META-ANALYSIS
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Vitrectomy in the treatment of uveitis.

PURPOSE: To assess the evidence that pars plana vitrectomy (PPV) is useful in improving vision, reducing disease activity, or ameliorating cystoid macular edema (CME) in patients with uveitis.

DESIGN: Review of the literature.

METHODS: A Medline search was conducted for relevant articles published in English, German, or French. Articles were analyzed for content and evidence level.

RESULTS: A total of 44 interventional case series published between 1981 and 2005 were identified that included 1575 patients (1762 eyes). Evidence level was grade CII-3 indicating possibly improved clinical outcomes with fair or poor evidence. The average age of patients was 36 years with a median duration of uveitis before surgery of 48 months and a median follow-up of 1.9 years. Intermediate uveitis was present in 841 eyes. Cystoid macular edema and cataract were common co-morbidities, and there were large numbers of additional surgical procedures. Visual outcomes in 39 articles were stated as improved in 708 eyes (68%), unchanged in 202 eyes (20%), and worsened in 124 eyes (12%). Reduction in systemic medication following PPV was reported in 25 studies. The median reported percentage of patients per study with CME was 36% preoperatively and 18% postoperatively.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on the evidence in the literature, PPV is possibly relevant to the outcomes of improving vision and reducing inflammation and CME. Randomized, controlled, collaborative trials or hypothesis-based case series with precise outcome measures that incorporate control groups would improve the quality of evidence supporting PPV as an adjunct to the medical treatment of uveitis.

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