Outer retina changes on optical coherence tomography in vitamin A deficiency

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Vitamin A deficiency is rare in the United States and can be missed in patients with malabsorption syndromes without a high dose of suspicion. Ocular complications of hypovitaminosis A include xerosis and nyctalopia, and to a lesser extent reduction in visual acuity and color vision. Outer retinal changes, as seen on spectral domain optic coherence tomography (SD-OCT), in patients with vitamin A deficiency have previously not been documented. Case presentation: We present two cases with symptoms of severe nyctalopia who were subsequently diagnosed with severe Vitamin A deficiency and their unique findings on SD-OCT of outer nuclear layer diffuse thinning with irregular appearance of the interdigitating zone and the ellipsoid zone as well as normalization after vitamin A supplementation. Conclusions: Outer nuclear layer thinning and disruption of the outer retinal bands on SD-OCT are reversible with correction of vitamin A deficiency. Improvement in visual acuity, color vision, and nyctalopia are possible with early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number23
JournalInternational Journal of Retina and Vitreous
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 5 2020


  • Nyctalopia
  • Optical coherence tomography
  • Vitamin A deficiency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


Dive into the research topics of 'Outer retina changes on optical coherence tomography in vitamin A deficiency'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this