Clinics & Inpatient Care Units

Ophthalmology

Uveitis

Dr. Larissa Derzko-Dzulynzky, Dr. Nupura Bakshi

Uveitis is an inflammation of part or all of the uvea (the middle, vascular tunic of the eye, which includes the iris, choroid, ciliary body), and commonly involving the other tunics (sclera, cornea, retina).

A new diagnosis of uveitis is made in 38 - 115 per 100,000 persons per year, and up to 10 per cent of cases occur in childhood.

Uveitis is usually classified as as anterior, intermediate, posterior or panuveitis depending on the anatomical location of the inflammation in the eye.

Although causes of uveitis are diverse, the cause of uveitis cannot be determined in approximately 50 per cent of cases in children and adults, Common autoimmune causes of uveitis include spondyloarthritis (SpA), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), Behcet’s disease and sarcoidosis; infectious causes include syphilis, tuberculosis, herpes simplex virus, varicella zoster virus; and miscellaneous causes include post-surgical, malignancies, medication-induced causes and post trauma. Uveitis can be associated with systemic conditions involving other body systems) or may be isolated to one or both eyes (with no systemic involvement).

A large proportion of uveitis is autoimmune in origin and responds well to treatment with topical drops (including corticosteroids and other drops).

In some situations autoimmune uveitis is chronic or frequently recurrent or involves deeper structures of the eye, In these cases local  treatment with periocular or intraocular injections or systemic treatment with oral anti-inflammatory or steroid medications or  immunosuppressive agents is necessary.

Potential complications of uveitis include the formation of adhesions between the iris and the cornea or the lens (anterior and posterior synechiae), development of cataracts, band keratopathy (calcium deposits on the cornea), macular oedema (sweiling of the center of the retina), epiretinal membrane (wrinkling of the center of the retina), hypotony (low intraocular pressure), and glaucoma (high intraocular pressure).

The correct treatment of ocular inflammatory disorders is important for preserving vision and for preventing side effects of uveitis.