthalmology, National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, Taipei, Taiwan

Date of Web Publication12-Sep-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. De-Kuang Hwang
Department of Ophthalmology, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, No. 201, Sec. 2, Shih-Pai Rd., Taipei 11217
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tjo.tjo_30_19

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How to cite this article:
Hwang DK. Serpiginoid choroiditis, tuberculosis, and sarcoidosis. Taiwan J Ophthalmol 2019;9:211

How to cite this URL:
Hwang DK. Serpiginoid choroiditis, tuberculosis, and sarcoidosis. Taiwan J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2023 Apr 2];9:211. Available from: https://www.e-tjo.org/text.asp?2019/9/3/211/264240

Dear Editor,

Recently, Dr. Joob and Wiwanitkit submitted a comment of our previous publication regarding “Serpiginoid choroiditis associated with presumed ocular tuberculosis: A case report.” They suggested that the case we reported might be a case of sarcoidosis and proposed two reasons for that:first, a previous report has shown that the clinical sign of sarcoidosis might be improved by using antimycobacterial drugs. Second, there is no positive confirmation from molecular diagnosis in our case.

However, we still believe that the intraocular inflammation of our patient was highly associated with the infection of tuberculosis. In our case, the patient suffered from continuous progression of bilateral choroiditis despite a high dosage of systemic corticosteroids and immunomodulatory agents for more than 1 year. Her condition was finally controlled after discontinuation of all immunosuppressive therapies and introduction of antituberculosis therapy (ATT). We believed that the possibility and chance of “the condition was of pure inflammation and accidentally became easy to be controlled when we shifted the treatment” was quite low in this patient. Besides, neither imaging (chest X-ray or computed tomography) nor laboratory (serum calcium and level of angiotensin-converting enzyme) finding could support the diagnosis of sarcoidosis as well. Moreover, her chorioretinal condition remained stable without any progression for 2 years after discontinuation of all therapies including steroids, immunomodulatory agents, and ATT.

On the other hand, we agreed with the authors that we still cannot make sure that the choroiditis of this patient was caused by the direct infection of mycobacteria because the results of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) of intraocular fluid were negative. Previous studies have shown that the sensitivities of PCR in tuberculosis uveitis were as low as 38%–77%, and the agreement of diagnosis for tuberculosis uveitis among experts was very low with a mean kappa value of 0.24.[1],[2] There were many evidences showing that the infection of mycobacteria may trigger systemic immune response and could be a reason for rheumatoid diseases including sarcoidosis.[3],[4] Therefore, systemic corticosteroids or immunomodulatory agents should also be used for many of the cases. We still strongly suggest that clinicians should add ATT if their patients have never been treated before because there was a previous study showing that, even without strong bacteriology evidence, ATT may result in clinical improvement of uveitis in patients in nonendemic countries.[5]

In conclusion, we thanked the author for raising the possibility of inflammatory etiology in our case. More studies would be needed to explore the actual pathophysiology and immunopathogenesis of tuberculosis uveitis. We agreed that there was some possibility of other autoimmune diseases in our case and hoped that there will be some new diagnostic techniques with higher sensitivity for diagnosing these cases in future.

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Conflicts of interest

The author declares that there are no conflicts of interests of this paper.

  References Top

Ang M, Vasconcelos-Santos DV, Sharma K, Accorinti M, Sharma A, Gupta A, et al. Diagnosis of ocular tuberculosis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2018;26:208-16.  Back to cited text no. 1
Jabs DA, Dick A, Doucette JT, Gupta A, Lightman S, McCluskey P, et al. Interobserver agreement among uveitis experts on uveitic diagnoses: The standardization of uveitis nomenclature experience. Am J Ophthalmol 2018;186:19-24.  Back to cited text no. 2
Elkington P, Tebruegge M, Mansour S. Tuberculosis: An infection-initiated autoimmune disease? Trends Immunol 2016;37:815-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
Wang SH, Chung CH, Huang TW, Tsai WC, Peng CK, Huang KL, et al. Bidirectional association between tuberculosis and sarcoidosis. Respirology 2019. doi: 10.1111/resp.13482. [Epub ahead of print].  Back to cited text no. 4
Bajema KL, Pakzad-Vaezi K, Hawn T, Pepple KL. Tuberculous uveitis: Association between anti-tuberculous therapy and clinical response in a non-endemic country. J Ophthalmic Inflamm Infect 2017;7:19.  Back to cited text no. 5


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