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Visual outcomes in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis.

Ophthalmology 2006 October
PURPOSE: To analyze visual outcomes in children affected by juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)-associated uveitis.

DESIGN: Retrospective interventional case series.

PARTICIPANTS: Eighty-nine children with JIA-associated uveitis.

METHODS: Charts of children with JIA-associated uveitis were reviewed.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Change in patients' visual acuities (VAs).

RESULTS: Of 269 children with uveitic syndromes referred, 89 (33%) had JIA-associated uveitis. The process was bilateral in 76 children. Seventy-three patients were female, and 84% of patients were Caucasian. Mean age of onset of uveitis was 5.7 years. Mean follow-up was 2.96 years. Antinuclear antibody positivity was detected in 56 patients, 44 of them female. Patients with JIA-associated uveitis developed numerous complications in the course of their disease: of 165 affected eyes, 105 (64%) developed cataracts, 33 (20%) developed increased intraocular pressure, and 76 (46%) developed band keratopathy; posterior synechiae were present in 96 (58%). Of 89 children, 73% were treated with immunomodulators, 40% were treated with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory agents alone or in combination with immunomodulators, and 21% were treated with topical and/or systemic steroids. Of 65 children who required immunomodulation, only one chemotherapeutic agent was used in 30, two agents in 21, and > or =3 in 14. Visual acuities of 65 children (122 eyes) were documented and compared at standard intervals. By mixed-models linear regression, improvement in VA of 0.03 logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution units per year was not found to be statistically significant (standard error, 0.02, P = 0.089).

CONCLUSIONS: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis is a sight-threatening disease. However, much of the children's vision can be preserved if patients are treated appropriately.

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