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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital

Uveitis in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: 18-Year Outcome in the Population-based Nordic Cohort Study

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  • Veronika Rypdal
  • Mia Glerup
  • Nils Thomas Songstad
  • Geir Bertelsen
  • Terje Christoffersen
  • Ellen D Arnstad
  • Kristiina Aalto
  • Lillemor Berntson
  • Anders Fasth
  • Troels Herlin
  • Maria Ekelund
  • Suvi Peltoniemi
  • Peter Toftedal
  • Susan Nielsen
  • Sanna Leinonen
  • Regitze Bangsgaard
  • Rasmus Nielsen
  • Marite Rygg
  • Ellen Nordal
  • Nordic Study Group of Pediatric Rheumatology
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PURPOSE: To assess the long-term outcome of uveitis in juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA).

DESIGN: Population-based, multicenter, prospective JIA cohort, with a cross-sectional assessment of JIA-associated uveitis (JIA-U) 18 years after the onset of JIA.

PARTICIPANTS: A total of 434 patients with JIA, of whom 96 had uveitis, from defined geographic areas of Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

METHODS: Patients with onset of JIA between January 1997 and June 2000 were prospectively followed for 18 years. Pediatric rheumatologists and ophthalmologists collected clinical and laboratory data.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Cumulative incidence of uveitis and clinical characteristics, JIA and uveitis disease activity, ocular complications, visual outcome, and risk factors associated with the development of uveitis-related complications.

RESULTS: Uveitis developed in 96 (22.1%) of 434 patients with JIA. In 12 patients (2.8%), uveitis was diagnosed between 8 and 18 years of follow-up. Systemic immunosuppressive medication was more common among patients with uveitis (47/96 [49.0%]) compared with patients without uveitis (78/338 [23.1%]). Active uveitis was present in 19 of 78 patients (24.4%) at the 18-year visit. Ocular complications occurred in 31 of 80 patients (38.8%). Short duration between the onset of JIA and the diagnosis of uveitis was a risk factor for developing ocular complications (odds ratio [OR], 1.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1-1.8). Patients with a diagnosis of uveitis before the onset of JIA all developed cataract and had an OR for development of glaucoma of 31.5 (95% CI, 3.6-274). Presence of antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) was also a risk factor for developing 1 or more ocular complications (OR, 3.0; 95% CI, 1.2-7.7). Decreased visual acuity (VA) <6/12 was found in 12 of 135 eyes (8.9%) with uveitis, and 4 of 80 patients (5.0%) with JIA-U had binocular decreased VA <6/12.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that uveitis screening should start immediately when the diagnosis of JIA is suspected or confirmed and be continued for more than 8 years after the diagnosis of JIA. Timely systemic immunosuppressive treatment in patients with a high risk of developing ocular complications must be considered early in the disease course to gain rapid control of ocular inflammation.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)598-608
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

    Research areas

  • disease activity, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, long-term outcome, ocular complications, population-based, prospective, risk factors for ocular complications, SUN criteria, treatment, uveitis, uveitis cumulative incidence

ID: 62108132