RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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The etiology of uveitis: the role of infections with special reference to Lyme borreliosis.

PURPOSE: To assess the distribution of different uveitis entities and to evaluate their associations with infections, especially Lyme borreliosis.

METHODS: During a one-year period 160 consecutive uveitis patients were evaluated in a university clinic. Selected tests were performed depending on the medical history of the patient and the clinical picture of the ocular inflammation.

RESULTS: Uveitis was classified into selected entities for 74.4% of the patients. A direct infection was suggested to be linked with uveitis in 23 patients (14.4%). Lyme borreliosis, toxoplasmosis, and herpetic infections were the most frequently seen, in seven patients (4.3%) each. All patients with Lyme uveitis had manifestations of the posterior segment of the eye, such as vitritis, retinal vasculitis, neuroretinitis, chorioretinitis, or optic neuropathy.

CONCLUSION: Infections are an important cause of uveitis in a university clinic. Lyme borreliosis is a newly recognised uveitis entity which should be kept in mind in the differential diagnosis of intermediate or posterior uveitis in areas endemic for Lyme borreliosis.

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