A retrospective cohort study of patients treated with anti-tuberculous therapy for presumed ocular tuberculosis

J Ophthalmic Inflamm Infect. 2017 Dec 4;7(1):23. doi: 10.1186/s12348-017-0141-4.


Background: Uveitis involving the posterior segment is a significant and potentially blinding condition. The diagnosis and treatment of patients with uveitis associated with tuberculosis remains controversial, and commonly, patients are systemically well. Use of the interferon-gamma release assays has added to the controversy, as the significance of a positive test may be uncertain. We aim to report the outcomes of anti-tuberculous treatment in a cohort of patients treated in Birmingham, for presumed "ocular tuberculosis", based on clinical findings, systemic assessment and specific testing for tuberculosis.

Results: We found that in our cohort of 41 patients treated between 2010 and 2014, the majority achieved disease-free remission, even in cases where anti-tuberculous treatment was delayed.

Conclusions: Despite controversy, this study strongly supports the use of anti-tuberculous therapy in such patients and highlights the need for formal prospective trials and treatment protocols.

Keywords: Anti-tuberculous therapy; Interferon-gamma release assay; Tuberculosis; Uveitis.