Efficacy of infliximab in refractory Behçet’s disease-associated and idiopathic posterior segment uveitis: a prospective, follow-up study of 50 patients
Fabrizio Cantini1, Laura Niccoli1, Carlotta Nannini1, Olga Kaloudi1, Emanuele Cassarà1, Massimo Susini2, Ivo Lenzetti2
1Second Division of Internal Medicine, Rheumatology Unit, 2Division of Ophthalmology, Prato Hospital, Prato, Italy
Purpose: To evaluate the long-term efficacy of infliximab in patients with refractory Behçet’s disease (BD)-associated and idiopathic posterior uveitis (PU).
Methods: Single center, prospective, 6-year duration, follow-up study on 50 consecutive patients (20 [40%] males and 30 [60%] females with a mean age of 37.5 ± 12.3 years) with refractory BD-associated PU (36 patients) and idiopathic PU (14 patients) who had failed at least one immunosuppressive drug. At baseline, patients received prednisone 1 mg/kg/day with rapid tapering and infliximab infusions (5 mg/kg) at weeks 0, 2, 6, and every 8 weeks thereafter. Nonresponders after the third infusion withdrew from the study. Primary outcome measures were visual acuity (VA) value improvement compared to baseline. Secondary outcome measures were proportion of patients with VA improvement from baseline; proportion of patients achieving disease remission; number of PU flare-ups; and incidence of adverse events.
Results: At the final follow-up, mean right and left eye VA respectively increased from 0.57 ± 0.31 at baseline to 0.68 ± 0.33 (P = 0.048) and from 0.67 ± 0.28 to 0.76 ± 0.27 (P = 0.047). None of the patients had VA worsening and new onset ocular complications. A complete response of PU was recorded in 34/50 (68%) patients and partial response in 11/50 (22%). Five patients were nonresponders and withdrew from the study after the third infusion. A significant reduction of ocular attacks and of the proportion of patients with cystoid macular edema was observed. No differences in infliximab efficacy was recorded between patients with BD-associated and idiopathic PU. No serious adverse events occurred. The mean follow-up duration was 36.8 months.
Conclusion: Long-term infliximab therapy was equally effective and safe with a significant VA gain in refractory BD-associated and idiopathic PU.
Keywords: Behçet’s disease, idiopathic posterior uveitis, infliximab, posterior uveitis, visual acuity
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