Covid-19’s effect on the retina

A Brazilian study into Covid-19’s effect on the retina using optical coherence tomography (OCT) revealed all patients had hyper-reflective lesions.


Published in The Lancet, the research used OCT to evaluate 12 adults, aged 25–69 years, 11-33 days after developing Covid-19 symptoms. All had normal blood parameters at the time of ophthalmological evaluation, said authors.


“All patients showed hyper-reflective lesions at the level of ganglion cell and inner plexiform layers more prominently at the papillomacular bundle in both eyes.” Four patients also presented with “subtle” cotton wool spots and microhaemorrhages along the retinal arcade. Visual acuity and pupillary reflexes were normal and there were no symptoms or signs of intraocular inflammation, wrote authors. “Although animal models suggest ocular lesions could include retinitis and optic neuritis, this is, to the best of our knowledge, the first report of retinal findings possibly associated with Covid-19 infection in humans.”



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