Intermediate Uveitis: Outlook Good but Course Long

November 28, 2016

Patients with intermediate uveitis (IU) have a high likelihood of achieving good long-term visual outcomes, but should expect a long disease course and frequent complications

Patients with intermediate uveitis (IU) have a high likelihood of achieving good long-term visual outcomes, but should expect a long disease course and frequent complications, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago, IL, in October 2016. Oren Tomkins-Netzer, MD, of the Moorfields Eye Hospital in London, UK, presented the findings in a poster session.

The researchers begin by saying, “Intermediate uveitis is a relatively common occurrence among uveitis patients, and is reported to constitute 2-31% of subjects seen in tertiary uveitis clinics.” They add that sarcoidosis and multiple sclerosis are the most frequently reported systemic associations in IU, and “cataract and cystoid macular edema (CME) are the most common complications, and incidence increases with duration of follow-up.”

“This study aimed to examine a large population of subjects with IU with a long follow up period, to determine clinical outcome, systemic associations, treatment, complications and risk factors for visual loss,” state the researchers. In order to investigate, they conducted a retrospective study that included all of the patients seen for IU by a single consultant at Moorfields Eye Hospital in London between 2011 and 2013.

There were 305 patients in total, and the median follow up was 8.2 years. Raised intraocular pressure, glaucomatous optic neuropathy, cataract, cystoid macular edema, epiretinal membrane, macular scarring, retinal detachment, and hypotony and phthisis were all complications seen among them. Although the majority of the patients suffered complications over a long course of time, most had good visual outcomes.

The researchers conclude with two findings. First, they say, “The disease course of IU is long and subjects frequently experience multiple complications of both the disease and the treatment.” Second, “careful management results in most subjects achieving good visual outcomes, and permanent visual loss is uncommon,” the researchers say.

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