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Clinical features and visual outcome of intermediate uveitis in children

Clinical Science


Correspondence: Professor Susan Lightman, Department of Clinical Ophthalmology, The Institute of Ophthalmology, Moorfields Eye Hospital, City Road, London, EC2V 2PD, UK. Email:


Purpose: To determine the presentation, course, treatment and outcome of idiopathic intermediate uveitis in children.

Methods: The records of all patients under the age of 16 presenting with idiopathic intermediate uveitis under the care of one consultant (SL) between 1990 and 2001 were reviewed. The case notes were analysed with respect to presenting symptoms, associated conditions, ocular signs, change in visual acuity, treatment and complications. All patients with systemic disease were specifically excluded from the study.

Results: Twenty-six patients (45 eyes) were identified with intermediate uveitis from 114 cases of childhood uveitis seen. The mean age at presentation was 10 years (range 7–13 years) and the average follow-up time was 3 years (range 0–7 years). All patients had varying degrees of vitritis, 28 eyes had snowbanks and 5 had cystoid macular oedema at presentation. Six patients required no treatment, five received topical treatment only, five were managed with orbital floor steroids alone and a further two were managed with orbital floor steroids and oral prednisolone. Systemic steroids were required in eight patients, four of whom also required cyclosporin. Six of these children had successful disease control and maintained a visual acuity of 6/9 in at least one affected eye.

Conclusion: Idiopathic intermediate uveitis is a relatively uncommon condition in children but can have severe effects on vision. With careful management, vision can be preserved in at least one eye. This study describes the course of the disease in a relatively large series. The variation in disease severity prompts the use of individually tailored immunosuppressive regimens.