April 2011
Volume 52, Issue 14
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   April 2011
Epidemiology Of Uveitis In The Bronx
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Alexandra A. Herzlich
    Dept of Ophthalmology,
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York
  • Irena Tsui
    Dept of Ophthalmology,
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York
  • David C. Gritz
    Dept of Ophthalmology,
    Dept of Epidemiology,
    Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, New York
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships  Alexandra A. Herzlich, None; Irena Tsui, None; David C. Gritz, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science April 2011, Vol.52, 4287. doi:
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      Alexandra A. Herzlich, Irena Tsui, David C. Gritz; Epidemiology Of Uveitis In The Bronx. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2011;52(14):4287.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Uveitis is estimated to cause 2.8 to 10% of blindness; however our knowledge of the epidemiology of uveitis among people of color is limited. The purpose of this study is to examine the epidemiology of uveitis in an ethnically diverse community in the Bronx, which includes 48% Latinos (of which 50% are Puerto Rican, 21% Dominican, 5% Mexican, and 23% other groups).


This is a retrospective study of patients seen from January 2009 through November 2010 with a diagnosis of endogenous uveitis. Inclusion criteria were the standard clinical definition of endogenous uveitis. Outpatient diagnosis codes from eye clinic appointments at the Montefiore Medical Center were searched for possible cases. Medical records for all possible cases were reviewed to confirm inclusion criteria and gather demographic and clinical data, including findings, work-up, and diagnoses.


Diagnosis codes yielded 230 patients and 92 met inclusion criteria (61 females, 31 males). Ages ranged from 6 to 91 years (mean 44). Sixty five patients (68%) presented with their first episode and 29 with a recurrence (30%) for a total of 96 clinical encounters. Anatomically, 62 (67%) patients had anterior uveitis, 10 (11%) had intermediate uveitis, and 3 (3%) had posterior uveitis. Bilateral disease was present in 25 (27%) patients and 66 (72%) were unilateral. Patients had the following systemic diagnoses on presentation: sarcoidosis (n=7), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (n=2), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) (n=2), HIV-positive (n=3), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) (n=2) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS) (n=2). Following clinic exam and work-up, sixty two percent of first episodes were idiopathic (n=40), with other causes including sarcoidosis at 8% (n=5), herpes virus at 8% (n=5), AS at 5% (n=3), and inflammatory bowel disease making up 3% (n=2). In recurrent episodes, 62% were again idiopathic (n=18), with sarcoidosis, Lyme, and JIA each representing 7% (n=2).


This study characterizes a unique, ethnically diverse population in the Bronx, served by an urban, general ophthalmology clinic. This cohort is similar in age, gender, anatomical location of uveitis, and percentage of patients with systemic disease, as compared to other population studies. As expected most cases of uveitis were idiopathic, with a considerable number of cases corresponding to systemic diseases. Currently, a prospective study of uveitis epidemiology is underway.

Keywords: autoimmune disease • clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: prevalence/incidence • uveitis-clinical/animal model 

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