Association of Anterior Uveitis With Acute Zika Virus Infection in Adults

Yacine Troumani, Sara Touhami, Timothy L Jackson, Camila V Ventura, Dinu Michel Stanescu-Segall, Marie-Helene Errera, Dominique Rousset, Bahram Bodaghi, Guilhem Cartry, Thierry David, Laurence Beral

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Importance: Acute anterior uveitis has been reported to be associated with Zika virus (ZIKV) infection in case reports and retrospective studies based on systemic clinical signs of ZIKV and positive serologic tests.

Objective: To describe the ophthalmic findings associated with systemic ZIKV infection during the 2016 ZIKV outbreak in Guadeloupe in the French West Indies.

Design, Setting, and Participants: This cohort study assessed adult patients with red eye and virologic or serologic confirmation of acute ZIKV infection who were admitted to the Pointe-à-Pitre University Hospital from January 1, 2016, to January 1, 2017, for a systematic ophthalmologic examination. All patients with anterior uveitis also underwent a complete uveitis workup to rule out other causes of uveitis. Patients were excluded from the study if they had active uveitis and a history of uveitis or positive serology for other infectious diseases including dengue fever virus and chikungunya virus. Data were analyzed from January 1, 2016, to January 1, 2017.

Exposures: Patients with confirmed ZIKV infection underwent full ophthalmic examination at study inception and 3, 6, and 12 months.

Main Outcomes and Measures: Description of the presenting ocular characteristics, management, and outcome.

Results: Of 62 total patients with a red eye, 32 (51.6%) had no uveitis (mean [SD] age, 27.8 [3.7] years; 26 women [81.3%]) and 30 (48.4%) had anterior uveitis (mean [SD] age, 27.5 [3.8] years; 26 women [86.7%]), which was bilateral in all cases. Acute anterior uveitis was nongranulomatous and without synechiae, exhibiting mild anterior chamber reaction with small keratic precipitates. Ocular hypertension occurred in 25 patients (83.3%) with uveitis at presentation and persisted in 15 patients (50%) at 1 year despite antiglaucoma therapy and control of uveitis. Uveitis responded to topical steroids in all cases. Intraocular pressure was within normal limits for all patients without uveitis throughout the follow-up period.

Conclusions and Relevance: Anterior uveitis was present in almost half of patients with a red eye and acute systemic ZIKV infection; the uveitis was usually bilateral and often associated with increased intraocular pressure. These results suggest that ophthalmic evaluation should be performed in patients with red eye and acute ZIKV infection to potentially detect and manage hypertensive anterior uveitis.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJAMA Ophthalmology
Early online date25 Nov 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Nov 2020


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