Uveitis is an intraocular inflammatory condition that affects mainly the uveal tract – iris, ciliary body and the choroid. Uveitis is broadly classified as anterior, intermediate, posterior and panuveitis. Information on prevalence of uveitis, it types and clinical presentation in Mbarara, Southwestern Uganda is scanty. The study aimed at addressing this gap.
Aim: To determine the proportion, clinical presentation and factors associated with uveitis among adult patients presenting with red eye seen at Mbarara University and Referral Hospital Eye Centre and Ruharo Eye Centre, Southwestern Uganda.
Methods: This facility-based cross-sectional study was conducted at Mbarara University and Referral Hospital Eye Centre and Ruharo Eye Centre between October 2017 and March 2018. The study targeted patients who were 18 years and older and presented with a red eye or had symptoms and signs of uveitis. We collected socio-demographic, behavioural and clinical data from patients who consented. The patients were fully examined and ocular investigations were done. Analysis of data provided prevalence which was expressed as proportion of uveitis among the adult patients. Clinical presentation and complications were described and factors associated with uveitis were established using logistic regression and presented as Odds Ratios (ORs).
Results: A total of 401 adult patients were recruited in the study and those with uveitis were 131 giving prevalence among patients with red eye and those with symptoms and signs of uveitis as 32.7% (95% CI 27.10 – 36.24). Overall prevalence among all adults was 1.6%. Mean age was 39.1 ±15.1. Male patients accounted for 55.1% and the commonest type of disease was anterior uveitis (82.4%). Complications identified were posterior synechiae, cataract and secondary glaucoma. In multivariate analysis statistically significant factors were history of trauma ([AOR 2.5, 95% CI 1.59 – 3.88]) and history of cataract surgery ([AOR 11.2, 95% CI 2.34 – 53.52]).
Conclusion: Prevalence of uveitis in the general adult population is low. Clinical factors associated with uveitis were history of trauma and history of cataract surgery. Health care providers need to have the skills of identifying and treating uveitis earlier to avoid complications and eventual loss of vision.