A 15-Year Review of Ocular Manifestations of Autoimmune Inflammatory Disorders in a University Hospital


Background: Autoimmune diseases represent a significant health burden for 3% to 9% of the general population, and rheumatology, perhaps more than any other medical subspecialty, encompasses a broad array of such diseases that affect a wide range of organ systems including the eye. It serves as a sensitive barometer of autoimmune phenomena in many of the rheumatic diseases.

Objective: The study determined the various ocular manifestations of all autoimmune inflammatory disorders at the University of Santo Tomas Hospital, Section of Rheumatology and the Department of Ophthalmology from 2003 to 2018.

Methodology: A retrospective cohort study was done involving chart review of patients from both private division and clinical division. Sex, age, duration of disease, medications given, and ocular manifestations were determined. Statistical analysis included frequencies, percentages, and logistic regression analysis.

Results: Sixty-seven patients were included in the study. Of these, 58.2% (39/67) had ocular manifestations secondary to an established autoimmune disease. It was found out that 58.97% (23/39) had Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada syndrome. Other autoimmune diseases with ophthalmologic manifestations were systemic lupus erythematosus at 12.8% (5/39), ankylosing spondylitis at 10.25% (4/39), rheumatoid arthritis and Behcet’s syndrome at 5.12% (2/39), and granulomatosis with polyangiitis, scleroderma and psoriatic arthritis at 2.56% (1/39).

Conclusion: In this population, the frequency of ocular manifestations of autoimmune diseases remained low with anterior uveitis as the most common. Close coordination between specialties is very important in the course of treatment and management to lessen its complications and related morbidity.

Key words: Ocular manifestations, autoimmune inflammatory disorders


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