Treatment strategies for scleritis and uveitis associated with inflammatory bowel disease

Am J Ophthalmol. 1994 Nov 15;118(5):601-11. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9394(14)76575-4.


We treated 19 patients with anterior uveitis, episcleritis, or scleritis associated with inflammatory bowel disease. Adequate control of ocular inflammation was achieved in 16 patients (84%). Ocular inflammation was adequately controlled with corticosteroids alone, without systemic adverse effects, in only three patients, all of whom had anterior uveitis associated with ulcerative colitis. Systemic nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs proved beneficial in six of seven patients, and one additional patient benefited from another anti-inflammatory drug (hydroxychloroquine sulfate). Systemic cytotoxic immunosuppressive therapy was used in the remaining seven patients, six of whom had bilateral disease. Ocular inflammation was controlled in six of these patients. Azathioprine was beneficial for scleritis but was less effective for anterior uveitis, especially in Crohn's disease, thus necessitating the use of another cytotoxic agent. HLA-B27-positive anterior uveitis was more refractory to corticosteroid therapy and was more likely to require systemic cytotoxic immunosuppressive therapy. With the medical and surgical strategies described, vision was improved or maintained in all patients in the study group.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Topical
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / adverse effects
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use
  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / complications*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Crohn Disease / complications*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Scleritis / complications
  • Scleritis / drug therapy*
  • Scleritis / surgery
  • Uveitis, Anterior / complications
  • Uveitis, Anterior / drug therapy*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / surgery
  • Visual Acuity


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Immunosuppressive Agents