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  • Comprehensive Ophthalmology, Uveitis

    Review of: A multicenter study of ocular inflammation after COVIDÔÇÉ19 vaccination

    Yasaka Y, Hasegawa E, Keino H, et al. Japanese Journal of Ophthalmology, in press 2022

    Investigators used retrospective data to identify which uveitis-related diseases might be linked to COVID-19 vaccination.

    Study design

    This was a Japanese retrospective multicenter study of 37 cases of patients diagnosed with ocular inflammatory events within 14 days of COVID-19 vaccination between February 2021 and December 2021. Clinicians filled out a questionnaire regarding the each patient's clinical exam and characteristics of the inflammation.

    Outcomes

    Fifteen of the 37 cases occurred after the first vaccination and 22 occurred after the second vaccination; mean time to onset after vaccination was 6.3 days. Twenty-nine cases were first episodes of inflammation, and the remaining cases were recurrences. The primary types of uveitis-related disease seen were Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) syndrome or VKH-like uveitis; other types noted were anterior uveitis, infectious uveitis, and sarcoidosis-associated uveitis. Acute retinal necrosis and tuberculosis-associated uveitis were also seen.

    Limitations

    A significant limitation of the study is that it is based on information from a retrospective questionnaire survey; therefore, causation cannot be proven. Because the COVID-19 vaccination rate in Japan is so high, the authors noted that it would be difficult to conduct a prospective trial with an unvaccinated control group there.

    Clinical significance

    Vaccination is an important protective measure against COVID-19–related complications. While uveitis cases have been reported around the time of COVID vaccination, additional data are needed to confirm causation.

    Financial Disclosures: Dr. Ashleigh Laurin Levison discloses financial relationships with AbbVie (Lecture Fees/Speakers Bureau); Clearside Biomedical (Consultant); Santen (Consultant).