Chest Radiographic Screening for Sarcoidosis in the Diagnosis of Patients with Active Uveitis

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Abstract

Rationale:

Although chest radiography is currently recommended for the initial evaluation of patients with new-onset uveitis, the efficacy of this diagnostic screening modality is not known.

Objectives:

To evaluate the diagnostic value of chest radiographs in patients with active uveitis of recent onset in a tertiary center in Western Europe.

Methods:

A retrospective cross-sectional study was conducted by reviewing all chest imaging for adults with new-onset (<1 yr) uveitis of unknown origin undergoing initial evaluation in the Department of Ophthalmology at Erasmus University Medical Center (Rotterdam, the Netherlands). Radiographic findings were related to clinical and other imaging characteristics and to final diagnoses.

Results:

Screening chest radiographs were abnormal for 30 of 200 patients (15%) included in this study. Twenty-two of the 200 patients (11%) had biopsy-confirmed sarcoidosis, and an additional 12 patients were presumed to have sarcoidosis. The finding of chest radiographic abnormalities interpreted as typical of sarcoidosis was specific (91%; 95% confidence interval, 85.9-94.4%) but not sensitive (64%; 95% confidence interval, 43.0-80.3%) for biopsy-confirmed sarcoidosis. The combination of elevated serum angiotensin-converting enzyme level and chest radiographic findings typical of sarcoidosis increased the sensitivity to 79%. Biopsy-confirmed sarcoidosis was more common in patients with panuveitis (17 of 84; 20%) compared to patients with other anatomical locations of uveitis (5 of 116, 4%; P < 0.001). One patient was diagnosed with active pulmonary and ocular tuberculosis.

Conclusions:

Abnormal chest radiographs were found in 15% of patients with active uveitis of unknown origin and onset within 1 year of referral to a tertiary center in the Netherlands. A majority of the abnormal chest radiographs showed findings compatible with a diagnosis of sarcoidosis.

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