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Am J Ophthalmol. 2009 Dec;148(6):946-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ajo.2009.07.021. Epub 2009 Oct 17.

Scleritis and systemic disease association in a community-based referral practice.

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Department of Ophthalmology, George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.



To evaluate the association between scleritis and systemic disease in a non-university, non-tertiary referral practice and to describe our experience with scleritis treatment.


Retrospective chart review.


The medical records of patients with scleritis between 2001 and 2007 were reviewed for associated systemic disease.


In our series of 86 patients with scleritis, 55 patients (64.0%) had isolated scleritis while 31 patients (36.0%) had associated systemic-disease. Twenty-six patients (83.9%) with systemic disease had diagnosed systemic disease at the time of initial scleritis presentation, while 5 patients (16.1%) were diagnosed following systemic work-up. Those diagnosed after systemic work-up were more likely to have systemic vasculitic disease as opposed to a rheumatic or infectious disease. Patients with and without associated systemic disease were likely to require systemic therapy at similar rates (93.5% and 92.7%, respectively). Five patients with steroid-refractory scleritis were treated with infliximab (Remicade; Centocor Inc, Horsham, Pennsylvania, USA) and all responded without evidence of adverse effect. Seven patients were treated with mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept; Roche Laboratories, Nutley, New Jersey, USA), of which three improved.


The association between scleritis and systemic disease in a community-based referral practice may be lower than in tertiary referral or university-based centers. Although thorough systemic disease evaluation is warranted in scleritis patients, most patients with associated systemic disease will have such a diagnosis prior to the development of scleritis. The need to institute aggressive systemic therapy cannot be predicted by the presence of an associated systemic disease. Infliximab and mycophenolate mofetil are useful additions to the scleritis practitioner's armamentarium for steroid-refractory scleritis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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