Risk of relapse in primary acute anterior uveitis

Ophthalmology. 2011 Oct;118(10):1911-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2011.02.044. Epub 2011 Jun 16.


Purpose: To evaluate the risk of and risk factors for a second episode (relapse) among patients with remitted primary anterior uveitis.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Participants: Patients with primary anterior uveitis presenting to 1 of 4 academic ocular inflammation subspecialty practices achieving remission of the primary episode within 90 days of initial uveitis diagnosis.

Methods: Data were obtained by standardized chart review.

Main outcome measures: Time to relapse of anterior uveitis and risk factors for relapse.

Results: We included 102 patients with a first episode of anterior uveitis who were seen within 90 days of first-ever uveitis onset and followed for 165 person-years after achieving remission of the initial episode. Most patients were female (60%) and white (78%). Forty patients had a recurrence of anterior uveitis. The incidence of relapse was 24% per person-year (95% confidence interval [CI], 17%-33%). At 1.5 years after remission, 61% (95% CI, 48%-71%) were still in remission. Younger adults had significantly higher relapse risk than middle-aged adults (hazard ratio [18- to 35-year-old persons vs. 35- to 55-year-old persons], 2.7; 95% CI, 1.3-6.0).

Conclusions: Our results suggest that many patients with remitted primary anterior uveitis presenting for tertiary uveitis care will relapse. Age in the young adult range was associated with higher risk of relapse. Given the high relapse risk, management of patients with primary anterior uveitis should include an explicit plan for detecting and managing relapses.

Financial disclosure(s): Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors
  • Uveitis, Anterior / diagnosis*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / epidemiology
  • Young Adult