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More MS news articles for August 2003

The pathology and pathogenesis of retinal vasculitis

Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2003 Aug;29(4):325-40
Hughes EH, Dick AD.
University of Bristol, Bristol Eye Hospital, Bristol, UK.

Retinal vasculitis is a rare, but potentially blinding intraocular inflammatory condition with diverse aetiology.

Although commonly idiopathic, it has a strong association with systemic inflammatory diseases known to involve other areas of the central nervous system, most notably Behcet's disease, sarcoidosis, systemic lupus erythematosis and multiple sclerosis.

This article describes the clinicopathologic features of retinal vasculitis and its visually damaging sequelae, reviewing available human histopathologic studies and work with experimental models to discuss the pathogenesis and immunopathology.

Evidence indicates that noninfective retinal vasculitis is an autoimmune condition that may be induced by antecedent infection with microbes cross-reacting with putative autoantigens, influenced by genetic susceptibility of both HLA associations and cytokine polymorphisms.

The growing understanding of the cellular mechanisms involved in the effector immune response is already providing a rationale for more specific therapeutic approaches.