Aim: To report criteria for the diagnosis of intraocular sarcoidosis, taking into account suggestive clinical signs and appropriate laboratory investigations and biopsy results.
Design: Concensus workshop of an international committee on nomenclature.
Methods: An international group of uveitis specialists from Asia, Africa, Europe, and America met in a concensus conference in Shinagawa, Tokyo on October 28-29, 2006. Based on questionnaires that had been sent out prior to the conference, the participants discussed potential intraocular clinical signs eligible for a diagnosis of ocular sarcoidosis. A refined definition of clinical signs, which received two-thirds majority of votes, was included in the list of signs consistent with ocular sarcoidosis. Laboratory investigations were similarly discussed and those tests reaching a two-thirds majority were retained for the diagnosis of ocular sarcoidosis. Finally diagnostic criteria were proposed based on ocular signs, laboratory investigations, and biopsy results.
Results: The concensus conference identified seven signs in the diagnosis of intraocular sarcoidosis: (1) mutton-fat keratic precipitates (KPs)/small granulomatous KPs and/or iris nodules (Koeppe/Busacca), (2) trabecular meshwork (TM) nodules and/or tent-shaped peripheral anterior synechiae (PAS), (3) vitreous opacities displaying snowballs/strings of pearls, (4) multiple chorioretinal peripheral lesions (active and/or atrophic), (5) nodular and/or segmental peri-phlebitis (+/- candlewax drippings) and/or retinal macroaneurism in an inflamed eye, 6) optic disc nodule(s)/granuloma(s) and/or solitary choroidal nodule, and (7) bilaterality. The laboratory investigations or investigational procedures that were judged to provide value in the diagnosis of ocular sarcoidosis in patients having the above intraocular signs included (1) negative tuberculin skin test in a BCG-vaccinated patient or in a patient having had a positive tuberculin skin test previously, (2) elevated serum angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) levels and/or elevated serum lysozyme, (3) chest x-ray revealing bilateral hilar lymphadenopathy (BHL), (4) abnormal liver enzyme tests, and (5) chest CT scan in patients with a negative chest x-ray result. Four levels of certainty for the diagnosis of ocular sarcoidosis (diagnostic criteria) were recommended in patients in whom other possible causes of uveitis had been excluded: (1) biopsy-supported diagnosis with a compatible uveitis was labeled as definite ocular sarcoidosis; (2) if biopsy was not done but chest x-ray was positive showing BHL associated with a compatible uveitis, the condition was labeled as presumed ocular sarcoidosis; (3) if biopsy was not done and the chest x-ray did not show BHL but there were 3 of the above intraocular signs and 2 positive laboratory tests, the condition was labeled as probable ocular sarcoidosis; and (4) if lung biopsy was done and the result was negative but at least 4 of the above signs and 2 positive laboratory investigations were present, the condition was labeled as possible ocular sarcoidosis.
Conclusion: Various clinical signs, laboratory investigations, and biopsy results provided four diagnostic categories of sarcoid uveitis. The categorization allows prospective multinational clinical trials to be conducted using a standardized nomenclature, which serves as a platform for comparison of visual outcomes with various therapeutic modalities.