Clinics of ocular tuberculosis

Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2015 Feb;23(1):14-24. doi: 10.3109/09273948.2014.986582.


Purpose: Ocular tuberculosis is an extrapulmonary tuberculous condition and has variable manifestations. The purpose of this review is to describe the clinical manifestations of ocular tuberculosis affecting the anterior and posterior segments of the eye in both immunocompetent and immunocompromised patients.

Methods: Review of literature using Pubmed database.

Results: Mycobacterium tuberculosis may lead to formation of conjunctival granuloma, nodular scleritis, and interstitial keratitis. Lacrimal gland and orbital caseating granulomas are rare but may occur. The intraocular structures are also a target of insult by M. tuberculosis and may cause anterior granulomatous uveitis, anterior and posterior synechiae, secondary glaucoma, and cataract. The bacillus may involve the ciliary body, resulting in the formation of a localized caseating granuloma. Posterior segment manifestations include vitritis, retinal vasculitis, optic neuritis, serpiginous-like choroiditis, choroidal tubercules, subretinal neovascularization, and, rarely, endophthalmitis.

Conclusions: The recognition of clinical signs of ocular tuberculosis is of utmost importance as it can provide clinical pathway toward tailored investigations and decision making for initiating anti-tuberculosis therapy.

Keywords: Anterior granulomatous uveitis; intermediate uveitis; ocular tuberculosis, posterior uveitis; scleritis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Eye / microbiology*
  • Humans
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / isolation & purification*
  • Tuberculin Test
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / microbiology