Purpose: To assess the frequency of a positive QuantiFERON®-TB Gold test (quantiferon) among patients with retinal vasculitis in an area nonendemic for tuberculosis (TB); to review clinical characteristics and management of affected individuals.
Methods: Consecutive patients with retinal vasculitis and a positive quantiferon were retrospectively analyzed. Demographics, clinical data, laboratory, imaging findings, and therapy were evaluated.
Results: Among 49 patients with retinal vasculitis, 12 (24%) had a positive quantiferon. Median age was 37 years, there were five female patients. Five individuals (42%) had previously lived in a country endemic for TB. Retinal vasculitis was occlusive in six patients (50%). On chest imaging, pulmonary tuberculosis was suspected in one patient (8.3%). Treatment modalities included full antitubercular treatment (n = 1), isoniazid prophylaxis (n = 6), systemic corticosteroids (n = 8), and laser treatment (n = 5). After a median follow-up of 27.5 months, inflammation was inactive (n = 6) or recurrently present (n = 6). No patient lost ≥ 2 lines of best-corrected visual acuity during follow-up.
Conclusions: The quantiferon test is recommended in the evaluation of people with retinal vasculitis. Interpretation of a positive result can be challenging in a country nonendemic for TB. The majority of patients with quantiferon-positive retinal vasculitis were found to have latent TB.
Keywords: Quantiferon; Retinal vasculitis; Tbc-related ocular inflammation; Tuberculosis; Uveitis.