Bilateral Scleritis with Heterogeneous Etiologies: A Diagnostic Dilemma

Parthopratim Dutta Majumder, Mamta Agarwal, Anitha Manoharan, Appakkudal R. Anand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To report a patient with bilateral scleritis who was initially treated for infectious scleritis, and subsequently diagnosed as granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA). Method: Retrospective chart review. Result: A 48-year-old female with a known history of diabetes presented with pain, redness, and blurring of vision in the right eye. She was diagnosed as scleritis with retinal detachment and underwent vitrectomy, with silicone oil tamponade and intravitreal injections of antibiotics, and antifungal agents. She presented with active scleritis with additional multiple pus points. Several scleral biopsies failed to yield any microorganism and finally, the painful blind eye was enucleated. The enucleated specimen grew gram-positive bacteria which were identified as Staphylococcus arlettae by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene. Nine months after the onset of symptoms in the right eye, the patient developed necrotizing scleritis in the left eye. Laboratory investigation revealed a positive cytoplasmic- anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody, which was previously negative during the right eye involvement. She was diagnosed with GPA by a rheumatologist and treated accordingly. Conclusion: Retinal detachment may be associated with scleritis, and ANCA testing may not detect GPA in its early stages. Once infection has been excluded, clinicians should not be afraid to use high-dose immunosuppression instead of surgery to treat retinal detachment associated with scleritis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalOcular Immunology and Inflammation
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Exudative retinal detachment
  • granulomatosis with polyangiitis
  • infective scleritis
  • rituximab
  • scleral biopsy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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