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Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on uveitis patient care
  1. Alexander F Vu1,
  2. Shilpa Kodati2,
  3. Phoebe Lin3,
  4. Bahram Bodaghi4,
  5. Parisa Emami-Naeini5
  6. for the COVID-19 Practice Patterns Study Group
  1. 1 Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Science, University of California Davis, Sacramento, California, USA
  2. 2 National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
  3. 3 Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA
  4. 4 Ophthalmology, Sorbonne University, Paris, France
  5. 5 Department of Ophthalmology & Vision Science, University of California, Davis, Sacramento, California, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Parisa Emami-Naeini, Ophthalmology, University of California, Davis 95817, CA, USA; parisaemami{at}


Background The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed practice of medicine and patient care worldwide. The impact of the pandemic on patients with uveitis is unknown. We developed the COVID-19 Practice Patterns Study Group to evaluate the effect of the pandemic on uveitis patient care.

Methods This is a multicentre, cross-sectional survey of uveitis specialists practising worldwide. A web-based survey was distributed through the mailing lists of international uveitis societies to assess modifications in patient care, and use of immunomodulatory therapies (IMTs),aswell as considerations regarding COVID-19 vaccination.

Results A diverse group consisting of 187 uveitis specialists from six continents participated in this survey. Most of these experts noted a disruption in clinical management of patients, including clinic closures or decrease in volume, patients missing in-person visits due to the fear of infection and difficulties obtaining laboratory testing. Most participants initiated (66.8%) and continued (93.3%) IMTs based on clinical presentation and did not modify their use of immunosuppressives. In cases of reported exposure to COVID-19 infection, most participants (65.3%) recommended no change in IMTs. However, 73.0% of the respondents did recommend holding all or select IMTs in case of COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 vaccine was recommended universally by almost all the specialists and 52% stated that they would counsel patients regarding the decreased immunogenicity and effectiveness of the vaccine in immunocompromised patients.

Conclusions Uveitis patient care has changed significantly since the beginning of the pandemic. The recommendations will continue to evolve as new data on IMTs and vaccination become available.

  • inflammation
  • eye (globe)

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Data are available upon reasonable request. Available upon request.

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  • Contributors AFV drafted and critically reviewed the manuscript. SK critically reviewed study concept, collected data, edited and finalised the manuscript. PL critically reviewed study concept, collected data, edited and finalised the manuscript. BB critically reviewed study concept, collected data, edited and finalised the manuscript. PEN conceptualised the study, collected data, generated graphs and tables, drafted and edited the manuscript. PEN accepts full responsibility for the finished work and the conduct of the study, had access to the data, and controlled the decision to publish. The group listed in the online supplemental appendix 2 participated in administering the survey.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Supplemental material This content has been supplied by the author(s). It has not been vetted by BMJ Publishing Group Limited (BMJ) and may not have been peer-reviewed. Any opinions or recommendations discussed are solely those of the author(s) and are not endorsed by BMJ. BMJ disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on the content. Where the content includes any translated material, BMJ does not warrant the accuracy and reliability of the translations (including but not limited to local regulations, clinical guidelines, terminology, drug names and drug dosages), and is not responsible for any error and/or omissions arising from translation and adaptation or otherwise.

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