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Changing etiology of sympathetic ophthalmia: A 10-year study from a tertiary referral center in Taiwan

1 Department of Ophthalmology, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital; Department of Optometry, Shu-Zen Junior College of Medicine and Management, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
2 Department of Ophthalmology, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital; School of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan
3 Department of Ophthalmology, Kaohsiung Veterans General Hospital, Kaohsiung; Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, Taipei, Taiwan

Correspondence Address:
Shih-Chou Chen,
No. 386, Dazhong 1st Rd., Zuoying, Kaohsiung 813
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/tjo.TJO-D-22-00094

PURPOSE: In this study, we describe our experience of sympathetic ophthalmia (SO) at a tertiary referral center in Taiwan. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed records of patients diagnosed with SO from January 2011 to December 2020. RESULTS: We collected data of 15 patients diagnosed with SO (eight males, seven females). Six patients developed SO after ocular penetrating trauma, and nine developed SO after ocular surgery, including seven with vitrectomy, one with penetrating keratoplasty, and one with cataract surgery. Penetrating ocular trauma was the primary cause of SO in the first 5 years (four of six cases), but the proportion was much lower in the last 5 years (two of nine cases). The interval between trigger events and SO ranged from 0.2 to 120 months. Nine patients received oral steroids alone, five patients received methylprednisolone pulse therapy followed by oral steroids, and immunosuppressants were added in four cases. Visual acuity of sympathetic eyes and exciting eyes improved after treatment. The initial visual acuity of sympathetic eyes in trauma related and ocular surgery related revealed no significant difference, but the final visual acuity of sympathetic eyes was better in ocular surgery-related cases than in the trauma-related cases (mean ± standard deviation, 1.01 ± 1.33 versus 0.49 ± 0.68 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution, P = 0.021). CONCLUSIONS: With the increased number of eye surgeries performed in recent years, eye surgery has emerged as the dominant etiology of SO in our 10-year study. Early detection and proper treatment help to maintain vision in most of the SO patients.

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