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American Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports


Purpose: To describe the clinical course and management of a patient with bilateral retinal vasculitis associated with cold agglutinin disease (CAD) treated with obinutuzumab and infliximab.

Observations: A 69-year-old Hispanic woman was referred to a tertiary Uveitis Clinic with progressively worsening blurry vision, right eye (OD) worse than left eye (OS). Past ocular history was significant for epiretinal membranes in both eyes (OU). Past medical history was notable for non-specific joint disease, primarily affecting her knees bilaterally, and pulmonary symptoms (e.g., dyspnea, productive cough) of unclear etiologies one year before presentation. She had been evaluated by rheumatologists and pulmonologists and was placed on low doses of prednisone and methotrexate. Upon examination, her visual acuity was 20/40 in OD and 20/25 in OS. Anterior segment exam was unremarkable with no cell or flare in OU. Dilated fundus examination was notable for 0.5+ vitreous haze in OU and mild vessel attenuation in OU. Wide-angle fluorescein angiography (FA) revealed mild bilateral periphery peri-vasculature leakage in OU. Initial blood evaluations revealed decreased hematocrit, and positive anti-nuclear antibody. Her peripheral smear disclosed 3+ agglutination. She was initially treated with mycophenolate mofetil 1000 mg twice daily and prednisone 20 mg then referred to hematology. Further work up revealed high-titer cold agglutinin and positive thermal amplitude screen at 30 °C. Bone marrow examination demonstrated a chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)-like monoclonal B-cell lymphocytosis. Anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody therapy with obinutuzumab was started in an effort to treat the underlying CLL clone and address the associated ocular vasculitis related to CAD. Three months later, after eight cycles of obinutuzumab, the patient's best- corrected visual acuity (BCVA) continued to be stable at 20/30 in OD and 20/20 in OS. However, FA showed persistent diffuse perivascular leakage. Intravenous infliximab with concurrent intravenous methylprednisolone infusions were started. After two cycles of treatment, FA showed significantly improved perivascular leakage. Visual acuity remained stable at 20/25 in OU.

Conclusions and importance: Ocular involvement in CAD is rare. The index case is the first report of retinal vasculitis in a patient with CAD. Our report not only describes the unique course of CAD-related retinal vasculitis, but also introduces and underscores a successful therapeutic plan.



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Anti-CD20, Cold agglutinin disease, Infliximab, Obinutuzumab, Retinal vasculitis, Tumor necrosis factor-alpha