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Clin Experiment Ophthalmol. 2005 Oct;33(5):461-8.

Infliximab for juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis.

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  • 1Department of Ophthalmology, Royal Perth Hospital, Perth, Australia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Infliximab is a murine-human recombinant antitumour necrosis factor monoclonal antibody recently introduced for the treatment of autoimmune diseases in which tumour necrosis factor is thought to be a key mediator. Its role in the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis is as yet undefined.

METHODS:

Six children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis, inadequately controlled on currently available therapy, were treated with infliximab between September 2002 and November 2004. All children were required to remain on low-dose immunomodulatory treatment in conjunction with the infliximab. A retrospective review of two electronic databases containing details of ophthalmology and rheumatology visits was conducted.

RESULTS:

In all six children, institution of infliximab therapy was associated with increased ease of management. Ocular inflammation and intraocular pressure control improved in all. It was also possible to reduce the dose or withdraw some glaucoma, steroid and other immunomodulatory drugs. Two children underwent intraocular surgery without noticeable flare of intraocular inflammation. No patient developed any serious systemic complications attributable to infliximab.

CONCLUSION:

Infliximab may be a useful adjunct to the management of refractory juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis. In our series it was associated with improved uveitis control and simplification of drug use as well as possibly improving safety of surgical intervention. This study suggests that its role is likely to be in conjunction with maintenance immunomodulatory treatment to provide more optimal disease control. Controlled studies are required to confirm its efficacy and safety, and the potential breadth of its use in uveitis and related disorders.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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