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.