International Ophthalmology

, Volume 38, Issue 6, pp 2389–2395 | Cite as

Review of people with retinal vasculitis and positive QuantiFERON®-TB Gold test in an area nonendemic for tuberculosis

  • David R. Brunner
  • Sandrine A. Zweifel
  • Daniel Barthelmes
  • Fabio Meier
  • Christian BöniEmail author
Original Paper



To assess the frequency of a positive QuantiFERON®-TB Gold test (quantiferon) among patients with retinal vasculitis in an area nonendemic for tuberculosis (TB); to review clinical characteristics and management of affected individuals.


Consecutive patients with retinal vasculitis and a positive quantiferon were retrospectively analyzed. Demographics, clinical data, laboratory, imaging findings, and therapy were evaluated.


Among 49 patients with retinal vasculitis, 12 (24%) had a positive quantiferon. Median age was 37 years, there were five female patients. Five individuals (42%) had previously lived in a country endemic for TB. Retinal vasculitis was occlusive in six patients (50%). On chest imaging, pulmonary tuberculosis was suspected in one patient (8.3%). Treatment modalities included full antitubercular treatment (n = 1), isoniazid prophylaxis (n = 6), systemic corticosteroids (n = 8), and laser treatment (n = 5). After a median follow-up of 27.5 months, inflammation was inactive (n = 6) or recurrently present (n = 6). No patient lost ≥ 2 lines of best-corrected visual acuity during follow-up.


The quantiferon test is recommended in the evaluation of people with retinal vasculitis. Interpretation of a positive result can be challenging in a country nonendemic for TB. The majority of patients with quantiferon-positive retinal vasculitis were found to have latent TB.


Uveitis Retinal vasculitis Tuberculosis Quantiferon Tbc-related ocular inflammation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Dr. Brunner declares no conflict of interest. Dr. Zweifel has received speaker and consultant honoraria from Bayer AG, Novartis AG, and Allergan AG. Dr. Barthelmes has received a speaker honorarium and research funding from Bayer AG and Novartis AG. Dr. Meier declares no conflict of interest. Dr.Böni had served on advisory boards for AbbVie AG and Novartis AG and has received travel support from Bayer AG.

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

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants seen after January 2014, according to the guidelines of the local ethics committee.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology, University Hospital ZurichUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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