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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2015, Article ID 438402, 5 pages
Review Article

Ocular Complications of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

1Department of Ophthalmology, Georgetown University, Washington Hospital Center, 3800 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20007, USA
2Department of Ophthalmology, Georgetown University and George Washington University, 900 23rd Street NW, Washington, DC 20037, USA

Received 14 January 2015; Accepted 4 March 2015

Academic Editor: Abdo Jurjus

Copyright © 2015 Rana Mady et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Though inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has a specific predilection for the intestinal tract, it is a systemic inflammatory disorder affecting multiple organs, including the eye. Ocular complications directly related to IBD are categorized as primary and secondary. Primary complications are usually temporally associated with IBD exacerbations and tend to resolve with systemic treatment of the intestinal inflammation. These include keratopathy, episcleritis, and scleritis. Secondary complications arise from primary complications. Examples include cataract formation due to treatment with corticosteroids, scleromalacia due to scleritis, and dry eye due to hypovitaminosis A following gut resection. Some ocular manifestations of IBD can lead to significant visual morbidity and temporally associated complications can also be a herald of disease control. Furthermore, ocular manifestations of IBD can occasionally manifest before the usual intestinal manifestations, leading to an earlier diagnosis. Thus, it is important to understand the clinical presentation of possible ocular manifestations in order to initiate appropriate treatment and to help prevent significant visual morbidity.