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Aug 5, 2021

Are first signs of COVID-19 seen in the retina?

by: Lynda Charters

A team of investigators has found that the retina could offer signs of possible COVID-19 infection before they appear in other parts of the body.

The researchers theorized that “the retinal microvascular signs may result from cardiovascular and thrombotic alterations associated with COVID-19 infection.”

According to Ian Yeo, MBBS, FRCS, corresponding author, the team conducted a prospective cross-sectional study1 in which patients were included who tested positive for COVID-19 by nasopharyngeal swab, with no medical history.

The patients then underwent retinal imaging using optical coherence tomography (OCT) that provided color fundus photographs (CFP) and macular scans.

A total of 108 patients (216 eyes; mean age, 36.0±5.4 years) were included. Of these 41 (38.0%) patients had an acute respiratory infection when they presented.

Regarding the retinal findings, the authors reported that 25 (11.6%) eyes had retinal signs in the CFP and/or OCT images.

Nine patients had bilateral retinal findings that included 8 eyes (3.7%) with microhemorrhages, 6 eyes (2.8%) with retinal vascular tortuosity, and 2 eyes (0.93%) with cotton wool spots.

OCT showed hyperreflective plaques in 11 (5.1%) eyes in the ganglion cell layer, and 2 of these eyes also had retinal signs on the CFP (cotton wool spots and microhemorrhages, respectively)…..

Read more: https://www.ophthalmologytimes.com/view/are-first-signs-of-covid-19-seen-in-the-retina-

Source: Ophthalmology Times

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