Journal of medical case reports 2017 04 1511(1) 104 doi 10.1186/s13256-017-1261-z
Frosted branch angiitis is a rare, severe condition. It can be either a primary or a secondary condition and is characterized by rapid deterioration of vision and fulminant retinal vasculitis that manifests as diffuse sheathing of retinal vessels, macular edema, papillitis, vitritis and anterior uveitis. We aimed to describe a case of frosted branch angiitis and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis as an initial neuro-Behçet’s disease onset. Diagnosis of Behçet’s disease was based on the current 2014 International Criteria for Behçet’s Disease and the International consensus recommendation criteria for neuro-Behçet’s disease. In addition, a literature review using search parameters of "frosted branch angiitis", "Behçet" and "neuro-Behçet" in the PubMed database is presented.
A 28-year-old Brazilian pardo woman presented to our hospital with abrupt bilateral vision loss associated with recurrent aphthous oral ulcers 6 months before visual symptom onset. A fundus examination showed bilateral widespread retinal vasculitis with venous and arterial white sheathing, optic disc swelling, macular edema, and retinal hemorrhages, leading to the diagnosis of frosted branch angiitis. An extensive systemic workup for retinal vasculitis was uneventful, except for brain magnetic resonance imaging demonstrating cerebral venous sinus thrombosis and lymphocytic aseptic meningitis. A diagnosis of neuro-Behçet’s disease was made, and treatment was started with methylprednisolone therapy 1 g/day for 5 consecutive days, followed by oral mycophenolate mofetil and infliximab 5 mg/kg infusion. The patient’s response was rapid, with improvement of visual acuity to hand movement and counting fingers by day 7 and final visual acuity of counting fingers and 20/130.
Frosted branch angiitis may be associated with infectious, noninfectious, or idiopathic causes. An extensive workup should be done to exclude systemic vasculitis such as Behçet’s disease. Treatment with systemic steroids must be promptly initiated in association with specific treatment aimed at inflammation control and blindness risk reduction.