Purpose: To assess the effectiveness of anti-tuberculous treatment in patients with chronic uveitis and either active systemic or latent tuberculosis (TB) in a non-endemic community.
Methods: Retrospective study of patients with chronic uveitis, non-ocular evidence of latent or active TB and no other identified cause of uveitis who underwent a 6-month course of standard anti-tuberculous chemotherapy. Response to treatment was assessed at 6 and 12 months after initiation of treatment.
Results: A total of 27 patients were included of whom 59% were female. In all, 19 were Asian, 4 Caucasian, and 4 Black. More than half of patients had a history of contact with another person treated for TB. Inflammation resolved after chemotherapy in 70.3% of patients, 18.5% had a change in the nature of their inflammation and 11.1% had no benefit.
Conclusions: There were no uveitis features characteristic of TB uveitis and a wide range of manifestations was seen ranging from non-granulomatous anterior uveitis to occlusive retinal vasculitis. TB is not endemic in the United Kingdom, therefore consideration of ethnicity, immigration, and history of TB contact remain important to direct investigations. In a patient with uveitis and latent TB, a full 6-month course of anti-tuberculous chemotherapy is recommended although it may not be curative of the uveitis.