Epidemiology of disease-activity related ophthalmological manifestations in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: a systematic review

Nitish Jawahar, Jessica Walker, Phil Murray, Caroline Gordon, John Reynolds

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Abstract

Objective
Ophthalmic complications in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) are broad and can occur in up to a third of patients. The British Isles Lupus Assessment Group (BILAG) 2004 Index identifies 13 ocular manifestations of active SLE, as opposed to those related to previous disease activity and/or the consequences of therapy. We conducted a systematic review of published literature to determine the frequency of ophthalmic manifestations of active SLE.

Methods
A systematic literature search of Ovid MEDLINE and EMBASE from their respective inceptions to July 2020 was conducted to identify cohort, case–control and cross-sectional studies.

Results
22 studies meeting eligibility criteria were included. Most studies featured small sample sizes and were judged to have a high risk of methodological bias. The number and quality of studies did not allow us to confidently estimate the incidence of the conditions. No studies reported epidemiological data for orbital inflammation/myositis/proptosis. The prevalence of each of the other ocular manifestations, with the exception of retinal vaso-occlusive disease, was consistently less than 5%. Retinal vasculitis, uveitis and isolated cotton wool spots tended to be associated with more active SLE disease.

Conclusion
The prevalence of eye disease due to SLE activity is uncommon, but clinicians should be aware that some conditions tend to be associated with more active systemic disease. Further studies to determine the incidence and risk factors for these ophthalmic manifestations are needed.
Original languageEnglish
JournalLupus
Early online date20 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Systematic review
  • Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
  • British Isles Lupus Assessment Group
  • ophthalmic
  • epidemiology
  • prevalence

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