Purpose: To compare the symptoms, visual acuities and complications found in childhood onset pars planitis, with those seen in adult onset disease.
Method: The records of 26 patients (52 eyes) with idiopathic pars planitis seen at a tertiary care clinic were reviewed. The study design allowed comparison of follow-up visual acuities for the adult onset and childhood onset groups at 2 years and 5 years from the time of initial diagnosis.
Results: The visual acuity at the time of initial diagnosis, at 2 years' follow up and at 5 years' follow up was worse for children than for adults, but this difference only reached statistical significance at 2 years' follow up (6/10 vs 6/7; P = 0.026). When looking at correlation coefficients between age and acuity, the same trend was observed at all time intervals, only reaching statistical significance with initial visual acuities (r = 0.32; P = 0.019). Adults had a tendency to complain more at presentation of blurred vision and floaters than children. Complication rates were similar for both groups.
Conclusion: The study presents data supporting the idea that patients presenting with idiopathic pars planitis in childhood have a worse visual acuity both at initial diagnosis and at follow up than those presenting in adulthood. This is a long-suspected finding that has not previously been demonstrated.