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Monday, October 20, 2014
Research Reveals Likelihood and Onset of Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis Among Patients with Inflammatory Eye Disease
Largest retrospective study of its kind reveals that nearly 60 percent of patients with both uveitis and MS are diagnosed with each within a 5-year span
Newswise — CHICAGO – Oct. 19, 2014 – The results of the largest retrospective study of multiple sclerosis (MS) in uveitis patients has revealed that nearly 60 percent of patients with both diseases were diagnosed with each within a five-year span. The study is being presented today at AAO 2014, the 118th annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. While it has long been known that there is an association between the eye condition and MS, this is the first study to provide a detailed description of the relative onset of uveitis and MS and to calculate the likelihood of an MS diagnosis among uveitis patients.
Diagnosed in approximately 38,000 Americans a year, uveitis causes swelling and irritation of the middle layer of the eye and can lead to permanent vision loss if left untreated. It is well established in the medical community that uveitis can be a sign of MS and it is estimated that 1 to 10 percent of MS patients have uveitis. The disease affects approximately 2.3 million people worldwide, causes irreversible nerve deterioration and is notoriously difficult to diagnose.
To achieve a better understanding of the association of the two diseases, researchers from Casey Eye Institute at the Oregon Health and Science University and the University of Heidelberg, Germany conducted a database search of approximately 3,000 patients with uveitis from the Casey Eye Institute and 5,319 patients from the University of Heidelberg between 1985 and 2013. Of these, 24 patients from the Casey Eye Institute and 89 patients from the University of Heidelberg fulfilled the inclusion criteria of diagnoses for both uveitis and MS and were included in the study.
Based on the prevalence of MS in American and European populations, the researchers found that MS is 18 times and 21 times more likely in an American and European population with uveitis, respectively, relative to the general population. The study found that MS was diagnosed before uveitis in 28 (29 percent) of patients, simultaneously in 15 (15 percent) of patients and after uveitis diagnosis in 54 (56 percent) of patients.