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Infectious uveitis prevalent in Indonesia

30 Mar 2018

Infectious uveitis appears to be the most common type of uveitis in Indonesia, with toxoplasmosis and tuberculosis (TB) emerging as the leading causes, a study reports.

Researchers looked at 146 consecutive new human immunodeficiency virus-negative patients with active uveitis in Indonesia, evaluating the anatomic locations and specific causes of uveitis, as well as associations with infectious and noninfectious systemic diseases. They determined the prevalence of positive QuantiFERON Tb Gold test (QFT) results and calculated the number of patients with active systemic TB.

The most common anatomic entities were posterior and panuveitis (38 percent each). Infections were the most frequently documented cause of uveitis (33 percent), with toxoplasmosis (19 percent) and active systemic TB (8 percent) being the most prevalent.

Majority of patients were QFT positive (61 percent). In 45 percent of patients, a specific diagnosis could not be established. At first presentation to the ophthalmologist, 66 percent of patients had a visual acuity of less than finger counting at 3 m. This group exhibited various complications of uveitis.

After classifying the QFT-positive patients with unexplained uveitis into a TB-related group, the percentage of ‘TB-associated’ uveitis cases increased from 8–90 percent. Highly elevated QFT levels were observed in patients with uveitis of unknown cause and no signs of active systemic TB.

The present data show that infections are the leading cause of uveitis in Indonesia, and most patients consult with an ophthalmologist when their visual acuity is already severely compromised and their clinical complications are apparent, researchers said.

Infectious uveitis is potentially treatable, and blindness may thus be prevented in infected patients. Researchers are positive that their findings will increase the early recognition of uveitis aetiologies and have a role in preventing unnecessary blindness.

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