Purpose:To report the first documented case of HLA-A29-positive birdshot chorioretinopathy in an African American patient.Methods:A 51-year-old African American woman presented with a 10-year history of photopsia, progressive decrease in visual acuity, metamorphopsia, and new nyctalopia. Both fundi showed evidence of periphlebitis, arterial attenuation, macular edema, and diffuse chorioretinal atrophy.Results:Fluorescein angiography revealed diffuse vascular leakage, and indocyanine green showed evenly distributed and symmetrical hypofluorescent spots, which were difficult to appreciate on fundoscopy. Workup revealed a positive HLA-A29 and was negative for sarcoid, tuberculosis, and syphilis.Conclusion:Birdshot chorioretinopathy overwhelmingly affects non-Hispanic Caucasians, but there have been rare reported cases in other ethnicities including Hispanics and African Americans. This patient's ethnicity may have contributed to the 10-year delay in diagnosis. To our knowledge, this is the first documented HLA-A29 positive case of birdshot chorioretinopathy in an African American. HLA-A29 may be a useful supportive test in cases with classic clinical presentation in non-Caucasian patients to enable the correct diagnose in a timely manner.
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