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Ocular tuberculosis: current perspectives

Authors Shakarchi F

Received 3 September 2015

Accepted for publication 3 November 2015

Published 26 November 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 2223—2227

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S65254

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Gokcen Gökçe

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Scott Fraser


Faiz I Shakarchi1,2

1Ibn Al-Haetham Teaching Eye Hospital, 2Department of Opthalmology, Medical College, Al-Mustansiriya University, Baghdad, Iraq

Abstract: The World Health Organization currently estimates that nearly two billion people, or one-third of the world’s population, are infected by tuberculosis, and that roughly 10% of the infected people are symptomatic. Tuberculosis affects the lungs in 80% of patients, while in the remaining 20% the disease may affect other organs, including the eye. Uveitis can be seen concurrently with tuberculosis, but a direct association is difficult to prove. Ocular tuberculosis is usually not associated with clinical evidence of pulmonary tuberculosis, as up to 60% of extrapulmonary tuberculosis patients may not have pulmonary disease. The diagnosis of tuberculous uveitis is often problematic and in nearly all reported cases, the diagnosis was only presumptive. Tuberculous uveitis is a great mimicker of various uveitis entities and it can be considered in the differential diagnosis of any type of intraocular inflammation. It is still unknown if ocular manifestations result from a direct mycobacterium infection or hypersensitivity reaction and this is reflected on the management of tuberculous uveitis. Prevalence of tuberculosis as an etiology of uveitis may reach up to 10% in endemic areas. Tuberculous uveitis is a vision-threatening disease that inevitably leads to blindness if not properly diagnosed and treated. The aim of this review is to illustrate the various clinical features and management of presumed tuberculous uveitis. The current review focuses on the diagnostic criteria, significance of tuberculin skin test, and use of systemic corticosteroids in the management of tuberculous uveitis as recommended in recent publications.

Keywords: tuberculosis, uveitis, choroiditis, tuberculin skin test

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