International Ophthalmology

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 2273–2282 | Cite as

The efficacy of latent tuberculosis treatment for immunocompetent uveitis patients with a positive T-SPOT.TB test: 6-year experience in a tuberculosis endemic region

  • Chung Yee ChungEmail author
  • Kenneth K. W. Li
Original Paper



To assess the efficacy of latent tuberculosis (TB) treatment for immunocompetent uveitis patients with a positive T-SPOT.TB test.


This is a consecutive case series of all T-SPOT.TB positive latent TB patients with presumed tuberculous uveitis managed with anti-tuberculous therapy (ATT) from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2015. Patients with active TB or other known causes of uveitis, immunocompromised states and those followed up < 12 months were excluded. Descriptive statistics and hypothesis testing were performed, with a significance level of p < 0.05 taken.


Among the 75 T-SPOT.TB tests performed for uveitis, 14 cases were enrolled. Mycobacterium tuberculosis was isolated in none of the sputum and intraocular samples. Most cases had posterior uveitis (10/14 cases, 71.4%) and/or intermediate uveitis (9/14 cases, 64.3%). Vasculitis was predominantly occlusive. The mean presenting best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) was 0.18, improving to 0.44 at 6 months (p = 0.03) and 0.40 at 12 months. (p = 0.03). At 1 year, remission of uveitis was achieved in 92.9%, in which none of them recurred at the last follow-up. High-dose systemic steroid was required in 50% of patients. Only 1 patient was steroid dependent at 18 months. The BCVA improvement in patients treated with or without steroid was comparable.


In a TB-endemic region with wide Bacille Calmette–Guerin vaccination coverage, ATT for immunocompetent uveitis patients with latent TB identified from T-SPOT.TB test can improve vision, induce long-term steroid-free remission, and prevent recurrence and systemic reactivation of TB in those who require steroid.


Tuberculosis Uveitis Diagnostic tests Therapeutics 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

For this type of study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of OphthalmologyUnited Christian HospitalKowloonHong Kong SAR
  2. 2.Department of OphthalmologyTseung Kwan O HospitalNew TerritoriesHong Kong SAR
  3. 3.Department of Ophthalmology, LKS Faculty of MedicineThe University of Hong KongHong KongHong Kong SAR

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