Recurrent Optic Neuritis as the Only Manifestation of Chronic Hepatitis B Virus Flare

A Case Report

Diana Curras-Martin; Natasha Campbell; Attiya Haroon; Mohammad A. Hossain; Arif Asif


J Med Case Reports. 2018;12(316) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Autoimmune reactions have been associated with acute hepatitis B virus infection. Among these optic neuritis is a rare presentation with only a handful of cases reported in the literature thus far. The pathophysiologic mechanism governing this phenomenon includes high levels of circulating immune complexes, tissue deposit, and complement activation cascade.

Case Presentation: In this report, we present the case of a 46-year-old African American man with a past medical history of untreated chronic hepatitis B virus, diagnosed 5 years ago, who presented to our facility on two occasions with the chief compliant of blurry vision. He was diagnosed with optic neuritis associated with acute on chronic hepatitis B virus infection, where the recurrent visual impairment was the main presenting symptom. Because hepatitis constituted a relative contraindication for steroid therapy, our patient was solely treated with antiviral medication. Antiviral therapy resulted in complete resolution of his symptoms and improvement in his liver function.

Conclusions: Further studies are necessary to conclusively establish whether antiviral therapy can be employed as the sole therapy in immune complex-mediated optic neuritis, in the setting of active recurrent hepatitis B infection.