To describe the epidemiology of non-infectious uveitis (NIU) in two tertiary referral rheumatology units in Central and Southern Italy.
Two hundred and seventy-eight consecutive NIU patients (417 eyes) evaluated between January 2016 and January 2017 were enrolled. Collected data were analysed in accordance with the primary anatomic site of inflammation, clinical course, and laterality.
The mean age at NIU onset was 36.92±18.30 years with a female-to-male ratio of 1.34:1. Anterior uveitis (AU) was identified in 151 (54.32%), posterior uveitis (PU) in 67 (24.10%), intermediate uveitis (IU) in 5.40% and panuveitis (PanU) in 16.19% patients. Bilateral involvement was identified in 50% of our cohort. Uveitis was acute in 33.81% of patients, while 24.46% and 41.73% had a chronic and recurrent course, respectively. Gender and laterality did not influence the anatomical pattern, while disease course was significantly more acute or chronic in AU (p<0.05) and chronic in IU (p<0.05). An associated systemic disease was identified in 116 patients (41.73%). Twenty-seven patients (9.7%) had a specific isolated eye disease, 135 patients (48.56%) had idiopathic NIU. Uveitis associated with a systemic disease was significantly bilateral (p=0.01) and acute or chronic (p<0.0001), while the isolated form showed an association with chronic course (p<0.0001) and unilaterality (p=0.01).
The most common anatomic pattern of NIU has been AU, followed by PU, PanU and IU. A systemic disease (mainly Behçet's disease, ankylosing spondylitis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis) has been recognised in a fair proportion of the entire cohort. The rheumatologist should remain a central professional figure in the multidisciplinary team dealing with intraocular inflammation on a daily basis.