Neuro-Ophthalmic Implications of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Related Infection and Vaccination

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AbstractThe severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic created a unique opportunity to study the effects of infection and vaccination on disease. The year 2020 was dominated by infection and its consequences. The year 2021 was dominated by vaccination and its consequences. It will still take several years for full maturation of databases required for robust epidemiological studies. Therefore, this review on the implications for neuro-ophthalmology draws on resources presently available including reported adverse reactions to vaccination. Illustrative clinical cases are presented.The spectrum of pathology following infection with SARS-CoV-2 falls into 4 main categories: autoimmune, vascular, sequelae of brain damage, and miscellaneous. This review is exhaustive, but the most common conditions discussed relate to headaches and associated symptoms; vertigo, diplopia, and nystagmus; vascular complications of the eye and brain; cranial nerve (mono-)neuropathies; photophobia, ocular discomfort, and optic neuritis. Of the 36 main adverse reactions reviewed, vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia is a novel complication requiring specific hematological management. Updated diagnostic criteria are summarized. It is relevant to remember taking a medication history because of side effects and to recognize the relevance of comorbidities. The clinical assessment can frequently be performed virtually. Consensus recommendations on telemedicine and the virtual assessment are summarized in a practical and compressed format.The review concludes with an epidemiological tetralogy to interrogate, in future studies, associations with (1) SARS-CoV-2 pandemic infection, (2) SARS-CoV-2 worldwide vaccination, and (3) the possibility of a rebound effect of infections in the pandemic aftermath.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)196-207
Number of pages12
JournalAsia-Pacific Journal of Ophthalmology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2022


  • COVID-19
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • neuro-ophthalmology

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