Acute anterior uveitis and undiagnosed spondyloarthritis: usefulness of Berlin criteria

  • Jean Wach
  • Delphine Maucort-Boulch
  • Laurent Kodjikian
  • Jean Iwaz
  • Christiane Broussolle
  • Pascal Sève
Inflammatory Disorders



Inflammatory back pain, the main symptom in spondyloarthritis, is defined by the presence of two or more positive responses among the four items of Berlin Criteria. This study assesses the value of these criteria in detecting previously undiagnosed spondyloarthritis after an episode of acute anterior uveitis.


Records of patients addressed for etiological diagnosis after an acute anterior uveitis (April 2006 to November 2013) were retrospectively analysed. Patient characteristics, the presence of back pain, Berlin Criteria, the final diagnosis, and the ASAS classification criteria for spondyloarthritis were collected and analysed.


The study included 102 patients (59.8 % women). The mean age was 44.5 years. Uveitis cases were mainly unilateral (73.5 %) and recurrent (58.8 %). Twenty-one patients had some type of spondyloarthritis, 20 fulfilling retrospectively the ASAS criteria. Back pain with at least two positive items from Berlin Criteria was 61.9 % sensitive and 97.5 % specific in diagnosing spondyloarthritis. Considering only one positive item increased the sensitivity (90.5 %) but decreased the specificity (91.4 %).


Acute anterior uveitis may be the key symptom that reveals a formerly undiagnosed spondyloarthritis. A referral to a rheumatologist should be considered in presence of back pain, even without fulfilment of the classical definition with Berlin Criteria.


Anterior uveitis Spondylarthropathies Back pain Diagnosis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean Wach
    • 1
    • 2
  • Delphine Maucort-Boulch
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Laurent Kodjikian
    • 1
    • 5
  • Jean Iwaz
    • 1
    • 3
    • 4
  • Christiane Broussolle
    • 1
    • 6
  • Pascal Sève
    • 1
    • 6
  1. 1.Université Claude Bernard Lyon ILyonFrance
  2. 2.Rheumatology DepartmentCentre Hospitalier Lyon-Sud, Hospices Civils de LyonPierre-BéniteFrance
  3. 3.Service de BiostatistiqueHospices Civils de LyonLyonFrance
  4. 4.CNRS, UMR5558, Laboratoire de Biométrie et Biologie EvolutiveVilleurbanneFrance
  5. 5.Ophthalmology DepartmentHôpital de la Croix-Rousse, Hospices Civils de LyonLyonFrance
  6. 6.Internal Medicine DepartmentHôpital de la Croix-Rousse, Hospices Civils de LyonCedex 04France

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