Prevalence and characteristics of HTLV-associated uveitis in patients from Bahia, an endemic area for HTLV - 1 in Brazil

by | Aug 22, 2023 | Publications

Virol J. 2023 Aug 21;20(1):185. doi: 10.1186/s12985-023-02135-7.


BACKGROUND: HTLV-1-associated uveitis (HAU) is an inflammatory reaction of the choroid, retina, optic nerve and vitreous that can lead to vision impairment. The worldwide prevalence of HAU varies widely.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of HAU in patients from Salvador, Bahia-Brazil, and describe uveitis type and associated symptoms.

METHODS: Cross-sectional analytical study to determine the prevalence of uveitis in HTLV-1-infected patients recruited in Bahia, Brazil, a region considered endemic for HTLV-1. Patients were enrolled at a local reference center for HTLV (infected) and at an outpatient ophthalmology clinic (noninfected group). All patients were examined by the same ophthalmologist following a single protocol. Prevalence ratios (PR) were calculated.

RESULTS: A total of 168 consecutively examined HTLV-1-infected patients and 410 noninfected patients (randomly selected) were included. Females predominated (82.1%) in the HTLV-1-infected group (versus 64.4% in the uninfected group) (p < 0.001). The mean age of infected and uninfected patients was 53.2 and 62.8 years, respectively (p < 0.001). The prevalence of uveitis in HTLV-1+ and HTLV-1- patients was 7.14% and 0.73%, respectively (PR = 9.76; 95CI%:2.79-34.15; p < 0.01). Bilateral intermediate uveitis, associated with symptoms including visual disturbances and floaters, was most commonly identified in the HTLV-1-infected patients, whereas unilateral anterior uveitis, in association with symptoms such as blurring and ocular pain, was more common in the uninfected group.

CONCLUSION: The prevalence of uveitis in patients with HTLV-1 was markedly higher than in uninfected subjects. HAU patients were mostly asymptomatic and exhibited bilateral presentation, with uveitis more frequently localized in the intermediate chamber.

PMID:37605273 | DOI:10.1186/s12985-023-02135-7

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