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Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology
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Year : 2009  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 239-244

Fuchs' uveitis: Failure to associate vitritis and disc hyperfluorescence with the disease is the major factor for misdiagnosis and diagnostic delay

1 Inflammatory and Retinal Eye Diseases, Center for Ophthalmic Specialized Care (COS); Memorial A. de Rothschild, Clinique Générale-Beaulieu, Geneva
2 Inflammatory and Retinal Eye Diseases, Center for Ophthalmic Specialized Care (COS); Memorial A. de Rothschild, Clinique Générale-Beaulieu, Geneva; University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Carl P Herbort
Inflammatory and Retinal Eye Diseases, Center for Ophthalmic Specialized Care (COS), 6 Rue de la Grotte, CH-1003 Lausanne, Switzerland

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-9233.58424

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Purpose: Fuchs' uveitis is often diagnosed with substantial delay at the origin of deleterious consequences such as unnecessary treatment. The aim of the study was to analyse the type and frequency of posterior inflammatory and fluorescein angiographic signs in Fuchs' uveitis in conjunction with the other clinical signs and evaluate their respective importance in the diagnosis of the disease. In particular, diagnostic delay and erroneous diagnoses were investigated. Patients and Methods: Patients seen in our centers between 1995 and 2008 with the diagnosis of Fuchs' uveitis were analysed. The data collected included age, initial and final visual acuities, clinical findings at presentation, mean diagnostic delay, erroneous diagnoses, laser flare photometry values, fundus and fluorescein angiography manifestations and ocular complications. Results: One hundred and five patients were included. The mean age at diagnosis was 34 years. Twelve patients (11.4%) had bilateral involvement. The mean diagnostic delay was 3.04 ± 4.30 years. The most frequent clinical signs were vitreous infiltration (97.40%), typical Fuchs' keratic precipitates (94.90%), crystalline lens opacities or cataract (47%), heterochromia (42.60%), ocular hypertension or glaucoma (12.80%). The mean laser flare photometry value at presentation was 9.85 ± 6.28 ph/ms. Thirty-nine patients (37.14%) had undergone fluorescein angiography showing disc hyperfluorescence in 97.7% and peripheral retinal vascular leakage in 13.6%. Conclusions: Fuchs' uveitis is significantly underdiagnosed likely because vitreous involvement was previously described but not commonly recognized as an association with Fuchs' uveitis in the clinician's mind and therefore has often been given a different diagnostic label. Moreover, the very frequent inflammatory signs on fluorescein angiography such as disc hyperfluorescence and more rarely peripheral retinal vascular leakage, which has not been typically associated with Fuchs' uveitis, appear to represent an additional factor leading to misdiagnosis. Such clinical findings need to be publicised in order to reduce misdiagnosis, and diagnostic delay.

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