Ocular manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Extraintestinal manifestations (EIMs) of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are numerous and can often involve the eye. This review highlights the ocular complications associated with IBD including the critical role the ophthalmologist can play in the diagnosis of IBD, the pathogenesis of IBD, its ocular complications, and the treatment of ocular inflammation associated with IBD.

Recent findings

Polygenic and environmental influences, as well as gut microbial dysbiosis, have been implicated in the pathogenesis of IBD. IBD and its EIMs appear to respond well to TNFα-targeted biologics.

Summary

IBD is thought to be caused by polygenic and environmental influences, including a dysbiotic gut microbiota. It is a systemic immune-mediated disease with varying types of ocular manifestations that can precede, occur simultaneously, or follow intestinal involvement. The diagnosis of IBD can be confused with other seronegative spondyloarthropathies as well as Behçet's disease. Treatment of IBD-associated ocular inflammation can range from corticosteroids to steroid-sparing immunosuppression such as azathioprine or methotrexate. Refractory disease can respond well to TNFα inhibitors.

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