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Semin Arthritis Rheum. 2013 Apr;42(5):507-14. doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2012.08.003. Epub 2012 Dec 24.

Ophthalmologic manifestations of systemic necrotizing vasculitides at diagnosis: a retrospective study of 1286 patients and review of the literature.

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1
Université Paris Descartes, Assistance Publique-Hôpitaux de Paris, Paris, France.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To determine the frequencies and types of ophthalmologic manifestations in patients with systemic necrotizing vasculitides (SNV), including polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) and ANCA-associated vasculitides (granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's, GPA), microscopic polyangiitis (MPA), and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA); Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS)) and review the literature on eye involvement in these diseases.

METHODS:

This retrospective analysis was conducted on the ophthalmologic manifestations of SNV patients entered into the French Vasculitis Study Group database between July 1955 and August 2008.

RESULTS:

Among the 1286 identified patients, 214 (16.6%) had ophthalmologic manifestations at diagnosis, significantly more often in GPA (117/343, 34.1%) than in EGPA (30/270, 11.1%; P = 0.0001), PAN (42/393, 10.7%; P = 0.0001) or MPA (25/280, 8.9%; P = 0.0001). The 3 most common recorded ophthalmologic manifestations were conjunctivitis (89, (7%)), episcleritis (56, (4%)), and/or blurred vision (44, (3%)), mainly caused by retinal vasculitis in 5, oculomotor nerve palsy in 4, uveitis in 4 and/or optic neuropathy in 3. Orbital inflammatory tumor, another common feature was rather specific to GPA (23/349, 6.6% (P = 0.0001)) compared to other SNV. The literature on ophthalmologic manifestations of SNV is limited to case reports except for GPA, in which the eye involvement frequency ranged from 29% to 57%.

CONCLUSIONS:

Eye manifestations were more common in GPA than MPA, PAN and EGPA, but can be sight-threatening in any SNV. Given the heterogeneity of ophthalmologic involvement in SNV, close collaboration between the ophthalmologists and internists is critical.

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