Incidence and outcomes of uveitis in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a synthesis of the literature
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) is the most common systemic cause of uveitis in Europe and North America. The cumulative incidence of uveitis in JRA has been reported at between 8.5% and 25% in series from referral centers in the USA. There have been no population-based studies of the cumulative incidence of uveitis in JRA in the USA. We performed a population-based, retrospective cohort study of patients residing in Olmsted County, Minnesota between 1 January 1960 and 31 December 2000 who met American College of Rheumatology diagnostic criteria for JRA. The patients were identified using the Rochester Epidemiology Project (REP), a surveillance and medical records-linkage system which provides access to medical records of residents of Olmsted County. Patient histories were reviewed and information regarding rheumatic and ocular disease was extracted and analyzed. The main outcome measures were: cumulative incidence of uveitis, of complications of uveitis, of keratoconjunctivitis sicca (KCS) and of adverse visual outcome. Of the 88 patients identified, three patients developed uncomplicated uveitis [3.4%; 95% confidence intervals [CI] 0.7–9.6%), all with pauciarticular onset JRA. Two patients developed KCS (2.3%; 95% CI 0.3–8.0%). The visual acuity of these five patients at last follow-up (mean length of follow-up 22.6 years, range 8–36 years) was 20/20. There were no patients with visual loss attributable to JRA. In a population-based study of JRA in the United States, uveitis occurred at a lower frequency than expected. In the limited number of cases in this cohort with JRA-associated ophthalmologic complications there was no resulting loss of visual acuity.