Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever as a Cause of Macular Star Figure

Academic Article


  • An 86-year-old woman with a history of tick bites in the previous months developed subnormal visual acuity in both eyes, keratic precipitates, anterior chamber and vitreous cells, optic disc edema, retinal hemorrhages, and retinal arteriolar sheathing. She had no fever or skin rash. Three weeks later, binocular macular star figures appeared. Brain imaging was negative; cerebrospinal fluid disclosed a lymphocytic pleocytosis and elevated protein. The serum Rickettsia rickettsii antibody test was markedly positive, establishing a diagnosis of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) as the cause of the ophthalmic findings. Despite treatment with oral doxycycline, these findings improved only modestly. Although neuroretinitis has been previously described in RMSF, macular star has not been documented.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Vaphiades MS
  • Start Page

  • 276
  • End Page

  • 278
  • Volume

  • 23
  • Issue

  • 4