Causes of Vision Loss Associated with Dengue Fever in Bihar, India – A Case Series

Anita Ambasta Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Patna, India;

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Rakhi Kusumesh Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Patna, India;

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Mobashir Ali Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Patna, India;

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Gyan Bhaskar Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Patna, India;

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Sinha Akanksha Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Patna, India;

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Varuni Pragya Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara Medical College, Mysore, India

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ABSTRACT.

The incidence and geographic distribution of dengue has increased dramatically in recent years across various parts of the world. Previously, ocular findings in dengue fever were considered rare. We report a spectrum of ocular manifestations presenting with vision loss in the last dengue epidemic in an eastern state of India. This is a retrospective interventional case series of patients with vision loss who were diagnosed with dengue eye disease in the 2022 epidemic. Systemic and ophthalmic examinations were completed on all patients and were analyzed. Fifteen patients had presented with vision loss. The mean age was 41.7 ± 10.8 years, and patients were mostly males. Three patients presented with panophthalmitis and orbital cellulitis. Eight patients were diagnosed with optic neuropathy. Four patients had macular involvement: macular chorioretinitis, macular subhyaloid hemorrhage, and macular hemorrhages in two patients. All patients with optic neuropathy gave a history of mild fever and had remained undiagnosed. The rest had been diagnosed with the more severe dengue hemorrhagic fever. Vision recovered partially or fully in patients with optic neuropathy and macular disease. No eye could be salvaged in any panophthalmitis patients. Thrombocytopenia (platelet count <100 × 109 per liter of blood) was significantly associated with ocular hemorrhage and panophthalmitis, but thrombocytopenia was not significantly seen in optic neuropathy. We conclude that optic neuropathy may be an underreported cause of vision loss in dengue fever. An eye examination is advocated in all patients with dengue eye disease.

Author Notes

Authors’ addresses: Anita Ambasta, Rakhi Kusumesh, Mobashir Ali, Gyan Bhaskar, and Sinha Akanksha, Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, Indira Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (IGIMS), Patna, Bihar, India, E-mails: ambasthaanita21@gmail.com, drkrakhi@yahoo.com, mobashirpmch@gmail.com, drgyan5@yahoo.in, and aakankshasinha57@yahoo.in. Varuni Pragya, Jagadguru Sri Shivarathreeshwara Medical College, Mysore, Karnataka, India, E-mail: pragya05varuni@gmail.com.

Address correspondence to Anita Ambasta, Regional Institute of Ophthalmology, IGIMS, Patna, Bihar 800025, India. E-mail: ambasthaanita21@gmail.com
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