Purtscher-like retinopathy in septicemic disseminated intravascular coagulation associated with nephrotic syndrome

Francesco Viola, Diego Vezzola, Edoardo Villani, Chiara Mapelli, Giulio Barteselli, Roberto Ratiglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To describe a case of severe Purtscher-like retinopathy during an episode of septicemic diffused intravascular coagulation (DIC) in a child with severe nephrotic syndrome. Methods: Case report. Results: A 5-year-old girl with a history of steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome was admitted for worsening symptoms of the systemic disease. Laboratory studies revealed evidence of DIC during an episode of septicemia. Ten days later, she had a sudden and severe bilateral visual loss. Her visual acuity was hand motion in either eye. Fundus examination showed ischemic retinal whitening and retinal hemorrhages. Fluorescein angiography revealed obstruction of arterioles and venules at the posterior pole. Three weeks later, ischemic retinal blanching and hemorrhages resolved in both eyes; visual acuity improved to 20/250 and 20/200 in right and left eye, respectively. No further functional improvement was noted after 3 months, due to diffuse thinning of the inner retina architecture as shown by optical coherence tomography. Conclusions: Purtscher-like retinopathy can occur in patients with septicemic DIC and nephrotic syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)601-603
Number of pages3
JournalEuropean Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Purtscher-like retinopathy
  • Septicemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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