Acute Central Serous Chorioretinopathy Outbreak during the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Pilot Study

Tal Yahalomi, Yael Sara Pikkel, Roee Arnon, Michael Kinori, Keren Wood, Joseph Pikkel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Background and Objectives: This study aims to investigate the potential association between the COVID-19 pandemic and a new presentation of central serous chorioretinopathy (CSCR). Materials and Methods: A retrospective analysis was conducted, comparing the incidence of new-onset CSCR cases among ophthalmology patients in a regional medical facility in southern Israel between two distinct periods: the COVID-19 pandemic era in Israel, which occurred from 27 February 2020 to 20 December 2020, and the non-pandemic period from calendar years 2018 to 2021, excluding the specific epidemic phase mentioned. Disease severity was evaluated based on recovery time, visual acuity loss, and central macular thickness via OCT. Results: Over the four-year period, 35 new cases of CSCR were recorded. During the COVID-19 pandemic, 17 new cases (0.005% per population) were identified, compared with 18 new cases (0.002% per population) in the preceding three years. The odds ratio for acute CSCR during the pandemic was 2.83 (95% CI, 1.46–5.50) with a p-value of 0.02. CSCR cases during the pandemic seemed to exhibit worse clinical characteristics, though not statistically significant. Additionally, 22.2% of the COVID-19 pandemic group had confirmed COVID-19 cases, which was statistically significantly higher than the general population’s reported cases (6%). Conclusion: The study revealed a statistically significant increase of over 2.5 times in acute CSCR incidence during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with non-pandemic periods. The findings suggest that the pandemic’s stressful changes may have unintended consequences on the occurrence of CSCR, highlighting the importance of mental health support and psychoeducation for affected patients.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number122
    JournalMedicina (Lithuania)
    Volume60
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 Jan 2024

    Keywords

    • central serous chorioretinopathy
    • coronavirus
    • COVID-19
    • CSCR

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Medicine

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