THE COLLABORATIVE OCULAR TUBERCULOSIS STUDY (COTS)-1: A Multinational Review of 251 Patients With Tubercular Retinal Vasculitis

Retina. 2019 Aug;39(8):1623-1630. doi: 10.1097/IAE.0000000000002194.


Purpose: Tubercular retinal vasculitis (TRV) is a heterogeneous disease that can be difficult to manage because of nonspecific presentation and limitations of confirmatory tests for tuberculosis. This is a big data analysis on phenotypes and treatment outcomes for TRV.

Methods: Multicentre retrospective study of patients with TRV between January 2004 and December 2014 and a minimum follow-up of 1 year.

Results: Two hundred and fifty-one patients with TRV with a mean age of 38.9 ± 14.4 years (range, 9-86 years) were included. The patients were predominantly males (n = 167/251; 66.5%) of Asian ethnicity (n = 174/246; 70.7%), and geographical origin (n = 137/251; 54.6%). Most patients had features of occlusive type of RV (n = 113/185; 61.1%) except Caucasians (n = 11; 28.2%). There was no significant difference in treatment failure whether patients received antitubercular therapy (ATT) (P = 0.29), although treatment failure was less frequent in patients who received ATT (13.6%; n = 31/228) compared with those who did not (21.7%, n = 5/23). Less treatment failures were observed in patients with occlusive type RV who received ATT; however, this was not significant on survival analysis (P = 0.09). Treatment with ATT was associated with higher failure rates in patients of Hispanic and African American race and those with TRV associated with panuveitis (compared with posterior uveitis).

Conclusion: In this multinational study of TRV, there was no significant therapeutic effect of ATT. However, a definitive conclusion about the role of ATT could not be made because of a few patients who did not receive ATT. Because this is a retrospective study with a limited 1-year follow-up, the effect of ATT may have been overestimated (or underestimated) in the duration of follow-up.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antitubercular Agents / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Recurrence
  • Retinal Vasculitis / diagnosis*
  • Retinal Vasculitis / drug therapy
  • Retinal Vasculitis / microbiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / diagnosis*
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / drug therapy
  • Tuberculosis, Ocular / microbiology
  • Young Adult


  • Antitubercular Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents