Tubulointerstitial nephritis and uveitis syndrome

Friederike Mackensen, Heiko Billing
Current Opinion in Ophthalmology 2009, 20 (6): 525-31

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Tubulointerstitial nephritis and uveitis syndrome (TINU) is a specific form of intraocular inflammation (uveitis) combined with kidney disease that was first described in two patients by Dobrin et al. in 1975. Since then, approximately 200 more cases have been published. The cause of the disease is still unknown. A hypersensitivity reaction is suspected, especially an infection or very rarely a medication reaction is thought to trigger the disease. It is considered to be a rare disease and thus unfortunately is still unfamiliar to most ophthalmologists. Therefore, it is frequently overlooked in the differential diagnosis. In this review we want to show advances in diagnostics and treatment as well as progress in deciphering the pathogenesis.

RECENT FINDINGS: Beta-2 microglobulin (Ub2MG) analysis in urine and human leukocyte antigen (HLA) typing is helpful to diagnose TINU cases. A high association of HLA-DRB1*01 has been shown with TINU. A first single case report suggests a common antibody production against ocular and renal proteins.

SUMMARY: TINU is a common cause of uveitis among patients who present with bilateral, anterior uveitis of sudden onset. It is more frequent in children and apparently in boys. Although the activity of the eye disease can persist for many months, it is usually controlled with little treatment and the outcome is very good.

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