Ocular signs predictive of tubercular uveitis

Am J Ophthalmol. 2010 Apr;149(4):562-70. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2009.11.020. Epub 2010 Feb 10.


Purpose: To determine ocular signs predictive of tubercular uveitis.

Design: Retrospective, nonrandomized, comparative interventional case study.

Methods: Three hundred eighty-six patients with active uveitis were treated at a tertiary care single-center uveitis practice. Uveitis was presumed to be tubercular in patients who showed evidence of latent or manifest tuberculosis without any other known cause and who did not show recurrence of uveitis after 12 months of antitubercular therapy. One hundred eighty-two patients who thus obtained clinical diagnoses of presumed tubercular uveitis were enrolled in group A. Two hundred four patients with uveitis resulting from a nontubercular cause were enrolled in group B. Patients were monitored for the presence of types of keratic precipitates (mutton fat or fine), posterior synechiae (broad based or filiform), iris nodules, snowballs, snow banking, vasculitis (with or without choroiditis), serpiginous-like choroiditis, and other types of posterior uveitis (choroidal abscess, retinochoroiditis, or exudative retinal detachment) which were compared between the 2 groups. Statistical analysis was carried out at a 5% level of significance. The main outcome measures were clinical signs significantly associated with tubercular uveitis.

Results: Broad-based posterior synechiae, retinal vasculitis with or without choroiditis, and serpiginous-like choroiditis were seen significantly more commonly in patients with tubercular uveitis. Filiform posterior synechiae were more frequent in eyes with nontubercular uveitis.

Conclusions: Broad-based posterior synechiae, retinal vasculitis with or without choroiditis, and serpiginous-like choroiditis in patients with latent or manifest tuberculosis in tuberculosis-endemic areas are suggestive of a tubercular cause of uveitis and merit specific treatment.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Choroiditis / diagnosis
  • Choroiditis / drug therapy
  • Choroiditis / etiology
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Ophthalmological
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / administration & dosage
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retinal Vasculitis / diagnosis
  • Retinal Vasculitis / drug therapy
  • Retinal Vasculitis / etiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tuberculin Test
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / complications
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / drug therapy
  • Uveitis / diagnosis*
  • Uveitis / drug therapy
  • Uveitis / etiology
  • Young Adult


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents