Ocular manifestations and concepts of systemic vasculitides

Victor L. Perez, Sai H. Chavala, Muna Ahmed, David Chu, Panos Zafirakis, Stefanos Baltatzis, Vicente Ocampo, C. Stephen Foster

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

50 Scopus citations


Vasculitic disorders are relatively rare. Their etiology and pathophysiology remain enigmatic, leading to confusing nomenclature and multiple classification schemes. Untreated vasculitis can be fatal. Early diagnosis is the key to successful treatment and better prognosis. However, early diagnosis can be difficult; vasculitic conditions usually present with non-specific symptoms for a long period before clinically overt manifestations occur. Ophthalmologists should be familiar with the ocular manifestations of the vasculitic disorders because they may not only be sight-threatening, but more importantly could be the presenting manifestations of active, potentially lethal systemic disease. This review summarizes clinical and ocular manifestations of systemic vasculitic disorders. Furthermore, it discusses general concepts in diagnosis and treatment of these diseases in an effort to provide a practical framework for the ophthalmologist evaluating patients with vasculitis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)399-418
Number of pages20
JournalSurvey of Ophthalmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2004


  • Churg-Strauss syndrome
  • Henoch-Schönlein purpura
  • Kawasaki disease
  • Takayasu's arteritis
  • cutaneous leukocytoclastic angiitis
  • giant cell arteritis
  • microscopic polyangiitis
  • ocular manifestations
  • polyarteritis nodosa
  • primary vasculitis


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