Patterns of ocular inflammation in patients with miliary tuberculosis

F1000Res. 2017 Apr 3:6:412. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.11035.1. eCollection 2017.


Background: Ocular morbidity associated with systemic tuberculosis is common. The clinical picture varies from anterior uveitis, intermediate uveitis and posterior uveitis to even panuveitis. There is little data on the correlation between specific systemic presentations and the ocular inflammation. We conducted a retrospective review of the ocular findings in the case records of patients admitted with a diagnosis of miliary tuberculosis. These patients were then referred for a more detailed ophthalmic evaluation.

Methods: We analysed the case records of patients with a clinical diagnosis of miliary tuberculosis over a 10-year period at Lilavati Hospital and Research Center, Mumbai.

Results: In total, 11 immunocompetent patients were identified. All 22 eyes showed normal findings on slit lamp examination. Dilated fundus examination showed single or multiple tubercles. In our cohort, the ocular findings were exclusively in the form of choroidal tuberculosis, either unilaterally or bilaterally. Slit lamp examination revealed no anterior segment inflammation Conclusions: We suggest that this pattern of choroidal/retinal tuberculosis in the absence of anterior and intermediate segment inflammation is specific for miliary tuberculosis and may be related to a specific immune response.

Keywords: miliary tuberculosis; ocular inflammation; ocular tuberculosis; tubercles.

Grants and funding

The author(s) declared that no grants were involved in supporting this work.