The purpose of this investigation is to better understand the inflammatory process that
occurs in uveitis (eye inflammation) through study of eye tissues.
Patients with uveitis sometimes develop cataracts (clouding of the lens of the eye) or
clouding of the vitreous-the gel-like material behind the lens-that can impair eyesight.
Those who require cataract surgery or vitrectomy are eligible for this study. Samples of
eye tissue and fluid normally removed during standard surgical procedures for these
conditions will be given to researchers instead of discarded, as is usually done.
Before surgery, patients will undergo routine preoperative tests, including chest X-ray,
electrocardiogram, blood tests and urinalysis. They will also have an eye examination and
photographs taken of the retina. Other tests that may be performed include fluorescein
angiography to evaluate the blood vessels of the retina; ultrasound to examine the back of
the eye; and a gallium scan to evaluate inflammation.
Immune cells in the blood and eye tissue will be compared and categorized by disease. The
eye fluid will be examined for substances involved in the inflammatory process. These
studies may provide information that will lead to improved methods of diagnosis and
The purpose of this project is to evaluate intra-ocular tissue such as iris or vitreous from
uveitis patients in order to analyze the type and character of the inflammatory response.
Patients with a history of uveitis who require cataract surgery or vitreous surgery because
of the clinical complications of inflammation, will be entered in this study. The
lymphocyte subsets in the peripheral blood and ocular tissue will be compared and
categorized by disease. The presence of soluble lymphokines in the intra-ocular fluid will
be analyzed. Long term cell cultures of vitreal cells will be attempted to define the
T-cell receptors. In addition, a portion of iris tissue or vitreous cells will be frozen to
establish a tissue library of uveitis.
Patients of either sex will be admitted to this study.
All patients should have a previous history of uveitis.
The patient must have lenticular or vitreal opacities which are significantly impairing
their vision and for which surgical removal of the opacity has a reasonable chance of
improving the vision.
Patients should have vision of 20/80 or worse.
Patients may have any of the following syndromes: anterior uveitis, including
HLA-B27-associated iritis and juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, ocular sarcoid, intermediate
uveitis and pars planitis, birdshot retinochoroidopathy, Behcet's disease,
Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada's syndrome, sympathic ophthalmia and idiopathic posterior uveitis.