Eye inflammation may occur in a minority of subjects after vaccination against COVID-19

September 19, 2022

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Arepalli S, et al. The heterogeneous presentations of de novo and recurrent uveitis after COVID-19 vaccination – A multicenter report. Presented at: Women in Ophthalmology Summer Symposium; August 25-28, 2022; Monterey, California (hybrid meeting).

Arepalli does not report any relevant financial disclosures.

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MONTEREY, Calif. – A study conducted at seven centers in the US found that eye inflammation can occur in a minority of subjects following COVID-19 vaccination.

“The usefulness of the COVID-19 vaccination is undisputed; rarely, however, inflammation has been associated at least temporarily with the COVID-19 vaccination.” Sruthi Arepalli, MD, and co-authors wrote in a poster presented at the Women in Ophthalmology Summer Symposium.

Of the 37 subjects who had ocular inflammation after vaccination against COVID-19, 6.8% had no history of ocular inflammation.

A retrospective map review was performed in a cohort of 321 subjects. Inflammation after COVID-19 vaccination occurred in 37 subjects; 22 (6.8%) had no history of ocular inflammation and 15 (4.6%) had a history of inflammation that was at least 3 months quiescent. The vaccines used in most cases were Pfizer and Moderna.

Flare-ups include anterior, intermediate, posterior, and panuveitis, as well as scleritis, optic nerve edema, retinal vasculitis, cystoid macular edema, optic neuritis, and peripheral ulcerative keratitis. Five subjects in both the de novo and recurrent inflammatory groups were HLA-B27 positive.

Flare-ups occurred between 1 and 39 days after vaccination. Rest was obtained in most eyes, mainly with topical and oral corticosteroids.

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