PURPOSE: To explore morphologic characteristics of choroidal lesions in patients with disseminated Mycobacterium chimaera infection subsequent to open-heart surgery.
METHODS: Nine patients (18 eyes) with systemic M. chimaera infection were reviewed. Activity of choroidal lesions were evaluated using biomicroscopy, fundus autofluorescence, enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography, fluorescein angiography/indocyanine green angiography, and optical coherence tomography angiography. Relationships of choroidal findings to systemic disease activity were sought.
RESULTS: All 9 male patients, aged between 49 and 66 years, were diagnosed with endocarditis and/or aortic graft infection. Mean follow-up was 17.6 months. Four patients had only inactive lesions (mild disease). In all five patients (10 eyes) with progressive ocular disease, indocyanine green angiography was superior to other tests for revealing new lesions and active lesions correlated with hyporeflective choroidal areas on enhanced depth imaging optical coherence tomography. One eye with a large choroidal granuloma developed choroidal neovascularization. Optical coherence tomography angiography showed areas with reduced perfusion at the inner choroid. All 5 patients with progressive ocular disease had evidence of systemic disease activity within ±6 weeks' duration.
CONCLUSION: Choroidal manifestation of disseminated M. chimaera infection indicates systemic disease activity. Multimodal imaging is suitable to recognize progressive ocular disease. We propose ophthalmologic screening examinations for patients with M. chimaera infection.