Purpose: To prospectively assess the efficiency of a standardized diagnostic approach, compared to an open strategy, for the etiologic diagnosis of uveitis.
Design: Noninferiority, prospective, multicenter, clustered randomized controlled trial.
Methods: Consecutive patients with uveitis, who visited 1 of the participating departments of ophthalmology, were included. In the standardized group, all patients had a minimal evaluation regardless of the type of uveitis (complete blood count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, tuberculin skin test, syphilis serology, and chest radiograph) followed by more complex investigations according to ophthalmologic findings. In the open group, the ophthalmologist could order any type of investigation. Main outcome was the percentage of etiologic diagnoses at 6 months.
Results: Nine hundred and three patients with uveitis were included from January 2010 to May 2013 and the per-protocol population comprised 676 patients (open 373; standardized 303). Mean age at diagnosis was 46 years. Anatomic distribution of uveitis was as follows: anterior (60.8% and 72.3%, P = .0017), intermediate (11.7% and 12.3%, P = .8028), posterior (17.8% and 8.2%, P = .0004), and panuveitis (15.3% and 15.2%, P = .9596). An etiologic diagnosis was established in 54.4% of cases in the open group and 49.5% in the standardized group (P = .2029). The difference between both strategies (standardized minus open) was -4.9% (95% CI [-12.5%; 2.6%]). There were more investigations in the open group than in the standardized group (5371 vs 3759, P < .0001).
Conclusion: The standardized strategy appears to be an efficient diagnostic approach for the etiologic diagnosis of uveitis, although its noninferiority cannot be proved.
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