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The diagnostic yield of vitrectomy specimen analysis in chronic idiopathic endogenous uveitis

Abstract

PURPOSE. The low diagnostic yield of vitrectomy specimen analysis in chronic idiopathic uveitis (CIU) has been related to the complex nature of the underlying disease and to methodologic and tissue immanent factors in older studies. In an attempt to evaluate the impact of recently acquired analytic methods, the authors assessed the current diagnostic yield in CIU. METHODS. Retrospective analysis of consecutive vitrectomy specimens from patients with chronic endogenous uveitis (n = 56) in whom extensive systemic workup had not revealed a specific diagnosis (idiopathic) and medical treatment had not resulted in a satisfying clinical situation. Patients with acute postoperative endophthalmitis served a basis for methodologic comparison (Group 2; n = 21). RESULTS. In CIU, a specific diagnosis provided in 17.9% and a specific diagnosis excluded in 21.4%. In 60.7% the laboratory investigations were inconclusive. In postoperative endophthalmitis, microbiological culture established the infectious agent in 47.6%. In six of eight randomly selected cases, eubacterial PCR identified bacterial DNA confirming the culture results in three, remaining negative in two with a positive culture and being positive in three no growth specimens. A double negative result never occurred, suggesting a very high detection rate, when both tests were applied. CONCLUSIONS. The diagnostic yield of vitrectomy specimen analysis has not been improved by currently routinely applied methods in recent years in contrast to the significantly improved sensitivity of combined standardized culture and PCR analysis in endophthalmitis. Consequently, the low diagnostic yield in CIU has to be attributed to insufficient understanding of the underlying pathophysiologic mechanisms.

Eur J Ophthalmol 2006; 16(4): 588 - 594

Article Type: ORIGINAL RESEARCH ARTICLE

Authors

J.G. Garweg, D. Wanner, G.-M. Sarra, M. Altwegg, H. Loosli, L. Kodjikian, M. Halberstadt

Article History

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