Worse outcomes among scleritis patients were observed in several at-risk populations in this study.
Worse outcomes among scleritis patients were observed in several at-risk populations in this study. Photo: Katherine Sanford, OD. Click image to enlarge.

Scleritis patients who are older, Black or Hispanic and smokers are at a higher risk of poor visual acuity and abnormal IOP, according to findings from a recent retrospective cohort analysis. The study authors added that certain scleritis subtypes were also risk factors.

A total of 111,314 scleritis patients in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s IRIS Registry with at least three office visits were included in the study. The mean age was 58.5, 66% were female and 30% had bilateral scleritis. Demographic and clinical characteristics in scleritis and scleritis subtypes were evaluated. The associations between poor best-corrected visual acuity, vision loss and IOP abnormalities were assessed.

Older age, smoking and anterior scleritis were linked to at least three lines of vision loss six months after initial scleritis diagnosis. Scleromalacia perforans subjects were significantly older and more likely to have bilateral disease.

“This analysis of scleritis in the IRIS Registry reveals novel findings and confirms several previously reported demographic features and complications of scleritis. This study highlights that the characteristics of scleromalacia perforans differ substantially from other scleritis subtypes,” the study authors noted. “Although the overall rate of severe ocular complications such as ocular perforation was low, the complication rate is particularly important considering the IRIS Registry practice composition, which is weighted toward community-based practice.”

They concluded that additional efforts are needed to not only understand how the risk factors identified in this study impact disease outcomes but also how therapeutic approaches can be optimized for these higher-risk populations.

Armbrust KR, Kopplin LJ. Characteristics and outcomes of scleritis patients in the IRIS Registry (Intelligent Research in Sight). Ophthalmology. June 3, 2022. [Epub ahead of print].