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Importance of Baseline Fluorescein Angiography for Patients Presenting to Tertiary Uveitis Clinic.

PURPOSE: To ascertain whether the use of ultra-wide-field fluorescein angiography (UWFFA) at baseline visit alters the assessment of disease activity and localization, as well as the management of patients presenting to a tertiary uveitis clinic.

DESIGN: Retrospective comparison of diagnostic approaches.

METHODS: Baseline visits of 158 patients who presented to the Uveitis Clinic at the Byers Eye Institute at Stanford between 2017 and 2022 were evaluated by three uveitis-trained ophthalmologists (I.K., A.B., and H.G.). Each eye had undergone clinical examination along with ultra-wide-field fundus photography (UWFFP) (Optos Plc, Dunfermline, Scotland, UK), spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT, Spectralis Heidelberg, Heidelberg Engineering, Heidelberg, Germany) and UWFFA (Optos Plc, Dunfermline, Scotland, UK) at the baseline visit. Investigators were asked to successively determine disease activity, localization of disease (anterior, posterior or both), and management decisions based on clinical examination and UWFFP and SD-OCT (Set 1) and Set 1 plus UWFFA (Set 2). The primary outcome was the percentage of eyes whose management changed based on the availability of UWFFA, compared with Set 1.

RESULTS: The mean age of the patients was 46.9±22.4 (range, 7-96) and 91 (57.6%) were female. With Set 1 alone, 138 (55.2%) eyes were found to have active disease; localization was anterior in 58 (42.0%) eyes, posterior in 53 (38.4%) eyes and anterior + posterior in 27 (19.6%) eyes. With Set 2, 169 eyes of 107 patients had active anterior, posterior or pan-uveitis. In comparison with Set 1, assessment with Set 2 identified additional 31 (18.3%) eyes with active disease (p=0.006), and additional 31 (18.3%) eyes having disease in both anterior + posterior segments (p<0.001). Regarding the primary outcome, management was changed in 68 (27.4%) eyes in Set 2, compared to Set 1.

CONCLUSION: Baseline UWFFA may alter assessment of disease activity, localization, and management decisions compared to clinical examination with only UWFFP and SD-OCT for eyes with uveitis. Thus, UWFFA may be considered as an essential tool in the evaluation of uveitis patients at the baseline visit.

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