Objective: To describe the patterns of clinical presentation in a series of 407 patients with uveitis and to establish the relationship between these patterns and the final diagnosis.
Methods: Patients were referred to the Uveitis Clinic of a tertiary hospital from January 1992 to January 1996. All patients received a complete ophthalmologic examination, and a general clinical history was obtained. The current International Uveitis Study Group classification system was used for anatomic classification. To establish the final diagnosis of the most common entities causing uveitis, current diagnostic criteria were used. A discriminant analysis, with diagnostic grouping as the outcome variable and the clinical presentation features as discriminating variables, was performed.
Results: With our classification system, 66.5% of the cases could be correctly classified according to the clinical pattern and morphologic findings. By diagnostic groups, discriminant analysis showed that 75% of patients with Behçet's disease, 77.1% of those with spondylarthropathy (including inflammatory bowel disease), 33.3% of those with sarcoidosis, 97.9% of those with toxoplasmosis, 85.7% of those with Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome, 100% of those with herpes, and 50.4% of those with idiopathic uveitis were correctly classified. In the miscellaneous group, which included disease entities with fewer than 5 cases, 42.9% were correctly classified.
Conclusion: Rheumatologic evaluation of the patient with uveitis can be more cost-effective if the referring ophthalmologist follows the classification system described herein, allowing a tailored approach in which only specific and necessary diagnostic tests are used.