Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease: recurrence rates after initial-onset disease differ according to treatment modality and geographic area

Herbort Jr C. P., Tugal-Tutkun I., Khairallah M., Abu el Asrar A. M., Pavesio C. E., Soheilian M.

INTERNATIONAL OPHTHALMOLOGY, vol.40, no.9, pp.2423-2433, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 40 Issue: 9
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10792-020-01417-1
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, BIOSIS, EMBASE, MEDLINE
  • Page Numbers: pp.2423-2433
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Background/Purpose Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada (VKH) disease is a primary autoimmune stromal choroiditis producing a spill-over panuveitis. For initial-onset VKH disease, it is increasingly thought that corticosteroid therapy is not sufficient and additional non-steroidal immunosuppressive therapy is needed. At the 11th workshop on VKH, the disease was said to be well controlled with corticosteroids alone in Japanese patients. The aim of this study was to review the literature to determine whether different levels of severity exist in different geographical areas. Methods Literature was reviewed for studies on the evolution of initial-onset VKH disease, looking at treatment modalities and proportion of cases with chronic evolution and/or sunset-glow fundus (SGF). Results PubMed search yielded 1249 references containing the term of Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada. Twenty references (15 from outside of Japan and 5 from Japan) contained information on the evolution of treated initial-onset disease. For the "international" group, percentage of chronic evolution after systemic corticosteroid monotherapy was 61%, and after combined steroidal and non-steroidal therapy it fell to 2% (0% in 3/4 studies). In the Japanese studies where all patients received systemic corticosteroids alone, chronic evolution was reported in 25%; however, SGF amounted to 61%. Conclusion In the world at large, chronic evolution of initial-onset VKH disease treated with corticosteroids alone concerned two-thirds of patients. Japanese studies showed that chronic evolution was substantially less frequent, indicating possibly less severe disease in Japan. This proportion fell to almost zero when dual steroidal and non-steroidal immunosuppression was given at onset.