Etiologies of chronic anterior uveitis at a tertiary referral center over 35 years

Andrea D. Birnbaum, Deborah M. Little, Howard H. Tessler, Debra A. Goldstein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: To describe the epidemiology of chronic anterior uveitis (CAU) at a tertiary center over 35 years. Methods: Data regarding etiology of CAU was collected from medical records of patients evaluated between 1973-2007. Relative frequencies of each diagnosis of CAU were calculated. Linear regression analyses were performed on the common types of CAU. Results: 5970 patients were evaluated between 1973-2007; 31% carried a diagnosis of CAU. Idiopathic disease was diagnosed in 54% of patients (39 to 72% annually), ocular sarcoidosis in 14% of patients (2 to 20% annually), Fuchs heterochromic iridocyclitis (FHI) in 12% of patients (4 to 22% annually), and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in 6% of patients (2 to 13% annually). The frequency of diagnosis of idiopathic CAU decreased over time, with no significant change for sarcoidosis, FHI or JIA. An increase in frequency of diagnosis was observed for HLA-B27-related disease and uveitis related to multiple sclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Conclusions: The relative frequency of idiopathic disease has decreased over the past 35 years at our center. This may be related to an increase in the diagnosis of CAU associated with HLA-B27 positivity, inflammatory bowel disease (including family history) and multiple sclerosis. Despite the advances over the last 35 years, idiopathic disease still comprises at least 39% of our patients with CAU each year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-25
Number of pages7
JournalOcular Immunology and Inflammation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • epidemiology
  • iridocyclitis
  • iritis
  • sarcoidosis
  • uveitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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