NORD gratefully acknowledges Dr. Patricio A. Pacheco, Bsc, MD, MRCOphth, Senior Clinical Fellow /Uveitis Service, Moorfields Eye Hospital, London, UK for assistance in the preparation of this report.
Although pars planitis is generally benign, there can be significant vision loss in extreme cases. It is an immunological disorder of the eye characterized by inflammation of a part of the uvea, the layer of tissue between the sclera and the retina, the membranes protecting the eyeball. The uvea, in turn, is made up of three portions: the iris, the ciliary body, and the choroid. In addition, the uvea contains many of the blood vessels that supply the eye.
The pars plana is a narrow section of the ciliary body, inflammation of which is known as pars planitis. In association with the inflammation or immunological response, fluid and cells infiltrate the clear gelatin-like substance (vitreous humor) of the eyeball, near the retina and/or pars plana. As a result, swelling of the eye or eyes can also occur, but more importantly blurred vision and progressive increase in the vision of floaters is reported as main symptoms by patients suffering this condition as a result of the infiltration of the vitreous humor.
The inflammation occurs in the intermediate zone of the eye; that is, between the anterior part(s) of the eye (iris) and the posterior part(s), the retina and/or choroid. It has therefore been designated as one of the diseases of a family of intermediate uveitis.
In some cases, the disturbance of vision may be slightly progressive.
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