Immunopathologic study of Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome

Am J Ophthalmol. 1988 Jun 15;105(6):607-11. doi: 10.1016/0002-9394(88)90052-9.


We studied an enucleated eye from a patient with a 30-year history of Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome using both conventional and immunohistochemical techniques. Clinically, the eye was in the end stage of Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome, and was characterized by the absence of inflammation, large areas of chorioretinal scarring, and pigmentary changes. Histopathologic examination showed marked retinal gliosis, extensive chorioretinal adhesion and scar formation, migration of pigment into the retina, and severe retinal pigment epithelial changes. However, foci of mild to moderate nongranulomatous inflammation of the uvea were observed. These foci contained infiltrating cells that were mainly T lymphocytes with B lymphocyte aggregates at the center. Scattered macrophages were also noted in the uvea and retina. These findings suggest that both the cell-mediated and humoral immune arms may play roles in the pathogenesis of Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein / metabolism
  • HLA-DQ Antigens / analysis
  • HLA-DR Antigens / analysis
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Retina / metabolism
  • Retina / ultrastructure
  • T-Lymphocytes / classification
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Uveitis / immunology*
  • Uveomeningoencephalitic Syndrome / immunology*
  • Uveomeningoencephalitic Syndrome / metabolism
  • Uveomeningoencephalitic Syndrome / pathology


  • Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein
  • HLA-DQ Antigens
  • HLA-DR Antigens