Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Selcuk University , Konya , Turkey
Purpose: To evaluate the early retinal changes and its reflection on the visual field examination in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients using pegylated interferon-α (PEGIFN-α) monotherapy.
Patients and methods: Thirty eyes of fifteen patients with CHB were examined prospectively for changes in the fundus examination and visual field examination (both Humphrey Perimetry and Frequency Doubling Perimetry). The patients were examined before and in 3 months intervals after starting the PEGIFN-α treatment. The changes in the fundus examination were noted and the visual field examinations, retinal nerve fiber thickness, Schirmer scores and color vision before and at 3 months of the treatment were compared. The statistical evaluation was performed with paired-t test, using SPSS 16.0 Inc. (Chicago, IL).
Results: The mean age of the 15 patients (seven male, eight female) was 52.5 ± 12.4 years. There was no significant retinal change in none of the patients. Neither the visual field examination with Humphrey Field Analyzer nor the Frequency Doubling Perimetry results has demonstrated any significant change during 3 months follow-up. There was a statistically significant increase in the retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness; while Schirmer test scores for dry eye assessment was significantly decreased.
Conclusion: PEGIFN-α monotherapy, which is used for treatment of CHB, may cause some changes in the thickness of RNFL that may necessitate the close follow-up for further morphological changes of the optic disc in these patients.