Purpose: We aimed to describe the demographic and clinical features, ocular manifestations, complications, visual prognosis, and treatment in a large population of Turkish patients with Behçet uveitis. We also aimed to compare visual prognosis between male and female sex and between patients who presented before and after 1990.
Design: Observational case series.
Methods: A retrospective study of 880 consecutive patients (1,567 eyes) with Behçet uveitis seen at the Uveitis Service, Department of Ophthalmology, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, from 1980 to 1998. All patients met the classification criteria of the International Study Group for Behçet's Disease. Information on the patient's sex, age at onset of uveitis, ocular features, ocular complications, visual acuity, and systemic treatment was collected.
Results: Five hundred ninety-nine patients (68%) were male and 281 (32%) were female. The mean age at onset of uveitis was 28.5 years in male and 30 years in female patients. Ocular involvement was bilateral in 78.1% and unilateral in 21.9% of the patients. Panuveitis was the most common form in both sexes. Fundus lesions as well as sight-threatening complications were more common in males. At the beginning of the follow-up, potential visual acuity was 0.1 or less in 30.9% of eyes in males and 24.2% of eyes in females. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis estimated the risks of losing useful vision (>0.1) at 5 and 10 years for males and females as 21% vs 10% and 30% vs 17%, respectively. Male patients who presented in the 1990s had a significantly lower risk of losing vision compared with male patients who presented in the 1980s.
Conclusion: Behçet uveitis starts frequently around the end of the third decade and has a male predominance. The disease is more severe and the risk of losing useful vision is higher in males than in females. However, this risk has been significantly reduced in the 1990s.