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Surgical management of equine recurrent uveitis with single port pars plana vitrectomy


Birgit Frühauf, Rentenstr. 24, 21394 Westergellersen, Germany.Tel.: +49 4135 1373


Current information suggests that equine recurrent uveitis (ERU) is an immune-mediated reaction to infectious agents or to autologous ophthalmic tissue. Recurrences are associated with progression of irreversible ocular damage. This report describes the intraoperative technique, complications, and long-term results of 38 eyes in 35 horses with ERU that underwent pars plana vitrectomy. The majority of the horses were warm-blooded. Recurrence of ERU was prevented in 35 of the 38 eyes. Some horses, especially in patients with incipient cataracts, developed vision loss in postoperative, quiescent eyes which was usually associated with cataract formation. Vision was stable in 85% of all eyes that underwent vitrectomy. Pars plana vitrectomy in horses appears successful in interrupting the cycle of repeated episodes of ERU, and the subsequent globe destruction in the majority of eyes. Removal of uveitis-induced ‘immunologic memory’ in the vitreous by vitrectomy may reduce adverse interaction between the vitreous and the uveal tract, and therefore reduce the recurrence of ERU.