Our study aims to build on our understanding of COVID-19 by detailing a comprehensive look at the prevalence of different ocular manifestations related to COVID-19 infection.
Systematic review and meta-analysis.
Eligible studies published between June 20, 2021, and May 11, 2023, were retrieved from the MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CINAHL databases as well as grey literature. Covidence was used to conduct the systematic review. Duplicate records were removed, and 2 independent reviewers screened records for relevance. After screening, a risk-of-bias assessment was carried out. Data were extracted, and a meta-analysis was performed using STATA 14.0. Fixed-effects and random-effects models were computed based on heterogeneity.
Our meta-analysis included 43 articles with a total of 10,572 subjects. The results showed that COVID-19 patients had a significantly higher prevalence of conjunctivitis (effect size [ES] = 0.11; 95% CI, 0.07-0.15), ptosis (ES = 0.22; 95% CI, 0.15-0.30), and ophthalmoplegia (ES = 0.40; 95% CI, 0.06-0.74). Our results also indicate that COVID-19 patients have higher prevalence of cotton wool spots (ES = 0.06; 95% CI, 0.03-0.09), retinal hemorrhages (ES = 0.12; 95% CI, 0.06-0.18), and retinal vein tortuosity (ES = 0.19; 95% CI, 0.09-0.35).
COVID-19 can exhibit extrapulmonary manifestations, affecting both the anterior and posterior segments of the eye. Common anterior-segment findings include conjunctivitis, whereas posterior-segment findings may include cotton wool spots, retinal hemorrhages, and retinal vein tortuosity. Improving our understanding of the ocular manifestations of COVID-19 has the potential to facilitate quicker diagnosis and subsequent treatment.