Asymptomatic Uveitis in Children with Chronic Inflammatory Bowel Diseases

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Abstract

Summary

Uveitis may be an asymptomatic ocular process when it occurs in association with chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the frequency of uveitis in pediatric IBD is not known, as few patients have eye examinations on a routine basis. Experience with a child with Crohn's disease, who had asymptomatic uveitis identified by routine screening initiated because of associated arthritis, prompted us to undertake this evaluation. The purpose of this cross-sectional prospective study was to ascertain the point-prevalence of uveitis in pediatric IBD patients, including 97 with Crohn's disease and 50 with ulcerative colitis. Each child underwent an ophthalmologic assessment, including slit-lamp examination. In Crohn's disease, inflammatory cells and/or flare were observed in the anterior chamber of six (6.2%) patients. These changes were mild in all six patients and required no treatment. In the group with ulcerative colitis, there were no cases of asymptomatic uveitis. There was a higher frequency of asymptomatic transient uveitis in patients with Crohn's colitis (four of 22, 18.2%) than in those of other anatomic subgroups (two of 75, 2.7%; p < 0.05). Frequency of uveitis was also higher in IBD patients having other extraintestinal manifestations (15.0%) than in those without (3.1%; p < 0.10). There was no relationship observed between the activity of bowel disease and presence of ocular inflammation.

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