To examine the characteristics and visual outcome in 207 patients with retinal vasculitis.
Demographic and visual outcome data were collected retrospectively from the ophthalmologic records of 207 cases (321 affected eyes). Descriptive analysis was performed on all cases and visual outcome analysis was performed for the 114 cases with visual acuity recorded at 2 or more visits. The Kaplan-Meier method and Cox regression were used to examine visual outcome and predictors for prognosis.
Patients in our series had a roughly even distribution of sex, were predominantly non-Hispanic white (77.8%), and had bilateral disease (75.7%). The annualized mean visual acuity change for the 203 eyes (114 patients) with some follow-up was 0.01 logMAR unit per year. Although 75 eyes (36.9%) had 20/25 or better visual acuity at baseline, 33.6% of the remaining eyes experienced visual acuity improvement of at least 2 lines on the Snellen chart during follow-up and some continued to improve more than 9 years after the initial evaluation. Cox multivariate analysis demonstrated that patients who were nonwhite, had worse visual acuity at baseline, or who had an ocular infection were more likely to experience improvement by this definition.
We believe that this is the first US case series to investigate visual outcome in patients with this diagnosis. Although many patients in our series worsened despite therapy, a subset experienced substantial improvement.