Clinical patterns and risk factors in scleritis: a multicentric study in Colombia

Alejandra de-la-Torre, Mariana Cabrera-Pérez, Claudia Durán, Sandra García, Miguel Cuevas, Néstor Carreño, Carlos M. Rangel, Diana Isabel Pachón-Suárez, María Alejandra Martínez-Ceballos, María Elisa Mejía, Alejandra Gómez-Rocha, Camilo Andrés Gómez-Durán, Yanny Pérez, Juliana Reyes-Guanes, Carlos Cifuentes-González, William Rojas-Carabali

Research output: Articles / NotesScientific Articlepeer-review


Purpose: This study aims to describe the clinical characteristics of scleritis in a large cohort of Colombian patients and identify factors associated with the clinical presentation. Methods: Retrospective case series of patients with scleritis from 2015 to 2020. Clinical records were obtained from seven uveitis referral centers in Colombia. Patients with a diagnosis of episcleritis were excluded. Results: We evaluated 389 patients with scleritis (509 eyes). There was a female predominance (75.6%) with a mean age of 51 ± 15 years. Most cases were noninfectious (94.8%) and unilateral (69.2%). The most frequent type of inflammation was diffuse anterior scleritis (41.7%), followed by nodular scleritis (31.9%) and necrotizing scleritis (12.3%). Systemic autoimmune diseases were found in 41.3% of patients, the most common being rheumatoid arthritis (18.5%) and granulomatosis with polyangiitis (5.9%). Polyautoimmunity was found in 10.4% of those with a systemic autoimmune disease. The most frequent treatment was systemic steroids (50.9%), followed by systemic NSAIDs (32.4%). Steroid-sparing immunosuppression was required in 49.1% of patients. Systemic autoimmune diseases were more common in patients with necrotizing scleritis and those older than 40 years of age. Best-corrected visual acuity of 20/80 or worse at presentation was more common in necrotizing scleritis and subjects with associated uveitis, ocular hypertension, or who were over 40 years of age. Conclusions: This is the first study in Colombia and the largest in Latin America describing the clinical characteristics and presentation patterns of scleritis. The most common presentation was in females, with unilateral, anterior diffuse noninfectious scleritis. Systemic autoimmune diseases and polyautoimmunity were frequent, as was the need for steroid-sparing immunosuppression. Age over 40 and necrotizing scleritis were associated with higher odds of having a systemic autoimmune disease and worse visual acuity at presentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3957-3967
Number of pages11
JournalGraefe's Archive for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 7 Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmunity
  • Epidemiology
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scleritis
  • Uveitis


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