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Published Online: 1 May 2017

Interferon Alpha for the Treatment of Cystoid Macular Edema Associated with Presumed Ocular Tuberculosis

Publication: Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume 33, Issue Number 4


Purpose: To report the efficacy and safety of interferon (IFN) α-2a in patients with cystoid macular edema (CME) associated with presumed ocular tuberculosis (TB).
Methods: We reviewed the clinical records of 5 patients with presumed ocular TB who had been treated with IFN α-2a for recurrent CME during or after completion of anti-tubercular therapy. IFN α-2a was administered at an initial dose of 3 million IU per day and then tapered after the initial response. Treatment efficacy was assessed by central macular thickness (CMT) measurement using spectral-domain optical coherence tomography and visual acuity.
Results: Three patients were men, and 2 were women. Patients were aged between 38 and 66 years. Mean CMT was 483 ± 178.6 μm at baseline, 302.3 ± 56 μm at 1 week, 312.3 ± 49.5 μm at 1 month, and 286.2 ± 31.9 μm at 3 months. Mean LogMAR visual acuity was 0.6 ± 0.4 at baseline, 0.4 ± 0.3 μm at 1 week, 0.3 ± 0.3 at 1 month, and 0.3 ± 0.3 at 3 months. The treatment was interrupted for 10 days because of neutropenia after 2 weeks in 1 patient and discontinued in another after 10 days because of intolerance. Total treatment duration was 3–24 months in the remaining 4 patients.
Conclusion: The present small case series suggests that IFN α-2a may be an effective and safe therapeutic option for CME that is associated with presumed ocular TB.

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Published In

cover image Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Journal of Ocular Pharmacology and Therapeutics
Volume 33Issue Number 4May 2017
Pages: 304 - 312
PubMed: 28414561


Published in print: May 2017
Published online: 1 May 2017
Published ahead of print: 17 April 2017
Accepted: 6 March 2017
Received: 18 July 2016


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    Merih Oray
    Department of Ophthalmology, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.
    Sumru Onal
    Department of Ophthalmology, Koc University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey.
    Department of Ophthalmology, V.K. Foundation, American Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.
    Gunay Uludag
    Department of Ophthalmology, Koc University Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.
    Aylin Koc Akbay
    Department of Ophthalmology, Koc University Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey.
    Ilknur Tugal-Tutkun
    Department of Ophthalmology, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey.


    Address correspondence to:Prof. Ilknur Tugal-TutkunDepartment of OphthalmologyIstanbul UniversityIstanbul Faculty of Medicine34390 CapaIstanbulTurkey
    E-mail: [email protected]; [email protected]

    Author Disclosure Statement

    No competing financial interests exist. I.T.-T. has received financial support outside the submitted work, including honoraria from Servier, AbbVie, Santen, and Allergan.

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