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Uveal effusion syndrome mimicking severe chronic posterior uveitis: a case series of seven eyes of four patients

  • Medical Ophthalmology
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To describe the clinical findings and management of eyes affected by uveal effusion syndrome (UES) presenting with clinical features mimicking inflammatory ocular diseases, treated using individualized surgical approaches.


We report a consecutive interventional case series of seven eyes of four patients affected by UES. On presentation in our clinic, all patients showed signs of steroid effects as a consequence of a presumptive diagnosis; one eye had undergone vitrectomy for retinal detachment (RD), without benefit. Diagnosis of UES was based on ophthalmic examination, ultrasonography, fluorescein angiography, biometry and magnetic resonance imaging. Five eyes with active disease were treated using scleral thinning surgical procedures based on the extent and characteristics of the disease: sclerectomy sites were ultrasound-guided to the area of maximal choroidal swelling, associated with evacuative puncture in the case of bilateral funnel-shaped RD.


One patient was diagnosed with type 1 UES, two with type 2, and one with type 3. Mean postoperative follow-up was 26 months. In all eyes, surgery resolved the ciliochoroidal and retinal detachment and improved visual acuity. In two eyes, visual restoration was limited by a prolonged disease course.


UES may be mistaken for other sources of ciliochoroidal effusion. Early diagnosis and treatment is critical to avoid unnecessary procedures and to prevent severe visual loss as a result of neuroretinal damage. Surgical treatment based on the extent and characteristics of the disease may be effective for the resolution of ciliochoroidal effusion, even in type 3 UES, where conventional surgery has proved unsuccessful.

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Compliance with ethics guidelines

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.


No funding was received for this research.

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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 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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Correspondence to Emilia Maggio.

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Maggio, E., Polito, A., Prigione, G. et al. Uveal effusion syndrome mimicking severe chronic posterior uveitis: a case series of seven eyes of four patients. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 254, 545–552 (2016).

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