PURPOSE: To describe the incidence of vision loss and of ocular complications attributable to birdshot retinochoroidopathy and to describe the association between therapy and the incidence thereof. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study. METHODS: setting: Single-center, academic practice. study population: Forty patients with birdshot retinochoroidopathy were evaluated from January 1984 through March 2004. observation procedure: Demographic and clinical information on patients diagnosed with birdshot retinochoroidopathy was collected. main outcome measures: Visual acuity and visual field loss; ocular complications including cystoid macular edema (CME). RESULTS: In affected eyes, the frequencies of vision loss to 20/50 or worse and to 20/200 or worse and of CME at presentation were 33%, 13%, and 20%, respectively. Patients who presented with a duration of disease of < 30 months had higher frequencies of visual impairment to 20/50 or worse (68% vs 32%; P = .004) and to 20/200 or worse (32% vs 9%; P = .01), and had a higher frequency of CME (38% vs 14%; P = .02) than patients who presented with a duration of disease <30 months. The incidence rates on follow-up for vision loss to 20/50 or worse and to 20/200 or worse were 13% and 4% per eye-year (EY), respectively. The incidence of CME was 10%/EY. Use of immunosuppressive drug therapy was associated with a reduced risk of developing CME (relative risk = 0.17; 95% confidence interval: 0.05, 0.64; P = .009). CONCLUSIONS: Birdshot retinochoroidopathy is a progressive disease with the potential for visual impairment. Patients who present at a later date after the onset of disease were more likely to have vision impairment and CME. Use of long-term immunosuppressive therapy may reduce the risk of CME.
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