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Characteristics of childhood uveitis leading to visual impairment and blindness in the Netherlands

Publicatie van: Hettinga YM1, Verhagen FH, van Genderen M, de Boer JH.

Purpose

To investigate the clinical characteristics of childhood uveitis leading to visual impairment or blindness.

Methods

In this descriptive study, we reviewed data from the medical records of 58 children with visual impairment or blindness due to childhood uveitis, which were seen at an institute for visually impaired patients (Bartiméus) between January 1981 and December 2012, in a retrospective, cross-sectional manner.

Results

Thirty-two of the 58 children (55%) were visually impaired and 26 (45%) were legally blind. Uveitis was posterior in 76% of all cases. Infectious uveitis represented 74% of all cases, of which 86% was congenital. Five patients (9%) had uveitis related to a systemic disease, and ten patients (17%) had idiopathic uveitis. There was a decrease in infectious causes over the last decades (p = 0.04) and an increase in idiopathic uveitis (p < 0.01), but the rate of children with posterior uveitis remained constant. There was an overall decrease in the number of children with uveitis referred to Bartiméus. The number of ocular complications at the time of intake was higher in children with acquired disease compared with congenital diseases (p < 0.01), as it was in children with non-infectious uveitis compared with infectious uveitis (p = 0.04). Most comorbidities that were noted were seen in children with infectious uveitis.

Conclusion

Most patients suffering from visual impairment or blindness due to childhood uveitis had posterior and/or infectious uveitis, mostly congenital. There is a shift in causes which shows a decrease in infectious causes and an increase in idiopathic causes.

In: Acta Ophthalmol. 2014 Jun 29. doi: 10.1111/aos.12491.