Date Published:2016 Jan
Scleritis and uveitis are potentially blinding conditions that can be associated with systemic inflammatory diseases. Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a common rheumatic disorder of the elderly of uncertain etiology. Although there are a few published reports of scleritis and uveitis in PMR patients, the association of PMR to ocular inflammation has not been well established. The aim of this study is to report a series of PMR patients with scleritis and/or uveitis and review the prior published reports of this potential association. We retrospectively reviewed the medical charts of patients with PMR and scleritis or uveitis who were examined in the Ocular Immunology Service of Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. We also performed a systematic literature search (PubMed; January 1990 until January 2014) to identify earlier published reports. Seven PMR patients with ocular inflammatory disease (OID) were included in our study: two with scleritis, three with anterior uveitis, and two with panuveitis. The onset of PMR preceded the occurrence of OID in six patients, and in one patient uveitis developed 2 months prior to PMR. Five patients demonstrated a temporal association between flares of PMR and OID. In four patients, OID flares developed during tapering of systemic prednisone prescribed for PMR. Four of the five patients who had relapsing PMR had recurrent or persistent uveitis over the course of follow-up. PMR may be associated with both scleritis and uveitis and should be considered as a possible underlying cause of OID.