SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.71 issue6Photodynamic therapy in periocular basal cell carcinoma: case reportToric intraocular lens implantation for cataract and irregular astigmatism related to pellucid marginal degeneration: case report author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



  • English (pdf)
  • Article in xml format
  • How to cite this article
  • SciELO Analytics
  • Curriculum ScienTI
  • Automatic translation


Related links


Revista Brasileira de Oftalmologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7280

Rev. bras.oftalmol. vol.71 no.6 Rio de Janeiro Nov./Dec. 2012 



Uveitis as first manifestation of probably Crohn's disease


Uveíte como primeira manifestação de provável doença de Crohn



Ieda Maria Alexandre BarreiraI; Ricardo Evangelista Marrocos de AragãoII; Ariosto Bezerra ValeIII; Virgínia Apolônio VieiraIV; Luanna Biana Costa BezerraIV

IHospital de Olhos de Iguatu - Igatu (CE), Brazil
IIHospital Universitário Walter Cantídio Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC) - Fortaleza (CE), Brazil
IIIPrograma de Residência do Serviço de Oftalmologia do Hospital Universitário Walter Cantídio, Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC) - Fortaleza (CE), Brazil
IVPrograma de Residência do Serviço de Oftalmologia do Hospital Universitário Walter Cantídio, Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC) - Fortaleza (CE), Brazil. Study carried out at Universidade Federal do Ceará (UFC) - Fortaleza (CE), Brazil

Endereço para correspondência




Extraintestinal manifestations of Crohn's disease are common. Although ocular complications of Crohn's disease are infrequent, most ocular manifestations include iritis, uveitis, episcleritis, scleritis and conjuntivitis. We report a patient who developed uveitis two years before diagnose of Crohn's disease.

Keywords: Crohn disease/complications; Inflamatory bowel diseases/complications; Uveitis/etiology; Colitis, ulcerative; Optic disk ; Case reports


Manifestações extraintestinais da doença de Crohn são comuns. As manifestações oculares são infrequentes e caracterizam-se em sua maioria por irite, uveíte, episclerite, esclerite e conjuntivite. Relatamos o caso de uma paciente que desenvolveu uveíte dois anos antes de firmado o diagnóstico de doenca de Crohn.

Descritores: Doença de Crohn/complicações; Doenças inflamatórias intestinais/complicações; Uveíte/etiologia; Colite ulcerativa; Disco óptico ; Relatos de casos




Crohn's disease (CD) is a sistemyc inflammatory disease which primarily involves the intestine but pontecially affect many organs such as the kidney and eye.(1) The eye is involved in 4 to 6% of patients and a wide spectrum of conditions may occur. The ocular involvement may occur before or after the bowel symptoms anterior segment changes such as episcleritis, scleritis, keratitis and iridocyclitis are the commom eye manifestations(2). Optic disc swelling and other posterior segment manifestations are rare(3). Other manifestations as chroidal infiltrates, cystoid macular edema and serous macular detachment has been less frequently documented(2). We describe a case with CD and panuveites, optic disc swelling, chroidal infiltrates and glaucoma.



A 29-year-old white woman presented with ocular pain in the right eye for two days. On examination, the best correct visual acuity (BCVA) was found to be: right eye (OD) 20/25, left eye (OS) 20/20, fundoscopy revealed optic disc swelling and afferent pupillary defect in OD. The anterior segments were normal with no evidence of intraocular inflamation in both eyes (OU). The perimetry in the OD revealed a paracentral scotoma. Neurological examination and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was otherwise non-contributory. One week later the fundoscopy revealed macular star (Figure 1). Sorological examination were negative for syphilis, toxoplasmose, bartonella hanselae and tuberculin skin test were also negative. Urinary, and completed serum blood examitation was normal.



Three weeks later the patient presented with anterior chamber cels 2+ , haze 1+ keratic precipitates, vitritis 2+, intra-ocular pressure 48mmHg, choroidal infiltrates and BCVA 20/40 in OD (Figure 2). Biochemical, infectious and rheumatic screens were negative. The patient was treated with prednisolone sodium phosphate 0.5%, atropine 1%, timolol 0.5%, brimonidine, brinzolamide eye drops. The intraocular inflamation and visual acuity has improved OD 20/25. After three months the intra-ocular inflamation recurred. At this time the patient was treated with topical and sistemic steroides with improvement. Completed infection, serum examination was repeted and reveled negative. Patient followed with intra-ocular inflation intermittently.



