How many new cases of birdshot are there each year?

Research details

  • Type of funding: Fight for Sight / Birdshot Uveitis Society Small Grant Award
  • Grant Holder: Mr Mark Westcott
  • Institute: Moorfields Eye Hospital
  • Region: London
  • Start date: June 2017
  • End Date: June 2019
  • Priority: Causes
  • Eye Category: Ocular inflammatory


Birdshot chorioretinopathy (also known as birdshot uveitis) is a sight-threatening condition in which there is long-term (chronic) inflammation in both eyes. The inflammatory deposits under the light-sensitive part of the eye (the retina) look like ‘birdshot’.

The condition affects people who are otherwise well. We know that it’s rare, but we don’t have any reliable data on how many new cases there are each year (the incidence).

This project is a 2-year national survey using the British Ocular Surveillance system. This well-tested system run via a postcard alert sent each month to all UK consultant ophthalmologists. A postal questionnaire is then sent to the ophthalmologist for each new case. This information tells us about the demographics, signs and symptoms of each new case of birdshot in the UK.

The team is particularly interested in how badly vision is affected at the point the case is diagnosed and what things might have an effect on this, for example if the patients are younger. A follow-up questionnaire is sent one year later. This records patterns of treatment, how well treatment is working and its side effects.

This is the first study of its kind in birdshot – we don’t yet have birdshot incidence data anywhere in the world. It should tell us about any regional differences or other factors that affect symptoms and its seriousness and will provide data that can easily be compared to future studies, for example if we want to find out whether birdshot is on the rise.

Find out more about Birdshot Uveitis Society