Risk of cataract development among children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis-related uveitis treated with topical corticosteroids

Jennifer E Thorne, Fasika A Woreta, James P Dunn, Douglas A Jabs
Ophthalmology 2010, 117 (7): 1436-41

PURPOSE: We sought to investigate the risk of cataract development among patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)-associated uveitis treated with topical corticosteroids.

DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study.

PARTICIPANTS: We included 75 patients with JIA-associated uveitis observed from July 1984 through August 2005 at a single academic center.

METHODS: Clinical data on these patients were collected by chart review and were analyzed.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Incidence of new-onset cataract. Risk factors for cataract development were assessed with attention paid to the use of topical corticosteroids.

RESULTS: Over a median follow-up of 4 years, the incidence of new-onset cataract was 0.04/eye-year (EY; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.02-0.09). Of the 60 eyes in 40 patients who received topical corticosteroid therapy, there was a dose-dependent increase in the rate of cataract development among eyes receiving topical corticosteroids. The incidence of cataract was 0.01/EY for eyes treated with < or = 3 drops daily and 0.16/EY (P = 0.0006 for log-rank test) for eyes treated with >3 drops daily. Among eyes receiving < or = 2 drops daily, the incidence of cataract was 0/EY (95% CI [1 sided], 0.03/EY). Presence of posterior synechiae, active uveitis, and use of topical corticosteroids at presentation were significantly associated with cataract development after controlling for confounding variables. Use of topical corticosteroids was associated with cataract formation independent of uveitis activity. Using longitudinal data analysis and controlling for duration of uveitis, presence and degree of active uveitis, and concomitant use of other forms of corticosteroids in a time-updated fashion, treatment with < or = 3 drops daily of topical corticosteroid was associated with an 87% lower risk of cataract formation compared with eyes treated with >3 drops daily (relative risk, 0.13; 95% CI, 0.02-0.69; P = 0.02).

CONCLUSIONS: In our cohort, topical corticosteroid use was associated with an increased risk of cataract formation independent of active uveitis or presence of posterior synechiae. However, chronic use of topical corticosteroids dosed at < or = 3 drops daily seemed to be associated with a lower risk of cataract development relative to eyes receiving higher doses over follow-up in the setting of suppressed uveitis.

FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE(S): Proprietary or commercial disclosure may be found after the references.

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