BACKGROUND: Anterior uveitis secondary to topical brimonidine administration is rare and not well-defined. In glaucoma patients using brimonidine, one must consider this phenomenon to avoid mis-diagnosis and over-treatment with topical steroids which in turn may increase intraocular pressure (IOP). This is the largest case series including the longest patient follow-up in the current literature. METHODS: Sixteen patients (26 eyes) with consultant diagnosed brimonidine-associated anterior uveitis in a tertiary referral glaucoma clinic presenting between 2015 and 2019 were included in this retrospective case series. Clinical records were taken for descriptive analysis. Main outcome measures were the key clinical features, and disease course (therapy, IOP control, patient outcome). RESULTS: Key features were conjunctival ciliary injection and mutton fat keratic precipitation in all eyes. The findings were bilateral in 10 patients. Time between initiation of brimonidine treatment and presentation was 1 week to 49 months. Glaucoma sub-types were mostly pseudo-exfoliative and primary open angle glaucoma. Brimonidine treatment was stopped immediately. Additionally, topical corticosteroids were prescribed in 18 eyes and tapered down during the following 4 weeks. Thirteen eyes did not need surgical or laser treatment (median follow-up time 15 months). No patient showed recurrence of inflammation after cessation of brimonidine. CONCLUSIONS: This type of anterior uveitis is an uncommon but important manifestation which should always be considered in glaucoma patients on brimonidine treatment. Although treatable at its root cause, problems may persist, especially with respect to IOP control. The latter may necessitate glaucoma surgery after the resolved episode of the uveitis.
Department of Ophthalmology, University Medical Center Mainz, Langenbeckstr. 1, 55131, Mainz, Germany. email@example.com.