The Prevalence and Significance of Uveitis in Ankylosing Spondylitis and Other Spondyloarthropathies
Uveitis is defined as inflammation in the uveal tract, which is the middle layer of the eye. In chronic and recurrent cases, visual acuity can be affected. Anterior uveitis is the most common form of uveitis and is the most frequent extraarticular manifestation of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients. Conversely, AS and other spondyloarthropathies (SpA) are the most common underlying diseases associated with anterior uveitis. Both anterior uveitis and spondyloarthropathy have a genetic association with the HLA-B27 allele. Uveitis can be the initial clinical manifestation of SpA patients and may contribute to the diagnosis of previously unknown SpA diseases. The pattern and prevalence of uveitis differ among the various SpA diseases. Uveitis is not only the ocular inflammation of SpA disease, but is also associated with various characteristics of the disease entity; it has a systemic importance beyond intra-ocular inflammation, and physicians must be aware of the significance to facilitate the early diagnosis and treatment of uveitis and related SpA illness.
Keywords: Uveitis, ankylosing spondylitis, spondyloarthropathy, undifferentiated spondyloarthritis
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