Objectives: To analyse the nationwide prevalence of uveitis in JIA and its complications over a whole decade.
Methods: We conducted a prospective, observational and cross-sectional study including all JIA patients from a National Paediatric Rheumatological Database (NPRD) with a uveitis add-on module in Germany (2002-2013). Temporal changes in uveitis prevalence, related secondary complications and anti-inflammatory medication were evaluated.
Results: A total of 60 centres including 18,555 JIA patients (mean 3,863 patients/year, SD=837) were documented in the NPRD between 2002 and 2013. The mean age of the patients was 11.4 ± 4.6 years, their mean disease duration 4.4 ± 3.7 years. Among them, 66.9% were female and 51.7% ANA positive. Patients' mean age at arthritis onset was 6.9 ± 4.5 years. Treatment rates with synthetic and biological DMARDs increased during the observation period (sDMARD: 39.8% to 47.2%, bDMARD: 3.3% to 21.8%). Uveitis prevalence decreased significantly from 2002 to 2013 (13.0% to 11.6%, OR = 0.98, p=0.015). The prevalence of secondary uveitis complications also decreased significantly between 2002 and 2013 (33.6% to 23.9%, OR=0.94, p<0.001). Among the complications, the most common ones were posterior synechiae, cataract and band keratopathy. A significant increase in achieving uveitis inactivity was observed at 30.6% in 2002 and 65.3% in 2013 (OR=1.15, p<0.001).
Conclusions: Uveitis prevalence and complications significantly decreased between 2002 and 2013. This may be associated with a more frequent use of DMARDs.