Combined central retinal vein and central retinal artery occlusions and neovascular glaucoma associated with interferon treatment

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Purpose.Interferon (IFN) is a mainstay medication used for treatment of chronic hepatitis C, as well as for treatment of certain neoplastic and autoimmune conditions. We present a case of a 50-year-old man who, while on IFN treatment, developed central retinal vein and artery occlusions complicated by the development of neovascular glaucoma secondary to severe retinal ischemia. Interferon retinopathy is associated with ischemic retinal cotton-wool spots. This case illustrates how IFN can lead to severe and sight-threatening retinal ischemia.Methods.Case report.Results.A 50-year-old man with previously good vision presented with decreased vision in the right eye while being treated with IFN therapy for chronic hepatitis C. He was diagnosed with central retinal vein occlusion and 2 weeks later also developed a central retinal artery occlusion. His course was complicated by the development of neovascular glaucoma. The final visual acuity was ultimately light perception.Conclusions.Interferon therapy is commonly utilized for chronic hepatitis C, neoplastic conditions, and multiple sclerosis. Clinicians should be aware of the sight-threatening complications of IFN therapy, especially with regard to ocular vaso-occlusive disease and severe retinal ischemia.

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