Chorioretinal Lesions Presumed Secondary to Zika Virus Infection in an Immunocompromised Adult

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Zika virus has spread rapidly throughout the Americas since 2015. The public health implications of Zika virus infection lend special importance to identifying the virus in unsuspected hosts.


To describe relevant imaging studies and clinical features of chorioretinal lesions that are presumably associated with Zika virus and that share analogous features with chorioretinal lesions reported in cases of Dengue fever and West Nile virus.

Design, Setting, and Participants

This is a case report from an academic referral center in Miami, Florida, of a woman in her 60s from Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, who presented with reduced visual acuity and bilateral diffuse, subretinal, confluent, placoid, and multifocal chorioretinal lesions. The patient was observed over a 5-month period.

Main Outcomes and Measures

Visual acuity, clinical course, and multimodal imaging study results.


Fluorescein angiography revealed early hypofluorescence and late staining of the chorioretinal lesions. Optical coherence tomography demonstrated outer retinal disruption in the placoid macular lesions. Zika RNA was detected in a plasma sample by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction testing and was suspected to be the cause of chorioretinal lesions after other viral and infectious causes were ruled out. Three weeks after the onset of symptoms, the patient’s visual acuity had improved to 20/60 OD and 20/25 OS, with intraocular pressures of 18 mm Hg OD and 19 mm Hg OS. In 6 weeks, the chorioretinal lesions had healed and visual acuity had improved to 20/25 OD and 20/20 OS. Follow-up optical coherence tomography demonstrated interval recovery of the outer retina and photoreceptors.

Conclusions and Relevance

Acute-onset, self-resolving, placoid, or multifocal nonnecrotizing chorioretinal lesions may be a feature of active Zika virus chorioretinitis, as reported in other Flavivirus infections in adults. Similar findings in potentially exposed adults suggest that clinicians should consider IgM antibody or polymerase chain reaction testing for Zika virus as well as diagnostic testing for Dengue fever and West Nile virus.

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