Pattern of uveitis in Behçet's disease in a referral center in Tunisia, North Africa

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to analyze the pattern of uveitis in Behçet's disease in Tunisia, North Africa. We retrospectively reviewed the clinical records of 62 patients (111 eyes) diagnosed with Behçet's uveitis (BU) at the Department of Ophthalmology, Fattouma Bourguiba University Hospital, Monastir, Tunisia, between January 1995 and December 2006. Forty-seven of 62 patients (75.8%) were men and 15 (24.2%) were women. Mean age at onset was 29.3 years. The average follow-up was 75.6 months. The most common extraocular clinical manifestations were recurrent oral ulcer in all patients and pseudofolliculitis in 52 patients (83.9%). Uveitis was bilateral in 79%. Initial best-corrected visual acuity was ≥20/40 in 41 affected eyes (36.9%) and <20/200 in 49 affected eyes (44.2%). Panuveitis (68 eyes, 61.3%) and posterior uveitis (38 eyes, 34.2%) were the most common forms, followed by anterior uveitis (five eyes, 4.5%). Retinal vasculitis was found in 89 eyes (80.2%). Most common complications included posterior synechiae (32.4%), cataract (31.5%), and cystoid macular edema (19.8%). Systemic corticosteroids were administered in 58 patients (93.5%). Immunosuppressive drugs were used in 22 patients (35.5%). Fifty-six affected eyes (50.5%) had final visual acuity ≥20/40 and 34 affected eyes (30.6%) had final visual acuity <20/200. In Tunisia, BU affects predominantly young men. Bilateral panuveitis associated with retinal vasculitis was the most common ocular manifestation. More than 50% of patients maintained a visual acuity of 20/40 or better, and immunosuppressive therapy probably contributed to the improvement of visual prognosis of these patients.

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