Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease: clinical outcomes

Am J Ophthalmol. 2005 Oct;140(4):674-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2005.04.052.


Purpose: To evaluate the effect of treatment on the incidence of vision impairment and structural ocular complications among patients with Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) disease.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Methods: setting: Single-center academic practice. study population: Twenty-four consecutive patients with VKH disease who were referred for evaluation and treatment from November 1984 through May 2004. procedures: Information on patients with VKH disease was entered retrospectively into a database and analyzed with time-dependent techniques. main outcome measures: Incidence of visual impairment and of structural ocular complications.

Results: In better-seeing eyes, the frequencies of vision loss to 20/50 or worse and to 20/200 or worse at presentation were 50% and 30%, respectively. The incidence rates on follow-up examination for vision loss to 20/50 or worse and to 20/200 or worse were 9% per person-year and 7% per person-year in the better-seeing eye. Oral corticosteroid therapy was associated with a reduced risk of loss of visual acuity to the 20/200 or worse in the better-seeing eye (relative risk [RR] = 0.33; P = .05). The use of immunosuppressive drug therapy was associated with a reduced risk of vision loss to the 20/50 or worse and to the 20/200 or worse thresholds in the better-seeing eye (RR = 0.33; P = .05; and RR = 0.08; P = .04, respectively).

Conclusion: VKH disease may result in substantial visual impairment. The use of oral corticosteroid or immunosuppressive drug therapy may reduce the risk of vision loss during the follow-up period.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Uveomeningoencephalitic Syndrome / complications*
  • Uveomeningoencephalitic Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Vision Disorders / etiology
  • Vision Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Visual Acuity


  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents