Bulletin de la Société belge d'ophtalmologie issue:300 pages:67-72
PURPOSE: To determine the incidence and characteristics of uveitis in a cohort of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) as well as the nature of treatment and the risk factors for visual loss. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Retrospective review of 52 patients with JIA, screened for uveitis between 1995 and 2005. The first group, presenting with symptoms of arthritis and uveitis, was diagnosed at screening. The second group presented with symptoms of uveitis, without any rheumatological complaints at the time of diagnosis. During follow-up, reactivation of uveitis and complications were registered and treated when indicated. RESULTS: Seventeen patients had symptoms of uveitis at time of presentation or developed uveitis at follow-up. Ten of this patient group had oligo-arthritis, 16 were antinuclear antibody (ANA) positive, 16 were girls. Three patients presented with ophthalmological symptoms without rheumatological complaints. In this group, complications were more pronounced. Treatment in all patients consisted of topical corticosteroids and dilating drops at different intervals. Visual acuity was good in most patients. CONCLUSION: In this retrospective study, the risk of uveitis was higher in ANA- positive girls with oligoarthritis. To reduce severe disease at presentation, earlier diagnosis of JIA, earlier referral for slit lamp examination and universal screening of vision in childhood are necessary.