Purpose: Recent insights into the pathogenesis of immune-mediated diseases proposed a new classification, which includes autoimmune and auto-inflammatory diseases. The prevalence of specific autoimmune and auto-inflammatory diseases in uveitis and/or scleritis is not yet known. In this study, we examine the presence of systemic immune-mediated diseases in patients with uveitis and/or scleritis and put a special emphasis on autoimmune disorders by reporting on their clinical manifestations and visual prognosis. Methods: In this retrospective study, we reviewed data of 1327 patients presenting with uveitis and/or scleritis between January 2010 and July 2016 at the Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. All patients with noninfectious uveitis and/or scleritis were classified according to novel criteria for immune-mediated diseases. Various clinical data, including visual acuity (VA), of patients with uveitis of autoimmune origin were registered during 5-year follow-up. Results: The origin of uveitis was in 5% (62/1327) autoimmune, in 15% (197/1327) auto-inflammatory and in 14% (180/1327) mixed autoimmune/auto-inflammatory. Patients with classical autoimmune connective tissue disease (N = 17) suffered mostly from rheumatoid arthritis and granulomatosis with polyangiitis and exhibited predominantly scleritis (53%). After 5 years of follow-up, none of the eyes of these patients developed legal blindness (VA of <0.1). The VA in patients with uveitis associated with autoimmune neuro-ophthalmological diseases (multiple sclerosis and neuromyelitis optica; N = 27) remained stable over time. Conclusion: Uveitis and scleritis of autoimmune origin were observed in 5% of the total series. The term autoimmune uveitis should not be used as a synonym for intraocular inflammation of noninfectious origin.

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doi.org/10.1111/aos.13652, hdl.handle.net/1765/110157
Acta Ophthalmologica
Department of Ophthalmology

ten Berge, J., Schreurs, M., van Daele, P., & Rothová, A. (2018). Autoimmunity in uveitis. Acta Ophthalmologica, 96(5), 481–485. doi:10.1111/aos.13652