Purpose: To calculate the incidence rates of ocular complications and vision loss in HLA-B27-associated uveitis and to explore the effect of chronic inflammation on clinical outcomes. Design: Retrospective longitudinal cohort study. Methods: The clinical records of 99 patients (148 uveitis-affected eyes) with HLA-B27-associated uveitis seen at a tertiary care center were included. The main outcome measures were ocular complications (posterior iris synechiae, band keratopathy, posterior subcapsular [PSC] cataracts, ocular hypertension, hypotony, cystoid macular edema, and epiretinal membrane) and vision loss. Anterior chamber inflammation was defined as <1+ grade inflammation. Chronic uveitis was defined as persistent inflammation with relapse in <3 months after discontinuing treatment or requiring medications to suppress inflammation for >3 months after reviewing the patient's entire clinical course. Results: The clinical course was most commonly acute/recurrent (75%) or chronic (20%). The most common complications to develop during follow-up were ocular hypertension (0.10/eye-year) and PSC cataracts (0.09/eye-year). In multivariate analysis, the presence of posterior synechiae at presentation, inflammation, corticosteroid-sparing therapy, corticosteroid injections, chronic disease, and male gender were associated with a statistically significant increased risk of developing vision loss (20/50 or worse). Chronic disease course was associated with a 7-fold increased risk of visual impairment (hazard ratio [HR] = 6.8, P < .0001). The presence of inflammation during follow-up was associated with an increased risk of developing visual impairment (HR = 6.2, P < .0001). In multivariate analysis, chronic disease course and topical corticosteroids were associated with an increased risk of developing any incident ocular complication (HR = 2.2, P = .04 and HR = 3.3, P = .01, respectively). Conclusions: Poorly controlled inflammation was associated with the development of ocular complications including vision loss. Patients with chronic inflammation were also at greater risk of complications.
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