Background: The risk of function loss after each episode of ocular toxoplasmosis (OT) supports efforts to improve our understanding of the disease.
Patients and methods: 139 patients with OT were contacted retrospectively and requested to complete a questionnaire addressing course and activity of their disease. This information was compared with that retrieved from their medical records. Sixty-three patients completed the questionnaire and were included in the study. They were allocated according to their median age to one of two groups (group 1: <20.9 years; group 2: ⩾20.9 years).
Results: The mean reported age at the time of first ocular manifestation was 23.9 (median 20.9, range 0 to 70.5; SD 12.9) years. The clinical diagnosis was made 3.5 years later (p = 0.0008). The follow-up time was 6.5 (median 5.0; range 0.5 to 49.9; SD 7.6) years. The recurrence rate was higher in patients below 20.9 years (66%; n = 35) than in older patients (39%; n = 28; χ2 test, p<0.05). Patients reporting only one episode were older at first manifestation (29.6 (median 25.6; range 10.6 to 70.5; SD 14.3) years; n = 29) than those reporting two episodes (17.9 (median 19.5; range 5.9 to 33.9; SD 7.8) years; n = 15 (p<0.05)). The proportion of patients who developed a recurrence was 54–63% after each episode without a tendency to enlarge, and the interval between successive episodes remained stable between 1.0 and 1.7 years for the first three recurrences.
Conclusion: Younger OT patients carry a higher risk of developing a recurrence than older ones. After each episode, two-thirds of all OT patients will develop another one.
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Competing interests: None.
Ethics approval: Ethics approval was obtained from the Local Institutional Ethical Committee.