Japan has been tackling HTLV-1 disorder and has made remarkable progress. In ophthalmology, awareness of the association between HTLV-1 and uveitis has been increasing since the 1990s. Here, we describe a nationwide survey and analysis of the current medical care state for HTLV-1-associated uveitis (HAU) at ophthalmic facilities in Japan.

A questionnaire survey covered all Japanese university hospitals that were members of the JOS and all regional core facilities that were members of the JOIS. Researchers collected the survey data, and nationwide data was tallied and analyzed.

Out of the total one hundred and fifteen facilities invited, sixty-nine responded. HAU was most commonly diagnosed ‘based on blood tests and characteristic ophthalmic findings’. Facilities with experience in providing medical care for HAU accounted for 67.6%. The survey also revealed that 85.5% of facilities had seen no decrease in the number of HAU patients.

The study concluded that since the establishment of HAU as a pathological entity in the two decades, most Japanese facilities have started performing testing for HTLV-1 antibodies when considering differential diagnoses for uveitis. Our data suggest that providing information on HTLV-1 infection to ophthalmologists in Japan has been successfully implemented.

Reference: https://bjo.bmj.com/content/104/12/1647