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.
- HLA-B27 typing
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