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Z Rheumatol. 2003 Jun;62(3):228-34.

[Treatment of primary systemic vasculitis with TNF alpha-antagonists].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Poliklinik für Rheumatologie, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, 23538 Lübeck, Germany.


After the introduction of the TNF alpha blocking drugs Etanercept and Infliximab for the standard therapy of rheumatoid arthritis these effective substances have also been used successfully in many patients with primary systemic vasculitides, who were unresponsive to standard therapy. From pathophysiologic findings their use is justified by the prominent role of TNF alpha in the inflammation of small and large vessels. So far only open studies with a maximum of 20 patients and case reports are published. In summary there are reports of the successful treatment of 7 patients with rheumatoid vasculitis, 39 patients with Wegener's granulomatosis, 3 patients each with microscopic Polyangiitis, and 5 patients each with temporal Arteritis or Takayasu disease with Etanercept as well as with Infliximab. In addition, Infliximab was also used with a good response in severe Polymyalgia rheumatica in 4 cases and in one case of a cryoglobulinemic vasculitis. More than 60 patients with Panuveitis and other manifestations of Behçet's disease were treated with Infliximab or Etanercept according to preliminary reports. Because of the overall positive reports with TNF alpha collected in this review controlled investigations for their use in primary systemic vasculitis are necessary.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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