The tubulointerstitial nephritis and uveitis syndrome

Surv Ophthalmol. Nov-Dec 2001;46(3):195-208. doi: 10.1016/s0039-6257(01)00261-2.


The world's medical literature on tubulointerstitial nephritis and uveitis (TINU) syndrome was reviewed, and data on 133 patients with TINU syndrome were identified. The median age of onset was 15 years (range 9-74 years) with a 3:1 female-to-male predominance. Common laboratory abnormalities included elevated Westergren erythrocyte sedimentation rates and elevated urinary beta-2-microglobulin levels. Ocular symptoms preceded systemic symptoms in 21% of cases, and followed systemic symptoms by up to 14 months in 65% of cases. Uveitis involved only the anterior segment in 80% of cases. Uveitis was bilateral at presentation in 77% of cases. Patients were treated with systemic corticosteroids in 80% of cases and with immunosuppressive drugs in 9% of cases. Uveitis recurred or followed a chronic course in 56% of patients and persisted for several years in some cases. Ocular complications (including posterior synechiae, cataracts, and elevated intraocular pressure) were reported in 21% of cases. The visual prognosis appears to be good. Persistent renal dysfunction was reported in 11% of cases, including five patients who required renal dialysis. TINU syndrome is a distinct clinical entity that may be under-recognized and may account for some cases of unexplained chronic or recurrent uveitis. It is important for ophthalmologists, nephrologists, and primary care providers to be familiar with this disorder to ensure early diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / complications*
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / diagnosis
  • Nephritis, Interstitial / therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Syndrome
  • Uveitis / complications*
  • Uveitis / diagnosis
  • Uveitis / therapy