Screening for hydroxychloroquine retinopathy

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7169.1388a (Published 14 November 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1388

Screening should be selective

  1. Kristina May, Senior house officer in ophthalmology,
  2. Tim Metcalf, Consultant in ophthalmology,
  3. Andrew Gough, Consultant rheumatologist
  1. Harrogate District Hospital, Lancaster Park Road, Harrogate HG2 7SX
  2. Moorfields Eye Hospital, London EC1V 2PD
  3. Cardiff Eye Unit, University Hospital of Wales Healthcare NHS Trust, Cardiff CF4 4XW

    EDITOR —The editorial on screening for hydroxychloroquine retinopathy covered none of the recent publications on the subject and failed to distinguish those cases in which screening is necessary.1

    Levy et al's review of 1505 patients found no cases of proved retinopathy in patients taking <6.5 mg/kg/day of hydroxychloroquine but one case in a patient taking a higher dose.2 Silman and Shipley point out that “bull's eye retinopathy” can occur in patients not taking hydroxychloroquine.3 Indeed, Scherbel et al reported that the incidence of maculopathy in patients with rheumatoid arthritis was greater in untreated patients than in those receiving hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine.4 …

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