Lens-Induced Uveitis

rDVM Quick Reference Guide for this Ophthalmic Emergency

  • Physical Examination
  • CBC/Chemistry (Including Blood Glucose)
  • IOP Evaluation
  • Topical Anti-Inflammatories
  • Systemic Anti-Inflammatories
  • Systemic Analgesia
  • Refer to Specialist Evaluation and Treatment

Lens-induced uveitis, or phacolytic uveitis, occurs as a result of lens crystalline proteins leaking through an intact lens capsule when a cataract is present. These proteins are “foreign” to the patient’s immune system, hence the inflammatory response. In patients that have recently developed a cataract, a brief physical examination and complete basic labwork (CBC/Chemistry) should be performed. Evaluation of intraocular pressures by rebound/applanation tonometry is essential when assessing patients with cataracts/uveitis. Treatment typically comprises topical and, if necessary, systemic steroidal or non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (depending on the patient’s health and physician preference.) Referral for treatment and surgical evaluation is recommended.