Spectrum and frequency of ophthalmologic manifestations in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: a prospective single-center study

Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2009 Jan;15(1):29-34. doi: 10.1002/ibd.20584.


Background: The frequency and spectrum of ophthalmologic manifestations in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has been reported to vary among studies; however, rare and silent manifestations have not been extensively studied.

Methods: This was a prospective study of 60 patients diagnosed with IBD who underwent full ophthalmologic examination, including visual acuity, slit lamp examination of the anterior segments, intraocular pressure, and fundus examination accompanied by color photography. Thirty-seven (61,7%) patients were diagnosed with ulcerative colitis (UC) and 23 (38,3%) with Crohn's disease (CD). Data from 276 control individuals were used for the determination of the prevalence of dry eye in our area.

Results: Ophthalmologic manifestations were diagnosed in 26 (43%) patients (14 UC, 12 CD; 12 males and 14 females). Conjunctivitis was diagnosed in 1 patient (CD), episcleritis in 2 patients (UC), and iridocyclitis in 3 (CD). Fundus examination showed 1 patient (CD) with unilateral choroiditis, 1 (UC) with retinal vasculitis, and 1 (CD) with optic neuritis. Retinal pigment epithelium disturbances (RPED) were present in 3 patients (1 CD, 2 UC) and 2 had serous retinal detachment. In total, 13/60 patients (22%) had dry eye compared with the 11% prevalence in controls. Eight patients developed glucocorticosteroid-induced cataracts, 2 of them treated surgically.

Conclusions: This study demonstrated the prevalence of the spectrum of ophthalmologic manifestations in the IBD population, including some rare and silent findings that may merit consideration and early intervention.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / complications*
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / diagnosis
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / drug therapy
  • Crohn Disease / complications*
  • Crohn Disease / diagnosis
  • Crohn Disease / drug therapy
  • Eye Diseases / diagnosis
  • Eye Diseases / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Steroids / adverse effects
  • Young Adult


  • Steroids