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HLA-B27–associated uveitis: overview and current perspectives

Suhler, Eric B.a,d; Martin, Tammy M.a,b; Rosenbaum, James T.a,c

Current Opinion in Ophthalmology: December 2003 - Volume 14 - Issue 6 - p 378-383
Ocular manifestations of systemic disease

Purpose of review To review current knowledge about the pathogenesis, clinical presentation, and treatment of HLA-B27–associated uveitis, which is the most commonly identified cause of uveitis in community-based practice and an important cause of ocular morbidity.

Recent findings Significant advances have been made in understanding the pathogenesis of HLA-B27–associated ocular and systemic disease, especially with regard to the genetic underpinning of these diseases. Increasing attention has also been focused on the use of alternative therapies in the treatment of HLA-B27–associated uveitis, with special attention to sulfa class antibiotics, historically have been used to treat the articular manifestations of the spondyloarthritides, and newer drugs that inhibit tumor necrosis factor-α.

Summary The next several years promise to yield exciting new advances in understanding of the genetic epidemiology and treatment of HLA-B27–associated uveitis.

aCasey Eye Institute, bDepartment of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, and cDepartments of Medicine and Cell and Developmental Biology, Oregon Health & Science University; and dPortland VA Medical Center; Ophthalmology Service, Portland, Oregon, USA

Correspondence to Eric B. Suhler, MD, Casey Eye Institute, Oregon Health & Science University, 3375 SW Terwilliger Blvd., Portland, OR 97239, USA

Tel: 503-494-5023; fax: 503-494-6875; e-mail:

The authors are supported in part by NIH grants EY06484 (JTR), EY13139 (TMM), Research to Prevent Blindness, and the Rosenfeld Family Trust.

Drs. Suhler and Rosenbaum have served as paid consultants for Centocor, Inc. and Dr. Rosenbaum has served as a paid consultant for Amgen, Abbott Laboratories, and Targeted Genetics. Dr. Rosenbaum is a shareholder in Amgen, Inc.

© 2003 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.