Systemic associations of anterior uveitis in a tertiary care ophthalmic centre in south India

Int Ophthalmol. 2012 Oct;32(5):417-21. doi: 10.1007/s10792-012-9580-y. Epub 2012 May 9.


Anterior uveitis is the most common form of uveitis in most regions of the world. A recent study reported that 50 % of patients with anterior uveitis have a related systemic illness. The most common cause of anterior uveitis to date remains idiopathic (45-50 %), followed by HLA-B27-positive acute anterior uveitis. Ours is a retrospective study of the clinical records of 42 patients with anterior uveitis seen at a tertiary care eye hospital in south India. To diagnose the associated systemic disease, the investigations carried out were erythrocyte sedimentation rate, red and white blood cell counts, anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) analysis and HLA-B27 antigen determination. Based on clinical features, patients were also investigated for serum angiotensin-converting enzyme, high-resolution computed tomography scan, Mantoux test and QuantiFERON-TB Gold test. American College of Rheumatology criteria were followed to diagnose spondyloarthropathies and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Of the 42 patients, 14 (33.33 %) were HLA-B27-positive and the remaining 28 (66.66 %) HLA-B27-negative. Overall, 32 of the 42 had no causative association, three patients were diagnosed with JIA, two with ankylosing spondylitis, two were associated with systemic tuberculosis, two with sarcoidosis and one with Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome. Our case series shows the incidence of various systemic diseases associated with anterior uveitis. Though the overall incidence of HLA-B27-positive acute anterior uveitis in our series (33 %) is similar to that in the Western literature, only 14 % of such patients were positive for a spondyloarthropathy. A few interesting cases like HLA-B27-positive, ANA-negative JIA presenting with chronic persisting anterior uveitis were also seen.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • HLA-B27 Antigen / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immune System Diseases / complications*
  • Immune System Diseases / epidemiology
  • Immune System Diseases / immunology
  • Incidence
  • India / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tertiary Healthcare / statistics & numerical data*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / epidemiology*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / immunology
  • Young Adult


  • HLA-B27 Antigen