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Research Article

Scleritis and associated disease.

Br Med J 1978; 1 doi: (Published 14 January 1978) Cite this as: Br Med J 1978;1:88
  1. S M Lachmann,
  2. B L Hazleman,
  3. P G Watson


    One hundred patients (66 women and 34 men) who presented consecutively to Moorfields Eye Hospital with scleral disease underwent medical examination. Thirteen were found to have seropositive rheumatoid arthritis and another 16 also had rheumatoid factor present (Rheumaton test). Autoantibodies were present in 35% of patients, being most common in the elderly and most frequent in cases of necrotising and diffuse scleritis. Although scleral disease is uncommon, it is associated with connective-tissue disorders. Scleritis may be severe and destructive locally, and one series showed that 27% of patients who develop necrotising scleritis are dead from systemic complications within five years. It is therefore important for it to be correctly diagnosed and effectively treated at an early stage.