A case of bilateral endogenous endophthalmitis misdiagnosed
Purtscher’s retinopathy characterized by the appearance of cotton-wool spots and intraretinal hemorrhage at the posterior pole that commonly occurs after severe head and chest trauma. We report a patient who presented with multiple white retinal patches and retinal hemorrhage forty-two days after a severe thoracoabdominal trauma, which was misdiagnosed as Purtscher’s retinopathy.

Case presentation
A middle-aged woman presented to the eye clinic complaining of decreased vision and distortion in the right eye forty-two days after thoracoabdominal trauma. Upon first glance at her fundal appearances with multiple white retinal patches and retinal hemorrhage, we considered it to be bilateral Purtscher’s retinopathy. No specific treatment was given to her. Ten days later, the four white retinal patches in the right eye joined together with star-shaped hard exudates and radial folds in the macula. This was not consistent with the characteristics of Purtscher’s retinopathy. In retrospect, we found that the onset time, shape, and location of the white retinal patches were not cotton-wool spots. A detailed history revealed that she had Staphylococcus aureus septicaemia due to abdominal incision infection, and she underwent intravenous antibiotic therapy. Fundus fluorescein angiography (FFA) revealed hyperpermeable vasculature and extensive fluorescence leakage in the middle and late stages. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) revealed highly reflective exudates in the neuroepithelium and macular edema in the right eye. Taking her history and the FFA and OCT results into consideration, she was diagnosed with bilateral endogenous endophthalmitis.

In the present case, multiple white patches and intraretinal hemorrhage at the posterior pole forty-two days after the trauma were not Purtscher’s retinopathy. It was bilateral endogenous endophthalmitis. The subretinal abcesses that developed secondary to Staphylococcus aureus infection involved the macula causing decreased vision and distortion in the right eye. Author concluded that in the case of multiple white retinal patches at the posterior pole in patients after trauma, especially in patients with infectious disease, Purtscher’s retinopathy is not the only possible diagnosis. Correct diagnosis depends on a reevaluation of the lesions by FFA and OCT, laboratory investigation and detailed history.

Source: https://bmcophthalmol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12886-020-01399-9