Purpose: To estimate the incidences of ocular complications and vision loss in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)-associated uveitis, to describe risk factors for vision loss, and to describe the association between therapy and complications and vision loss.
Design: Retrospective cohort study.
Methods: setting: Single-center, academic practice. study population: A total of 75 patients with JIA-associated uveitis evaluated between July 1984 and August 2005. procedures: Clinical data on these patients were analyzed. outcome measures: Occurrence of ocular complications and visions of 20/50 or worse and 20/200 or worse.
Results: Over a median follow-up of three years, the incidence of any ocular complication was 0.33/eye-year (EY). Rates of vision loss to 20/50 or worse and 20/200 or worse were 0.10/EY and 0.08/EY, respectively. Risk factors at presentation for incident vision loss included presence of posterior synechiae, anterior chamber flare > or = 1+, and abnormal intraocular pressure (IOP). During follow-up, ocular inflammation > or = 0.5+ cells was associated with an increased risk of visual impairment (relative risk [RR] = 2.02, P = .006) and of blindness (RR = 2.99, P = .03). Immunosuppressive drug therapy reduced the risk of hypotony by 74% (P = .002), epiretinal membrane formation by 86% (P = .05), and blindness in the better eye by 60% (P = .04).
Conclusions: Incident vision loss and complications were common. Presence of posterior synechiae, anterior chamber flare > or = 1+, and abnormal IOP at presentation were associated with vision loss during follow-up. Use of immunosuppressive drugs reduced the risk of some ocular complications and of blindness in the better-seeing eye.