Uveitis is a frequent complication of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) and spondyloarthritis (SpA). The aim of this study is to evaluate the prevalence and risk factors for complications associated with uveitis in patients with JIA and SpA.
A longitudinal, monocentric cohort study that included patients diagnosed with JIA and SpA who developed uveitis. Demographic, laboratory, and clinical data were collected including complications of uveitis, HLA-B27, antinuclear antibodies, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, visual acuity and DMARD treatment. Comparison between groups (complicated versus uncomplicated uveitis) was evaluated using chi-square, t test and Mann-Whitney U test. Logistic regression was performed to determine predictors of complications.
A total of 270 patients were evaluated, of which 37 patients (13.7%) had uveitis and were included in this study. Twenty patients were female (54.1%), aged 11.9±8.7 years at diagnosis of SpA/JIA and 15.3±9.9 years at diagnosis of uveitis. Twenty-seven patients (73.0%) had a diagnosis of JIA (23 with oligoarticular disease) and in 12 patients (32.4%) uveitis was the first manifestation. Fifteen (40.5%) patients exhibited complications during follow-up period. Eleven patients (29.7%) underwent ophthalmologic surgery. Complications were significantly higher in patients with JIA (51.9% vs 10.0% in SpA, p=0.03), as was the need for surgery (40.7% vs 0%, p=0.02). Complications in JIA were significantly more frequent in patients who had uveitis as the initial presentation (50.0% vs 7.7%, p=0.03); no significant differences were found between the groups in the other variables studied. Univariate logistic regression analysis showed that uveitis as the first manifestation of JIA (OR 12.0, confidence interval 95% 1.21-118.89, p=0.03) is a significant predictor of complications.
We found higher rates of complications and need for ophthalmologic surgery in patients with JIA-associated uveitis. The initial presentation of JIA as uveitis is significantly associated with the occurrence of uveitis complications, so it is essential that there is a collaboration between ophthalmologist and rheumatologist in the diagnosis and treatment of these patients.