June 2013
Volume 54, Issue 15
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2013
Central serous chorioretinopathy associated with homeopathic adrenal medication
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Derek Huang
    UCLA Olive View, Sylmar, CA
    Ophthalmology, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
  • Robert Millay
    Ophthalmology, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
  • Brian Kim
    Ophthalmology, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, VT
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Derek Huang, None; Robert Millay, None; Brian Kim, None
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2013, Vol.54, 1136. doi:
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      Derek Huang, Robert Millay, Brian Kim; Central serous chorioretinopathy associated with homeopathic adrenal medication. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):1136.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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To report a case of central serous chorioretinpathy (CSC) associated with homeopathic adrenal medication. CSC is characterized by leakage of fluid into the subretinal space from the choroid that can lead to serous retinal detachments. CSC is most prevalent in males aged 20-50 years old. Its association with type A personality, stress, steroid use and hypercortisolism has been reported. Elevated catecholamine levels have also been shown. The prognosis is good with spontaneous resolution in weeks to months; however about 5% of patients fail to regain greater than 20/30 acuity.


One case of central serous chorioretinopathy was described at the University of Vermont College of Medicine Department of Ophthalmology.


This is the first case report describing central serous chorioretinopathy in association with the use of homeopathic adrenal medication. A 42 year old man presented with acute visual complaints characterized as “blurry, dark spot in his central vision” in his left eye of two days duration. He acknowledged using 2 tablets of ADHS supplement for adrenal health. ADHS is a homeopathic adrenal support supplement, marketed to support desired dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), Secretory IgA and normal cortisol levels. Examination revealed best-corrected visual acuity was 20/20 in the right eye (OD) and 20/30-2 in the left eye (OS). Slit lamp examination showed left retinal pigment epithelial mottling and subretinal fluid. Angiographic examination revealed two areas of leakage in the left eye. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) was consistent with a diagnosis of central serous chorioretinopathy. During a follow up examination (1 week later), he denied further use of his homeopathic medication and experienced improvement in the dark central spot. His visual acuity was 20/20 OD and 20/30+2 OS. OCT demonstrated improvement in his subretinal fluid.


CSC has been linked to endogenous Cushing’s syndrome, sympathomimetic use, and elevated catecholamine levels. ADHS supplies raw materials necessary for the synthesis of steroid hormones and epinephrine, the conversion of tyrosine to catecholamines, and hormonal secretion. The ingredients and amino acids contained in ADHS could play a role in its pathogenesis in CSC. Additional investigation into the mechanism of adrenal supplementation would aid in establishing guidelines for their use and potential side effects.

Keywords: 688 retina • 503 drug toxicity/drug effects • 452 choroid  

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