Background and aims The body is one unit and the ultimate care of a patient with a multisystem disease such as lupus requires the integrated care of several specialists. Systemic lupus has some potentially blinding ocular complications such as lupus retinopathy. Early detection of these complications by the ophthalmologist can help salvage vision of the patient. Moreover, some cases present first to the ophthalmologist, so an ophthalmologist trained in detecting the ocular manifestations of multisystem diseases can refer the patient promptly to the rheumatologist and help minimise the disease-associated morbidity. The aim of this study was to describe the ocular manifestations of lupus in patients who presented to the main university hospital in Alexandria from July 2014 to March 2016.
Methods A prospective study was conducted and included 128 patients with lupus. A thorough ophthalmic examination was conducted by the author using the slitlamp biomicroscope and a fundus lens
Results Out of the 128 patients, 61 patients had lupus retinopathy at time of presentation or developed it de novo during the period of the study. Thirty two patients had lupus keratopathy. And eighty one patients had dry eye of various degrees of severity, 3 of them culminated into potentially sight threatening corneal ulcers. Communication with the treating rheumatologists was done and an overall 81% improvement in ocular lupus patients was achieved by the end of the study. One patient lost one eye due to late presentation
Conclusions Lupus is a potentially blinding disease requiring full cooperation between the ophthalmologist and the rheumatologist.
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