Presumed tuberculous uveitis in non-endemic country for tuberculosis: case series from a New Zealand tertiary uveitis clinic

Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2017 May;45(4):357-365. doi: 10.1111/ceo.12881. Epub 2017 Feb 8.


Background: To describe the clinical spectrum of presumed tuberculous (TB) uveitis in a developed, non-endemic country of high immigrant population.

Design: Retrospective review of a consecutive case series.

Participants: All 39 patients diagnosed with presumed TB uveitis at the tertiary uveitis service in Auckland from 2007 to 2014.

Methods: Clinical chart review.

Main outcome measures: Patient demographics, risk factors, ophthalmic manifestations, management and outcome.

Results: The median age was 37 years (interquartile range [IQR] 31-52) and 56% were female. The majority (97%) were born outside of New Zealand, and 77% had no TB-related history. Radiological abnormalities consistent with TB were evident in seven patients, including three who had culture positive pulmonary disease. Anterior uveitis was diagnosed in ten patients (26%), anterior and intermediate uveitis in eight (21%), posterior uveitis in 13 (33%) and panuveitis in eight (21%). Sixteen (41%) had retinal vasculitis, and five (13%) had multifocal serpiginoid choroiditis. Common complications included cataract (51%), ocular hypertension (36%), broad posterior synechiae (33%) and cystoid macular oedema (28%). Anti-TB treatment was initiated in 30 patients (76%). All but three patients completed the intended course of six to 12 months. Following anti-TB treatment, 67% remained in remission for at least 12 months, and all but two patients successfully stopped systemic steroids. The median initial and final visual acuity was 6/9 (IQR 6/6-6/18) and 6/6 (IQR 6/6-6/9), respectively.

Conclusions: Despite a wide range of ocular presentations and complications, our cohort demonstrated good remission rate and visual prognosis following anti-TB treatment in carefully selected patients.

Keywords: infection; inflammation; tuberculosis; uveitis.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / diagnosis
  • Eye Infections, Bacterial / epidemiology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand / epidemiology
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Tertiary Care Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Tuberculin Test
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / diagnosis
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / epidemiology*
  • Uveitis / diagnosis
  • Uveitis / epidemiology*
  • Visual Acuity
  • Young Adult