(HealthDay News) — Multiple sclerosis patients with uveitis, which causes swelling of the uvea, tend to have an intermediate form of the condition, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago.

Wyatt Messenger, MD, from the Casey Eye Institute at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, and colleagues conducted a retrospective chart review of patients with uveitis and MS at two uveitis centers. Data were obtained for 113 patients (196 eyes) with uveitis and MS.

The researchers found that 73% of the patients were women and the mean age of presentation was 40.6 years. In the affected eyes, the average visual acuity was 20/39 at presentation. 80% of patients presented with intermediate uveitis and 15% with anterior uveitis. 3% and 2% of patients, respectively, presented with posterior and pan-uveitis. There was an improvement in visual acuity (−0.09 logMar/year) during a median follow-up of 3.2 years. Patients with MS and uveitis were significantly older at uveitis diagnosis (P = 0.027) and more likely to be female (P = 0.01) compared with 16 location-matched controls with idiopathic intermediate uveitis.

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“Knowing more about the onset may enable patients to seek treatment earlier, therefore slowing the progression of the disease and limiting the damage done to the nervous system,” Messenger said in a statement.

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