In vivo confocal microscopy of keratic precipitates

Michael S. Wertheim, William D. Mathers, Stephen J. Planck, Tammy M. Martin, Eric B. Suhler, Justine R. Smith, James T. Rosenbaum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate the heterogeneity of keratic precipitates (KP) in varying subtypes of uveitis by in vivo confocal microscopy (IVCM). Methods: The KP were viewed with a scanning confocal microscope in patients (n = 33) who sought care at a tertiary referral uveitis service for immune-mediated and infectious forms of uveitis, including HLA-B27-associated uveitis, sarcoidosis, Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome, juvenile chronic arthritis, Fuchs heterochromic iridocyclitis, cytomegalovirus retinitis, herpes zoster ophthalmicus, ocular toxoplasmosis, and idiopathic uveitis. Images were captured and digitalized in real time. Results: Forty-two eyes of 33 patients were examined in this study. Patient age ranged from 22 to 84 years, with a mean age of 49.4 years. Seventeen (52%) of the patients were women, and 16 patients (48%) were men. The KP ranged in diameter from 10 to 350 μm. We observed the following absolute and speculative outcomes: KP are markedly heterogeneous and variable as documented by IVCM; KP in individual patients are consistent throughout the cornea; the morphologic features of KP change across time; infectious vs noninfectious causes of uveitis seem to be readily distinguishable by using IVCM; and KP may have consistency for specific disease states and therefore may have diagnostic importance. Conclusions: To our knowledge, this is the first time that IVCM has been used to describe the architecture and heterogeneity of KP in uveitis. Such observations reveal a heterogeneity that could not be appreciated by conventional slitlamp microscopy and may have diagnostic relevance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1773-1781
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of ophthalmology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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