Epidemiology and course of disease in childhood uveitis

Ophthalmology. 2009 Aug;116(8):1544-51, 1551.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2009.05.002.


Purpose: To describe the disease characteristics and visual outcome of pediatric uveitis.

Design: Retrospective, longitudinal observation.

Participants: Five hundred twenty-seven pediatric uveitis patients from the National Eye Institute, University of Illinois, Chicago, and Oregon Health Sciences University.

Methods: Retrospective chart review.

Main outcome measures: Demographics, uveitis disease characteristics, complications, treatments, and visual outcomes were determined at baseline and at 1-, 3-, 5-, and 10-year time points.

Results: The patient population was 54% female; 62.4% white, 12.5% black, 2.7% Asian, 2.1% multiracial, and 14.61% Hispanic. Median age at diagnosis was 9.4 years. The leading diagnoses were idiopathic uveitis (28.8%), juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis (20.9%), and pars planitis (17.1%). Insidious onset (58%) and persistent duration (75.3%) were most common. Anterior uveitis was predominant (44.6%). Complications were frequent, and cystoid macular edema (odds ratio [OR] 2.94; P = 0.006) and hypotony (OR, 4.54; P = 0.026) had the most significant visual impact. Ocular surgery was performed in 18.9% of patients. The prevalence of legal blindness was 9.23% at baseline, 6.52% at 1 year, 3.17% at 3 years, 15.15% at 5 years, and 7.69% at 10 years. Posterior uveitis and panuveitis had more severe vision loss. Hispanic ethnicity was associated with a higher prevalence of infectious uveitis and vision loss at baseline.

Conclusions: The rate and spectrum of vision threatening complications of pediatric uveitis are significant. Prospective studies using standard outcome measures and including diverse populations are needed to identify children most at risk.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Blindness / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Uveitis / diagnosis
  • Uveitis / epidemiology*
  • Uveitis / physiopathology*
  • Uveitis / therapy
  • Vision, Low / epidemiology
  • Visual Acuity / physiology