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Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2002 Oct;9(4):239-49.

Causes of uveitis at The Eye Center in Saudi Arabia: a retrospective review.

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  • 1The Eye Center and The Eye Foundation for Research in Ophthalmology, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.



The main objective of this study was to determine the causes of uveitis at a referral center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.


We carried out a retrospective review of clinical records of 200 uveitis cases referred to The Eye Center, a referral center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. There were 120 (60%) males and 80 (40%) females with an age range of 7 to 91 years and a mean age of 35 (SD +/- 17). Patients had complete ophthalmic and medical examinations. Laboratory studies were requested whenever indicated. Patients were followed up for a minimum of 12 months.


In the period 1995-2000, we encountered 200 cases of uveitis among a total of 20,191 consecutive new cases, yielding a prevalence of 1%. Acute anterior uveitis of undetermined origin was found in 58 (29%) of 200 patients. There were 13 (6.5%) cases of Behçet's disease, 7 (3.5%) of Fuchs' heterochromic iridocyclitis, 6 (3%) of sarcoidosis, and 5 (2.5%) patients had Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome (VKH). Among the infectious causes, herpetic uveitis was found in 32 (16%) patients, tuberculosis in 21 (10.5%), and toxoplasmosis in 13 (6.5%) cases. Seventeen (8.5%) cases were of miscellaneous origin and in 28 (14%) cases the etiologic diagnosis was undetermined.


Acute anterior uveitis of undetermined origin was the most common cause of uveitis, followed by Behçet's disease. Herpetic uveitis was the most common infectious cause of uveitis. Ocular tuberculosis and toxoplasmosis were found to be common causes of infectious uveitis at this referral center in Saudi Arabia.

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