Uveitis is reported to be related to tuberculosis in 0.2–20% of cases. This large range reflects prevalence variations of tuberculosis around the globe as well as differences in diagnostic criteria. In addition, patients with noninfectious uveitis are frequently treated by immunomodulatory drugs and are thus at risk of TB reactivation. Search for tuberculosis infection is thus an important aspect in the work-up of patients with uveitis, even in low prevalence area. In the work up of such patients, the first question to ask is whether the patient has been infected by mycobacterium tuberculosis or not. The second question is to determine whether the uveitis is due or linked to this mycobacterial infection or not. Classical tuberculosis screening tools are used to answer the first question (TST, IGRA and chest X ray). The answer to the second question is much more challenging and will require the exclusion of other causes, to consider epidemiological data and clinical signs, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on ocular fluids and therapeutically treatment trial. Disease prevalence will greatly influence all proposed tests and the final diagnosis. Tuberculosis prevalence in Western countries has progressively decreased during the twentieth century but remains elevated in cities with large migrating populations and drug addicts, with an increase of ultra-resistant cases. All those data must be carefully analyzed in order to collect enough evidences supporting tuberculosis uveitis before the initiation of a treatment with potential serious side and adapt the treatment to the increasing resistance.
Part of the book: Advances in the Diagnosis and Management of Uveitis