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Central serous choroidopathy

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Alternative Names    Return to top

Central serous retinopathy

Definition    Return to top

Central serous choroidopathy is a disease that causes fluid to build up under the retina, the part of the eye that sends sight information to the brain. The fluid leaks from the blood vessel layer under the retina. This area is called the choroid.

Causes    Return to top

The cause of this condition is unknown. Most patients are young men with aggressive, "type A" personalities, but anyone can be affected.

Stress appears to be a risk factor. The condition can also occur as a complication of steroid drug use.

Symptoms    Return to top

Exams and Tests    Return to top

Your health care provider can usually diagnose central serous choroidopathy by dilating the eye and performing an eye exam. Fluorescein angiography confirms the diagnosis.

Treatment    Return to top

Most cases clear up without treatment in 1 or 2 months. Patients with more severe leakage and more severe visual loss, or those in whom the disease lasts longer, may be helped by laser treatment to seal the leak.

Patients who are using steroid drugs (for example, to treat autoimmune diseases) should discontinue their use if possible. Any change in steroid drug use in these conditions MUST be under the supervision of a physician.

Outlook (Prognosis)    Return to top

Most patients recover good vision without treatment. The disease returns in about half of all patients, and has a similarly good outlook. Rarely, patients develop permanent scars that damage their central vision.

Possible Complications    Return to top

A small number of patients will have complications of laser treatment that impair central vision. That is why most patients will be allowed to recover without treatment.

When to Contact a Medical Professional    Return to top

Call your health care provider if visual symptoms worsen.

Prevention    Return to top

There is no known prevention. Although there is a clear association with stress, there is no evidence that tranquilizer drugs have any benefit in preventing or treating central serous choroidopathy.

Update Date: 8/22/2008

Updated by: Paul B. Griggs, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

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