Intermediate uveitis in children and young adults: differences in clinical course, associations and visual outcome

Br J Ophthalmol. 2014 Aug;98(8):1107-11. doi: 10.1136/bjophthalmol-2013-304589. Epub 2014 Apr 8.


Aim: Intermediate uveitis (IU) is considered to carry a considerable risk for complications and visual loss. This study compares juvenile and adult onset IU with regard to visual loss and complications.

Methods: Single-centre retrospective analysis of 110 consecutive children with onset of IU at the age of ≤16 years compared with 107 consecutive adult patients (17-35 years). All patients were followed for ≥1 year (mean 2.5±2.3 years).

Results: Average age at first uveitis diagnosis in children (65 boys; 59%) was 9.7±3.17 years and in adults was 24.3±4.92 years (36 men; 34%; p=0.003). Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) in both groups was similar at first and last presentation. Compared with initial presentation, BCVA improved in 31% of children and 21% of adults during the follow-up period, while it worsened in 9% and 8.7%, respectively. Lyme disease in children (8%) and multiple sclerosis in adults (17%) were the most frequent systemic associations. Poor visual acuity at first presentation, snowbanks and vitreoretinal traction were associated with a higher risk for poor BCVA at last presentation. In children, cataract formation (OR 7.6; 95% CI 1.7 to 33.8) and macular oedema (13.6; 1.6 to 113.5) and in adults posterior synechiae (7.3; 1.8 to 30.2), cataract formation (19.02; 2.31 to 156.56), macular epiretinal membrane (5.1; 1.02 to 25.28) and retinal detachment (8.4; 1.4 to 51.2) were associated with poor BCVA during follow-up. Uveitis course was not worse if associated systemic disease was present.

Conclusions: IU with onset in childhood and early adulthood showed a similar visual course at intermediate follow-up. Associated diseases and complication patterns differed between children and young adults.

Keywords: Child health (paediatrics); Immunology; Inflammation.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Regression Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Uveitis, Intermediate / etiology*
  • Uveitis, Intermediate / physiopathology
  • Visual Acuity
  • Young Adult