Retinal vasculitis

James T. Rosenbaum, Cailin H. Sibley, Phoebe Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Ophthalmologists and rheumatologists frequently have a miscommunication among themselves, and as a result differ in their opinion for patients consulting them with retinal vasculitis. This report seeks to establish a common understanding of the term, retinal vasculitis, and to review recent studies on this diagnosis. Recent findings The genetic basis of some rare forms of retinal vascular disease has recently been described. Identified genes include CAPN5, TREX1, and TNFAIP3; Behçet's disease is a systemic illness that is very commonly associated with occlusive retinal vasculitis; retinal imaging, including fluorescein angiography and other newer imaging modalities, has proven crucial to the identification and characterization of retinal vasculitis and its complications; although monoclonal antibodies to interleukin-17A or interleukin-1 beta failed in trials for Behçet's disease, antibodies to TNF-alpha, either infliximab or adalimumab, have demonstrated consistent benefit in managing this disease. Interferon treatment and B-cell depletion therapy via rituximab may be beneficial in certain types of retinal vasculitis. Summary Retinal vasculitis is an important entity for rheumatologists to understand. Retinal vasculitis associated with Behçet's disease responds to monoclonal antibodies that neutralize TNF, but the many other forms of noninfectious retinal vasculitis may require alternate therapeutic management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent opinion in rheumatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2016


  • Behcet's disease
  • Fluorescein angiography
  • Retinal vasculitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


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