The development of complications in patients with chronic anterior uveitis

Am J Ophthalmol. 2005 Jun;139(6):988-92. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2005.01.029.


Purpose: This study aimed to identify the factors determining the ocular complications and visual outcome in patients with chronic anterior uveitis.

Design: Retrospective, noncomparative case study.

Methods: Ninety-one eyes of 68 patients with anterior uveitis that lasted longer than 3 months were assessed. Patients were divided into idiopathic and nonidiopathic chronic anterior uveitis and Fuchs' heterochromic uveitis. Visual acuity and complications such as posterior synechiae, cataract formation, raised intraocular pressure (IOP), and posterior segment complications (i.e., cystoid macular edema and optic nerve involvement) were evaluated. Poor visual outcome measured by life-table analysis was considered when logMAR (log of the reciprocal of Snellen visual acuity) visual acuity was 0.3 or worse.

Results: No statistically significant differences in the visual outcome were found between the three groups of patients with chronic anterior uveitis. Posterior synechiae formation was, as expected, significantly increased in patients with chronic anterior uveitis compared with those with Fuchs' heterochromic uveitis. There was a trend for patients with nonidiopathic chronic anterior uveitis to have an increased risk of cystoid macular edema compared with those with idiopathic disease. There were no significant differences in visual outcome between any of the groups with time.

Conclusions: The visual prognosis for patients with chronic anterior uveitis is generally good. Posterior segment complications appear to be more likely to occur if there is an underlying associated disease. However, the presence of complications does not seem to affect the visual outcome in patients with chronic anterior uveitis.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chronic Disease
  • Eye Diseases / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Uveitis, Anterior / complications*
  • Visual Acuity