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HLA-B27 typing in the categorisation of uveitis in a HLA-B27 rich population
  1. Minna Huhtinen,
  2. Anni Karma
  1. Department of Ophthalmology, Helsinki University Hospital, Helsinki, Finland
  1. Minna Huhtinen, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Helsinki University Hospital, PO Box 220, FIN-00029 HYKS, Finland


AIMS To determine whether HLA-B27 typing helps the clinician in the diagnostic examination of uveitis in a HLA-B27 rich population and also whether the clinical picture of HLA-B27 positive unilateral acute or recurrent anterior uveitis (AAU) is distinguishable from the idiopathic negative form.

METHODS During a 3 year period 220 consecutive patients with undetermined uveitis at onset were examined in the Helsinki University Eye Clinic. HLA-B27 antigen was tested for 85% of the patients. Other laboratory or x ray examinations were performed on the basis of the anatomical classification of uveitis and the biomicroscopic features characteristic of uveitis associated systemic diseases.

RESULTS HLA-B27 antigen was found significantly more often in patients with anterior (71%) and acute/recurrent unilateral (79%) uveitis than in patients with intermediate, posterior panuveitis (7%), and chronic (7%) or bilateral (12%) forms. Of the 16 cases of HLA-B27 negative unilateral AAU, five showed biomicroscopic features representing uveitis entities. The remaining 11 cases did not differ in any respect from the cases of HLA-B27 positive unilateral AAU.

CONCLUSION HLA-B27 antigen helps the clinician in the diagnostic examination of unilateral AAU. Positive test results serve as a clue to search for spondyloarthropathies, and negative results indicate the need to look for specific uveitis entities and other systemic diseases. The occurrence of HLA-B27 positivity in conjunction with uveitis entities other than unilateral AAU is of the same level or less than in the population of Finland in general.

  • uveitis
  • HLA-B27 typing

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