Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2005 Feb;13(1):33-8
McGill University, Department of Ophthalmology, Uveitis Service Montréal Canada.
Purpose: Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is the systemic disease most frequently associated in childhood uveitis. The disease may cause several ocular complications, visual impairment, and blindness. Recent studies revealed a more favorable ocular prognosis. Our purpose was to analyze the long-term visual outcome of JRA-associated uveitis.
Methods: Ocular complications and visual outcome in adult patients with JRA-associated uveitis were evaluated. Among 18 patients included in the study, uveitis was bilateral in 12 (66.7%) and unilateral in six (33.3%), for a total of 30 eyes with ocular involvement.
Results: The mean durations of JRA and its associated uveitis were 24.9 and 20.5 years, respectively. All eyes (100%) had at least one ocular complication. The most frequently observed ocular complications were cataract (83.3%), band keratopathy (60%), posterior synechia (46.7%), glaucoma (33.3%), hypotony (16.7%), and macular pathology (13.3%). Final visual acuity was impaired in 40% of the eyes, poor in 20%, and totally lost in 10%. Therefore, 70% of the eyes were either visually handicapped or totally blind. Most eyes underwent at least one surgical procedure. Inflammation was active at last examination in 63.3% of eyes. All patients were still treated topically and with systemic NSAID. Sixty-one percent of the patients were using an immunosuppressive agent.
Conclusion: JRA-associated uveitis still has a severe course and blinding potential. Patients suffer from uveitis and its complications even during the adulthood period. However, because our series represents a more severe subset of the disease, the outcome may be poorer than that of some other outcome studies.