A Case of Scleritis Associated with Immunoglobulin G4-Related Aseptic Meningitis

Case Report

Austin J Clin Ophthalmol. 2014;1(6): 1027.

A Case of Scleritis Associated with Immunoglobulin G4-Related Aseptic Meningitis

Fukuyama H, Hashida N* and Nishida K

Department of Ophthalmology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan

*Corresponding author: Hashida N, Department of Ophthalmology, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, E7, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka, 565-0871, Japan

Received: June 20, 2014; Accepted: July 18, 2014; Published: July 21, 2014


Purpose: The aim of this study was to report a case of scleritis associated with immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4)-related aseptic meningitis.

Case report: A 63-year-old man, who was referred to our clinic with refractory uveitis, presented initially with severe headache, fever and ocular inflammations. Slit-lamp examination revealed bilateral scleritis, an increase of scleral thickness was also observed by anterior segment optical coherence tomography (CASIA SS-1000, Tomey, Japan). After the investigation for a fever of unknown origin, IgG4-related aseptic meningitis was diagnosed with a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) examination and bone marrow biopsy. After the definite diagnosis, the patient was treated with oral prednisolone (initial dose 30 mg/day). After the treatments, all symptoms including inflammation of the sclera, headache, and laboratory data were improved. The scleral thickness also decreased markedly. With treatment, ocular inflammation was controlled during the following 7 months, but the scleritis recurred during steroid tapering. Currently, the patient continues to be followed untreated without complications.

Conclusion: The clinical findings of ocular inflammation strongly suggested scleritis in this patient. To our knowledge, this is the first report of scleritis associated with IgG4-related aseptic meningitis. It is necessary to consider the IgG4-related disease as a differential diagnosis of scleritis.

Keywords: Scleritis; Immunoglobulin IgG4; Meningitis


IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD) is an unknown disease entity characterized by elevated serum IgG4 concentration, tumefaction, a dense lymphoplasmacytic infiltrate rich in IgG4-positive plasma cells, storiform fibrosis, obliterative phlebitis, mild to moderate eosinophilic, and elevated serum IgG4 levels [1]. IgG4-RD can affect almost any organ: the biliary tract, salivary glands, per orbital tissues, kidneys, lungs, lymph nodes, meninges, aorta, breast, prostate, thyroid, pericardium, and skin.

Diagnosis of IgG4-RD is based on identification of a combination of reported histologic patterns and increased numbers of IgG4 polyclonal plasma cells [2]. The underlying pathologic mechanism of IgG4-RD is unclear; however, enriched lymphoplasmacytic infiltration of IgG4-positive plasma cells, fibrosis in the involved organs, and elevated levels of serum IgG4 were thought to be involved in the pathogenesis. Glucocorticoid had been shown to have clinical efficacy [3,4]. Despite a good response to steroid therapy, the lesion often recurs during steroid tapering or following the withdrawal of steroid treatment [4,5] Rituximab (an anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody) has also been effectively used in patients with refractory to corticosteroids and immunosuppressive agents [5].

Mikulicz�s disease, characterized by swelling of lacrimal and salivary glands, has been identified as part of the spectrum of IgG4- RD [6,7]. Since then, many studies on IgG4-RD in the ophthalmic region have focused to a large extent on the lacrimal gland. However, IgG4-RD has been reported to affect several ophthalmic region not only the lacrimal gland but also other ocular adnexa, such as extraocular muscles, branches of the trigeminal nerve [8- 11]. Ocular manifestations of IgG4-RD are reported to as external ophthalmoplegia, ptosis, exophthalmos, intraocular pressure elevation, and ophthalmalgia.

IgG4-RD also involves the sclera, it occurs bilaterally and presents with anterior chamber inflammation in middle age [12,13]. The prognosis is good, because systemic rituximab and steroid have been reported to well control ocular inflammation [13,14], however; its etiology still remained to be elucidated. There are few cases which IgG4-RD caused scleritis [13,15]. However, to the best of our knowledge, there is no report of scleritis associated with IgG4-related aseptic meningitis. In the current study, we report and discuss a rare association with these diseases.

Case Presentation

The patient was a 63-year-old man with 1 month history of refractory uveitis and consulted a local ophthalmologist. He was diagnosed with scleritis and referred to our department. At first visit, he complained of severe headache, fever, blurred vision and bilateral inflamed eyes. There was no previous ophthalmic history and his general health was good. His best corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 1.2 bilaterally and his intraocular pressures were normal. A slit-lamp examination revealed bilateral conjunctival/ciliary injection, scleritis, and 2+ anterior chamber cells (Figure 1a, b). Increase of scleral thickness was observed by anterior segment optical coherence tomography (AS-OCT) (CASIA SS-1000, Tomey, Japan) (Figure 1c). According to the previous report, the mean scleral thickness of forty normal healthy controls was 0.53�0.08 mm [16].