Objective: To assess the prevalence, risk factors, and long-term outcome of uveitis in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).
Methods: An inception cohort of all 1,081 patients diagnosed as having JIA at a single tertiary care center was established. A questionnaire and followup telephone calls were used to confirm the diagnosis of uveitis. Ophthalmologists' records of patients with uveitis were collected. Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses were used to assess risk factors for developing uveitis and for complications of uveitis.
Results: After a mean followup time of 6.9 years, 142 of 1,081 patients (13.1%) had developed uveitis. Risk factors were young age at diagnosis, female sex, antinuclear antibody positivity, and the subtype of JIA. The relative contribution of these risk factors was different for the different subtypes of JIA. Until the end of the study, uveitis complications had developed in 53 of 142 patients with uveitis (37.3%; 4.9% of the total cohort). Only 16 of 175 involved eyes (9.1%) in 14 of 108 patients (13%; 1.3% of the total cohort) for whom ophthalmology reports were available had best corrected visual acuity less than 20/40 (mean followup time for uveitis of 6.3 years). Abnormal vision was associated with synechiae or cataract.
Conclusion: Risk factors for developing uveitis were different among subtypes of JIA. The long-term outcome of JIA-associated uveitis in our cohort was excellent despite the high rate of complications.