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Rheumatol Int. 2011 Jan;31(1):33-7. doi: 10.1007/s00296-009-1213-z. Epub 2009 Oct 27.

One year study of efficacy and safety of infliximab in the treatment of patients with ocular and neurological Behçet's disease refractory to standard immunosuppressive drugs.

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Chair and Division of Rheumatology, University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy.


The aim of the study was to assess the long-term efficacy and safety of Infliximab therapy in the treatment of patients with Behçet's disease refractory to standard immunosuppressive agents. Twenty-one patients that did not respond to corticosteroids and to at least one immunosuppressant (cyclosporin, methotrexate, azathioprine, cyclophosphamide) for the presence of ocular and/or CNS involvement were enrolled. Eighteen patients completed the study up to 54 weeks. Stable doses of prednisone (<10 mg/day) were permitted, immunosuppressants were discontinued at least 4 weeks prior baseline visit. The patients received three infusions of 5 mg/kg Infliximab (at weeks 0, 2 and 6) and then infusions of 5 mg/kg Infliximab every 8 weeks. At each visit data on clinical symptoms, response to therapy and adverse events were collected. The primary outcome of interest was to assess the clinical efficacy (total or partial recovery) of infliximab. Secondary end points were to evaluate quality of life and to monitor the safety of the drug. Eighteen patients achieved a total remission. Two patients achieved a partial remission and relapsed after 3 months from discontinuation of therapy. Infliximab was well tolerated throughout the study. A case of non-Hodgkin lymphoma was observed within 6 months. Minor side effects were headache, dizziness, tachycardia that regressed spontaneously and did not entail interruption. Anti-nuclear antibodies were not detected during the period of observation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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