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HLA-B27-associated acute anterior uveitis in the University Referral Centre in North Thailand: clinical presentation and visual prognosis
  1. K Pathanapitoon1,
  2. S Suksomboon1,
  3. P Kunavisarut1,
  4. S Ausayakhun1,
  5. S Wattananikorn1,
  6. N Leetrakool2,
  7. A Rothova3
  1. 1Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand
  2. 2Blood Bank Section, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, Thailand
  3. 3Uveitis Centre, FC Donders Institute of Ophthalmology, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to: K Pathanapitoon Department of Ophthalmology, Faculty of Medicine, 110 Intawaroros Road, Chiang Mai 50200, Thailand; kpathana{at}


Background: Acute anterior uveitis (AAU) is the most frequent type of uveitis encountered in the west. Although human leucocyte antigen (HLA)-B27-associated ankylosing spondylitis was reported in South East Asia, it is not known whether HLA-B27-associated ocular disease is prevalent in Thailand.

Methods: A prospective study of 100 unrelated blood donors and 121 consecutive patients with AAU was carried out. All people underwent HLA-B27 typing and full ocular examination. Radiological examination of the sacroiliac joints was conducted in patients with low back pain or arthralgias.

Results: The prevalence of HLA-B27 was 10% among the blood donors in contrast with 44% in the AAU group (p<0.001). The clinical characteristics of HLA-B27-associated AAU were similar to those published throughout the world (unilaterality in 74%, hypopyon in 31%, recurrent AAU in 64%). However, the increased intraocular pressure (IOP) was more common in the HLA-B-27-negative group (p = 0.03) than in their HLA-B27-positive counterparts. At least 15% of the HLA B27-positive group had radiological signs of ankylosing spondylitis.

Conclusion: The prevalence of HLA-B27 in the population without uveitis in Thailand is about 10% and clinical characteristics of HLA-B27-positive AAU are similar to those reported in the west. In contrast with earlier reports, HLA-B27-negative AAU in Thailand was associated with increased IOP and should be further studied.

  • AAU, acute anterior uveitis
  • HLA, human leucocyte antigen
  • IOP, intraocular pressure

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  • Published Online First 9 August 2006

  • Funding: This work was supported in part by the combined grants from Dr P Binkorst foundation for ophthalmologic research, Nijmegen; Landelijke stichting voor Blinden en Slechtzienden, Utrecht; Rotterdamse Vereniging blindenbelangen, Rotterdam; Stichting voor Ooglijders, Rotterdam; and Katholieke Stichting voor Blinden en Slechtzienden, Grave and Stichting Oog, ‘s Gravenzande, the Netherlands.

  • Competing interests: None declared.