Ocular complications develop in RA, connective tissue disease, vasculitis patients
Nearly one-fifth of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) develop ocular complications, as do one-quarter to one-third of those with connective tissue diseases and vasculitis, according to a recent study.
A systematic review of the literature was carried out using the databases of Medline, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Library from inception through 7 January 2019.
The investigators then searched for the prevalence of conjunctivitis, keratoconjunctivitis sicca, xeropthalmia, uveitis, eye haemorrhage, optic neuritis, papilledema, orbital disease, retinal artery/vein occlusion, macular oedema, retinitis, chorioretinitis, scleritis, iridocyclitis, choroid haemorrhage, blindness, and amaurosis fugax in patients with RA, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), systemic sclerosis, antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), dermatomyositis, polymyositis, Sjögren syndrome (SS), undifferentiated connective tissue disease, giant cell arteritis, granulomatosis polyangiitis (GPA; formerly Wegener granulomatosis), systemic vasculitis, and sarcoidosis.
Of the 3,394 studies identified, 65 were included in the meta-analysis. Eye involvement had a prevalence rate of 18 percent in RA, 26 percent in GPA, 27 percent in giant cell arteritis, 27 percent in sarcoidosis, 31 percent in SLE, and 35 percent in APS.
Dry eye syndrome (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) was the most common manifestation in most diseases analysed, with an especially high frequency of 89 percent in SS. In sarcoidosis, the most common ocular complications were anterior and posterior uveitis, occurring in 16 percent (95 percent confidence interval [CI], 3–28) and 6 percent (95 percent CI, 3–9) of patients, respectively.