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Keywords:

  • infectious disease;
  • tuberculosis;
  • uveitis

Abstract

Background:  To identify the clinical ocular signs of uveitis associated with latent tuberculosis.

Design:  Retrospective case-control study.

Participants:  Consecutive patients from Singapore National Eye Centre Uveitis over 9 years. Sixty-two patients with uveitis associated with latent tuberculosis were compared with 72 matched controls diagnosed with other known uveitides.

Methods:  Patients were categorized as: (A) predominantly anterior segment inflammation (anterior uveitides) and (B) predominantly posterior segment inflammation (intermediate, posterior or pan-uveitides). The diagnostic performance of combining these clinical signs with investigations such as interferon-gamma release assay positivity and chest X-ray results suggestive of pulmonary tuberculosis was done using area under the receiver operator characteristic curve.

Main Outcome Measures:  Sensitivity, specificity and likelihood of association with tuberculosis of various clinical signs.

Results:  Extensive posterior synechiae and concomitant anterior scleritis in Group A; low-grade anterior chamber activity, retinal phlebitis and severe vitritis in Group B were significantly associated with latent tuberculosis. Combining these clinical signs with a positive interferon-gamma release assay and tuberculin skin test improved the diagnostic performance in both groups (area under the receiver operator characteristic curve for Group A = 0.779; Group B = 0.789).

Conclusion:  Patients with a combination of suggestive clinical signs with positive interferon-gamma release assay and tuberculin skin test are more likely to be accurately diagnosed with uveitis associated with latent tuberculosis, which responds to anti-tuberculosis therapy.