Post-transplant erythrocytosis-related maculopathy: successful management of hyperviscosity with phlebotomy
BACKGROUND Long-term visual outcome following renal transplantation is poorly documented in medical literature. The purpose of this study was to determine the ocular morbidity in a group of renal transplant patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy. METHODS Patients who had undergone renal transplantation were identified from the renal outpatient register, and patients who were at least 8 years posttransplantation were included in the study. Ocular examination was on average 14.6 years post-surgery. There were 43 males and 28 females, with ages ranging from 29 to 74 years. The patients had undergone renal transplantation between March 1968 and September 1986. The ophthalmic examinations were carried out over a 15-month period in a research clinic. RESULTS Visual acuity was greater than or equal to 6/9 in 75% of the eyes. 10% of eyes had visual acuities of less than 6/24. Four eyes had central/branch retinal-vein occlusions; four eyes had posterior subcapsular lens opacities; three eyes had optic atrophy; one eye had complications of proliferative diabetic retinopathy; one eye had diabetic maculopathy and one eye had a central retinal artery occlusion. Only five eyes had irreversible visual loss resulting in visual acuities of less than 6/60. CONCLUSION The incidence of sight-threatening complications in long-term survivors of renal transplantation was low. The results indicate that long-term prognosis for normal vision in patients who have undergone renal transplantation is good. Regular ophthalmic examinations are recommended for early detection of sight-threatening complications.