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Corneal endothelium in paediatric patients with uveitis: a prospective longitudinal study


Purpose To study the longitudinal effect of anterior chamber inflammation on the corneal endothelium in children.

Methods In this prospective longitudinal observational study, children (aged <18 years) with anterior chamber inflammation and those at risk of developing uveitis due to juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) were included. Changes in central endothelial cell density (ECD) and morphological variables were determined by non-contact specular microscopy, and their correlations with uveitis activity and surgical interventions were analysed.

Results Ninety-nine eyes of 99 children (mean age (±SD): 10.0±4.1 years) with a history of anterior chamber inflammation were recruited. Mean follow-up was 12.3±3.5 months. Eleven children, who were under surveillance but had not developed JIA-associated uveitis were included as controls. While there were no significant differences in mean ECD between controls and subjects without prior surgery (group 1) at all time points, those who had prior ophthalmic surgery (group 2) displayed significantly lower ECD than the controls at recruitment (p=0.002) and at follow-up (p=0.004). However, longitudinal ECD assessments did not show significant changes in either group (group 1, p=0.07, group 2, p=0.54). On regression analysis, once the patient’s age was adjusted for, only the occurrence of intraocular procedures during the study (r=0.43, adjusted p=0.03) was associated with a significant annual rate of ECD loss.

Conclusion During the study period, longitudinal ECD changes among children with uveitis were associated with intraocular surgery for uveitis-related complications but not uveitis activity. By reducing the need for surgical intervention, the corneal endothelium in these children may be preserved.

  • cornea
  • inflammation
  • anterior chamber
  • imaging

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