Purpose: The aim of this study was to examine regional variation management practices and outcomes for tubercular uveitis (TBU).
Methods: In this retrospective multinational cohort study, patients from 25 international eye care centers diagnosed with TBU with a minimum follow-up of 1 year were included. The geographic variation in treatment outcomes on survival analysis in patients with TBU were analyzed. Treatment failure is defined as a persistence or recurrence of inflammation within 6 months of completing antitubercular therapy, the inability to taper oral corticosteroids to less than 10 mg/d or topical corticosteroid drops to less than 2 drops daily, and/or recalcitrant inflammation necessitating corticosteroid-sparing immunosuppressive therapy.
Results: Records of 945 patients (1485 eyes) with TBU were analyzed. The mean age was 41.3 ± 15.0 years (range, 4-90 years), with more males (52.9%, n = 500/945) and predominant Asian ethnicity (74.4%, n = 690/927). Most patients had no symptoms (92.0%, n = 655/712) or history (76.7%, n = 604/787) suggestive of pulmonary tuberculosis (TB). Some patients had evidence of inactive pulmonary TB on chest X-rays (26.9%, n = 189/702) or chest computed tomography (68.6%, n = 109/159). Patients with western geographic origin (log-rank = 6.47, P = 0.010), African or Hispanic ethnicity (log-rank = 19.9, P < 0.001), and positive immigrant status (log-rank = 4.89, P = 0.027) had poorer survival outcomes.
Conclusions: This is a first-ever multinational analysis of TBU that highlights regional differences in treatment outcomes for this elusive form of extrapulmonary TB. Our findings will help in the design of future collaborative studies together with internists to develop best practice guidelines for this early opportunity to address TB infection and strategies to target at-risk groups such as immigrants.