J Correia, P Barbosa, P Paiva, A Ferreira, C Vasconcelos, B Leão, M Marques, P Torres, H Branco, B M Da Silva


Uveitis is a general term that refers to the inflammation of uveal tract, which is an important cause of blindness in young people. It is well known that uveitis can be the initial manifestation of a systemic disease (S.D.), and may appear years before the diagnosis of the primary disease. Uveitis should be integrated in a systemic study with proper testing. Therefore, the diagnosis is a matter for the ophthalmologist and the Specialist in internal medicine. We have made a retrospective study of 71 patients with chronic uveitis or panuveitis. We found 54.9% of primary uveitis and 45.1% of S.D. associated uveitis, most of them with Behçet's disease (16/71) and Ankylosing Spondilytis (7/71). HLA typing of the patients showed a decreased frequency of HLA A1 and HLA A3 antigens and an increased frequency of the HLA B27 antigen, when compared to a Portuguese control population. We confirmed the important role of HLA B27 as an independent susceptibility factor for anterior uveitis. The lowest HLA A3 frequency was observed in the group of S.D. associated uveitis, which could suggest that this antigen may play a role as a factor of resistance to uveitis.

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