Sarcoidosis, a multisystem, granulomatous disorder, sometimes manifests with a neuro-ophthalmic subtype. The latter can pose a diagnostic challenge, especially when ocular symptoms appear before systemic involvement, as the clinical picture then can be non-specific and systemic laboratory and standard imaging investigations can be negative.
A 71-year-old woman presented with a 4-month history of sudden-onset visual loss in the left eye. Slit lamp examination revealed anterior chamber cells, iris, and angle neovascularization. Fundoscopy showed a pale edematous optic nerve head surrounded with intraretinal hemorrhages and yellow retinal infiltrates. The vasculature was very narrow to absent. Indeed, fluorescein angiography filling was limited to the (juxta-)papillary region. An extensive systemic work-up revealed a monoclonal gammopathy and absence of any inflammatory markers. On MRI, a mass infiltration of the intraorbital and the intracranial optic nerve was visible. Additional PET-CT scan revealed hilar lymph nodes. A transbronchial biopsy demonstrating a non-caseating granulomatous lesion led to the diagnosis of sarcoidosis and thus neurosarcoidosis. Treatment with high-dose prednisone and azathioprine was started to avoid progression and subsequent visual loss in the other eye.
A patient with neurosarcoidosis presenting with compressive ischemic optic disc edema and neovascular glaucoma is described, increasing the diversity of clinical presentations and confirming the diagnostic challenge of neurosarcoidosis.