The prevalence of human T cell lymphoma virus type 1 (HTLV-I) was studied among patients with endogenous uveitis. Twelve (15.8%) of 76 uveitis patients with known aetiology or clinical entity were seropositive, the prevalence being comparable with that in the general population of the southwestern area of Japan where HTLV-I is highly endemic. In the comparison, 32 (41.0%) of 78 patients with aetiology or entity undefined uveitis were seropositive for HTLV-I, which indicated a significantly higher seroprevalence than controls matched for sex and age. The 32 cases of clinical entity undefined, HTLV-I positive uveitis were characterised by acute granulomatous or non-granulomatous uveal reactions which were accompanied by vitreous opacities and retinal vasculitis. The uveal inflammatory and retinal vascular changes responded well to topical and/or systemic corticosteroids and resolved in a few weeks in the majority of cases with favourable visual outcome. The disease affected one or both eyes, and eight cases (25%) showed recurrence within a year. The general condition of the patients remained well otherwise during a follow up study (mean follow up time 15.4 months), except for three cases with a possible association of hyperthyroidism. These findings provide additional information favouring an association between HTLV-I and isolated uveitis, a new disease entity which should be termed HTLV-I-associated uveitis.
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