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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Tarsal-conjunctival disease associated with Wegener's granulomatosis.

OBJECTIVE: To describe the clinical characteristics of tarsal-conjunctival disease in a cohort of patients with Wegener's granulomatosis ( WG). DESIGN: Retrospective, case-controlled study. PARTICIPANTS: The medical records of 82 consecutive WG patients who underwent an eye examination between January 1996 and June 2002 at the National Institutes of Health were reviewed. METHODS: Details of the ophthalmic examination, results of medical therapy, and histopathologic analysis results were recorded. Tarsal-conjunctival disease was defined by (1). conjunctival hyperemia and granuloma formation, areas of necrosis, or active fibrovascular changes in the tarsus or conjunctiva, or (2). evidence of inactive fibrovascular scar. The association of tarsal-conjunctival disease with major organ system involvement was assessed using Bayesian methods. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The occurrence and clinical characteristics of tarsal-conjunctival disease in a cohort of patients with WG and associations with major organ system involvement. RESULTS: Tarsal-conjunctival disease occurred in 13 of 82 patients (16%) with WG examined over a 6.5-year period. The palpebral surface of the upper lid was involved most commonly, showing conjunctival hyperemia in seven patients, granulomatous lesions in three patients, tarsal-conjunctival necrosis in four patients, active fibrovascular proliferation in six patients, and inactive fibrous scar tissue in seven patients. Histopathologic analysis of eyelid biopsy specimens showed granulomatous inflammation, focal necrosis, and areas of occlusive vasculitis in the tarsus and conjunctiva. In reviewing the patterns of organ involvement in patients with and without tarsal-conjunctival disease, the association of subglottic stenosis and nasolacrimal duct obstruction with tarsal-conjunctival disease showed a high probability of clinical significance. CONCLUSIONS: Tarsal-conjunctival disease, a previously uncommon finding in patients with WG, was characterized by inflammation of the palpebral conjunctiva and tarsus followed by a fibrovascular proliferation and scar formation. Because of the important association of tarsal-conjunctival disease with subglottic stenosis, which can progress and lead to laryngeal obstruction and respiratory failure, patients with tarsal-conjunctival disease should be referred to an otolaryngologist for evaluation.[1]


  1. Tarsal-conjunctival disease associated with Wegener's granulomatosis. Robinson, M.R., Lee, S.S., Sneller, M.C., Lerner, R., Langford, C.A., Talar-Williams, C., Cox, T.A., Chan, C.C., Smith, J.A. Ophthalmology (2003) [Pubmed]
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