Purpose: To evaluate the vascular hemodynamic changes that can be detected with color Doppler imaging (CDI) in diagnosis, differential diagnosis and prognosis of uveitis with different etiologies including Behçet's disease.
Methods: Four groups consisting of healthy volunteers, uveitis patients with different etiologies and Behçet's disease patients with and without ocular involvement were examined by CDI. Central retinal artery (CRA), posterior ciliary artery (PCA), ophthalmic artery (OA) and central retinal vein (CRV) flow velocities and vascular resistances were measured prospectively by a radiologist blinded to the presence and etiology of uveitis.
Results: The peak systolic and end-diastolic velocities in CRA and PCA in Behçet's disease with ocular involvement were significantly lower than all other groups (p < 0.001). Peak systolic and end-diastolic velocities in CRA were lower than the control group in Behçet's disease patients without ocular involvement (p < 0.001) but there were no differences in PCA and OA flow velocity (p > 0.05). In the uveitis group, CRA and CRV flow velocities were significantly lower than in the control group (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: According to our results, uveitis in Behçet's disease is associated with significant reductions of CRA and PCA flow velocities when compared with other types of uveitis and healthy subjects. In cases without ocular involvement, CRA flow velocities were lower than the control group, but there were no real differences in the PCA and OA values. This suggests that vasculitic involvement of PCA is more specific to Behçet's disease and occurs later in the course of the disease. The results also suggest that it may be possible to detect and follow hemodynamic changes in Behçet's disease with CDI before clinical findings of ocular involvement become evident.