Prevalence of Ocular Abnormalities in Cats with Hyperthyroidism

Van Der Woerdt A. and Peterson M.E.

J Vet Intern Med, 2000. 14(2): p.202-3.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the occurrence of ocular abnormalities in hyperthyroid cats. One hundred hyperthyroid cats and 30 clinically normal, geriatric cats were studied. In both groups, ophthalmic examination was performed by use of slit-lamp biomicroscopy and indirect ophthalmoscopy after application of 1% tropicamide to dilate the pupil. Ocular abnormalities were common in both the hyperthyroid and euthyroid cats. Approximately 75% of all eyes were affected with 1 or more abnormalities, and the range of abnormalities involved all structures of the eye. Significant differences between the euthyroid and hyperthyroid cats were found in the prevalence of prominent suture lines, nonpigmented deposits on the posterior lens capsule, hyperreflective ring around the optic nerve, and hyperpigmentation of the area centralis, but all of these abnormalities were more common in the euthyroid cats than in the cats with hyperthyroidism. Active retinal lesions were only observed in 3 hyperthyroid cats (3%). The results of this study indicate that hyperthyroidism does not seem to be a frequent cause of abnormalities in the eyes of cats.