Neovascularization is an infrequent but serious complication of uveitis. The retina and optic disk appear to be affected most often, although new blood vessels may arise from the iris, ciliary body, and choroid as well. Although neovascularization can usually be identified on careful clinical examination, some patients may require fluorescein angiography or UBM. Numerous neovascular growth and inhibitory factors have been identified experimentally. Clinically, however, uveitic neovascularization appears to be determined most directly by the severity of the inflammation and the presence of retinal nonperfusion. Virtually all patients with uveitic neovascularization deserve a trial of local or systemic corticosteroids. Laser photocoagulation can be considered in those patients who fail to respond to corticosteroid therapy, but only when retinal nonperfusion has been demonstrated on fluorescein angiography. Surgical excision of newly formed vessels is reversed for selected patients with CNV and uveitis, but should only be considered when corticosteroids and focal photocoagulation are ineffective or are otherwise contraindicated.
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