After two years, she developed arthitis and perianal fistula, when she was diagnostic with Crohn's disease which was cofirmed by colonoscopy and biopsy.

Treatment wih infliximab was instituted with improvement of bowel and joint symptoms controled of the intra-ocular inflamation.



Ophthalmic complications of IBD (inflamatory bowel diseases) have been reconigzed ever since the first description of two patient with conjuntivitis and corneal infiltrates resembling « xerophthalmia » by Crohn in 1925(4,5).

Several possible machanism for the ocular involvement in Crohn's disease have been sugested. Among them are hyper-sensitivity reaction based on autoimmune mechanism and a greater incidence of throboembolic phenomena. No absolut correlation has been shown to exist between the severity of the systemic disease and the appearence of the ocular manifestations(6).

Different incidence rate of ocular complications of IBD are reported in the literature. A recent study reported that the incidence of ocular involviment was 4-10% in CD and 8% in ulcerative colitis(4). Uveitis is the main ocular manifestation of the IBD(7,8). Common ocular features in CD include include anterior uveitis, episcleritis and more rarely scleritis, keratitis, orbital pseudotumour and retinal vasculitis which may cause retinal artery occlusion(8). Chroidal infiltrates, optic neuritis, cystoid macular edema and serous macular detachment has been less frequently documented(2).

In this report our patient has an onset with disc swelling, anterior chamber reaction and chroidal infiltrates two years before the sistemic manifstations of CD. This ressalts the dificult to diagnose in some cases of the uveitis and the importance of good follow-up with the ophthalmologist and a multidisciplinar team.



1. Unal A, Sipahioglu MH, Akgun H, Yurci A, Tokgoz B, Erkilic K, et al. Crohn's disease complicated by granulomatous interstitial nephritis, choroidal neovascularization, and central retinal vein occlusion. Intern Med. 2008;47(2):103-7.         [ Links ]

2. Saatci OA, Koçak N, Durak I, Ergin MH. Unilateral retinal vasculitis, branch retinal artery occlusion and subsequent retinal neovascularization in Crohn's disease. Int Ophthalmol. 2001;24(2): 89-92.         [ Links ]

3. Walker JC, Selva D, Pietris G, Crompton JL. Optic disc swelling in Crohn's disease. Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. 1998;26(4):329-32. Erratum in Aust N Z J Ophthalmol. 1999;27(2):161.         [ Links ]

4. Yilmaz S, Aydemir E, Maden A, Unsal B. The prevalence of ocular involvement in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Int J Colorectal Dis. 2007;22(9):1027-30.         [ Links ]

5. Hopkins DJ, Horan E, Burton IL, Clamp SE, de Dombal FT, Goligher JC. Ocular disorders in a series of 332 patients with Crohn's disease. Br J Ophthalmol. 1974;58(8):732-7.         [ Links ]

6. Yassur Y, Snir M, Melamed S, Ben-Sira I. Bilateral maculopathy simulating 'cherry-red spot' in a patient with Crohn's disease. Br J Ophthalmol. 1981;65(3):184-8.         [ Links ]

7. Chaoui Z, Bernoussi A, Belmekki M, Berraho A. Uvéites et maladies inflammatoires chroniques de l'intestin: à propos de 3 cas. J Fr Ophtalmol. 2005;28(8):854-6.         [ Links ]

8. Soomro H, Armstrong M, Graham EM, Stanford MR. Sudden loss of vision caused by a vasculitic ophthalmic artery occlusion in a patient with ankylosing spondylitis and Crohn's disease. Br J Ophthalmol. 2006;90(11):1438.         [ Links ]



Endereço para correspondência:
Ricardo Evangelista Marrocos de Aragão
Rua Osvaldo Cruz, 2335
CEP 60125-151
Dionísio Torres - Fortaleza (CE), Brasil

Recebido para publicação em: 4/4/2011
Aceito para publicação em: 13/2/2012
The authors declare no conflicts of interest

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License