Vitreoretinal lymphoma, secondary to non-CNS systemic lymphoma, masquerading as an infectious retinitis

Varun Reddy, Richard Winslow, Jennifer H Cao, Zachary M. Robertson, Bo Chen, Rafael L. Ufret-Vincenty

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8 Scopus citations


Purpose: To report an atypical case of vitreoretinal lymphoma, secondary to non-central nervous system (non-CNS) systemic lymphoma, masquerading as an infectious retinitis. Observations: A 76-year-old female with a history of cecal diffuse large B-cell lymphoma with two prior occurrences of posterior segment ocular involvement presented with a complaint of blurry vision in the right eye. Exam findings were significant for large areas of retinal whitening and retinal hemorrhages in the absence of choroidal lesions or significant vitritis. The clinical suspicion of an infectious retinitis, was supported by a presumptive immunosuppressive state secondary to her recent treatment (within 1 month) with both intravitreal and systemic rituximab plus high-dose methotrexate. Aggressive treatment with intravitreal and systemic antivirals and antibiotics was initiated. However, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing of aqueous fluid was negative for cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex virus, herpes zoster virus and toxoplasma, and her condition continued to worsen, so suspicion was raised for a masquerading recurrent malignancy. She was treated empirically with serial intravitreal injections of methotrexate and showed dramatic clinical improvement. A subsequent relapse occurred that responded rapidly to intravitreal methotrexate in the absence of antiviral/antibiotics. Conclusion: It is important for clinicians to be aware of atypical presentations of vitreoretinal lymphoma. This case emphasizes the fact that secondary ocular lymphoma after systemic lymphoma can have a vitreoretinal presentation rather than the more common choroidal involvement. Furthermore, it shows that recurrences of this disease in the same patient can have very different manifestations, including an appearance indistinguishable from a viral retinitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100545
JournalAmerican Journal of Ophthalmology Case Reports
StatePublished - Dec 2019


  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Lymphoma
  • Masquerade
  • Retinitis
  • Vitreoretinal lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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