A total of 43 patients (86 eyes) with chronic viral hepatitis were examined prospectively before and after the start of interferon therapy. Of 37 non-diabetic patients, 23 (group A1) did not have retinopathy or subconjunctival haemorrhage, 11 (group A2) developed retinopathy, and three (group A3) exhibited subconjunctival haemorrhage during the treatment. In most eyes, the retinopathy disappeared after therapy was stopped. Of six diabetic patients, three (group B1) developed retinopathy and three (group B2) showed progression of existing retinopathy. Thrombocytopenia was not associated with the retinopathy in any patient. The patients' good visual acuity remained unchanged, even after retinal changes appeared. Ophthalmologists should be aware that retinopathy and subconjunctival haemorrhage may develop in patients with chronic viral hepatitis receiving interferon therapy.
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