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Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2006 Dec;244(12):1692-5.

Results of interferon-alfa therapy in patients with Behçet uveitis.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Istanbul Faculty of Medicine, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey. itutkun@istanbul.edu.tr

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To report on the results of interferon-alpha 2a (IFNalpha) treatment in patients with Behçet uveitis unresponsive to conventional immunosuppressive therapy.

METHODS:

We retrospectively analyzed the medical records of 44 patients who had been treated with IFNalpha between September 2001 and May 2005. The initial dose of IFNalpha was 6 MU/day in 37 patients (84.1%) and 3 MU/day in 7 patients (15.9%), and was gradually tapered after ocular inflammation was suppressed. Immunosuppressive agents were discontinued. Oral corticosteroids were discontinued or maintained at a dosage of less than 10 mg prednisone equivalent per day. Main outcome measures were recurrence of posterior or panuveitis attacks and changes in visual acuity.

RESULTS:

Sixteen patients (36.4%) remained relapse free during treatment, whereas 28 (63.6%) patients had recurrent uveitis attacks. Four of these were considered treatment failures and were switched to other treatments. In the remaining 40 patients, the mean duration of treatment was 12.4+/-10.8 months (range 3-45 months). In 9 of 40 patients (22.5%) treatment could be discontinued 22.2+/-13.4 months after therapy, and 8 (20%) of these patients had sustained remission for up to 24 months. Three patients (7.5%) were switched to other therapies because of side effects. The frequency of uveitis attacks per 6 months was reduced from 1.6+/-1.2 to 0.8+/-0.9 in 26 patients who had a minimum follow-up of 6 months before and after IFNalpha therapy (p<0.05). There was a significant improvement in visual acuity and this was preserved throughout follow-up in 38 (95%) of 40 patients.

CONCLUSIONS:

A partial or complete response was obtained with IFNalpha therapy in 91% of Turkish patients with Behçet uveitis refractory to conventional immunosuppressive treatment. Our results suggest that there may be differences in therapeutic efficacy and side-effect profile of IFNalpha in different patient populations. Comparative studies are needed to investigate this hypothesis.

PMID:
16673135
DOI:
10.1007/s00417-006-0346-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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