Purpose: Outcomes of HLA-B27-positive and HLA-B27-negative acute anterior uveitis were assessed after a mean follow-up of nine years. Rheumatologic complications, in particular the presence and course of ankylosing spondylitis, were examined during the same period.
Methods: A hospital-based prospective study of 119 patients with HLA-B27-positive and 35 patients with HLA-B27-negative acute anterior uveitis was performed. All patients underwent a complete ophthalmologic and rheumatologic examination, including sacroiliac x-rays, and were examined again nine years later.
Results: No statistically significant differences in ocular complications and visual outcome were found between both patient groups with acute anterior uveitis after nine years. Posterior synechiae were observed in one half of the affected eyes. Blindness was infrequent. Rheumatologic complications, including ankylosing spondylitis, originally seen in one half of the HLA-B27-positive patients, were observed in two thirds of the patients nine years later, compared to only two of 35 HLA-B27-negative patients. When ankylosing spondylitis was evident at first examination no clinically significant deterioration was observed nine years later.
Conclusions: After nine years we observed an ocular outcome equal for both patient groups. A small percentage of affected eyes became blind. Rheumatologic complications occurred in 55 (72%) of 76 HLA-B27-positive males and in 24 (56%) of 43 HLA-B27-positive females with acute anterior uveitis. The rheumatologic complications had a good prognosis.