Purpose: To evaluate the long-term efficacy and safety of infliximab for the treatment of uveitis in Behçet's disease (BD).
Design: Retrospective multicenter study using a questionnaire.
Participants: A total of 164 consecutive patients with BD treated with infliximab for more than 1 year were studied. The mean age at initiation of infliximab treatment was 42.6±11.7 years, and the mean treatment duration was 32.9±14.4 months.
Methods: Data before and at the last visit during infliximab treatment were analyzed in 4 groups divided by duration of treatment: group A (n = 43, 12-<24 months), group B (n = 62, 24-<36 months), group C (n = 42, 36-<48 months), and group D (n = 17, ≥48 months).
Main Outcome Measures: Best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), relapse of ocular inflammation, numbers of ocular inflammatory attacks per year, and adverse effects of infliximab therapy.
Results: The frequency of ocular attacks decreased in all groups (from 5.3±3.0 to 1.0±0.3 in group A, 4.8±4.6 to 1.4±0.3 in group B, 4.1±2.9 to 0.9±0.3 in group C, and 9.5±5.8 to 1.6±0.5 in group D; all P < 0.05). The BCVA was improved in approximately 55% of the eyes after treatment. Mean BCVA converted to logarithm of the minimum angle of resolution was improved after treatment with infliximab in groups A to C (from 0.79±1.04 to 0.59±0.94 in group A, 0.59±1.07 to 0.41±1.04 in group B, and 1.15±1.77 to 0.92±1.73 in group C; all P < 0.05) but not in group D. Uveitis relapsed in 59.1% of all patients after infliximab treatment, and no difference in duration until relapse was observed between individual groups. Approximately 80% of relapses occurred within 1 year after the initiation of infliximab treatment in all groups, 90% of which were controlled by increasing doses of topical corticosteroids and shortening the interval of infliximab infusion. Adverse effects were observed in 65 cases or 35% of all subjects. Infliximab treatment was continued in 85% of the patients, but 15% of the patients discontinued infliximab treatment because of adverse effects or insufficient efficacy.
Conclusions: Infliximab reduced the frequency of ocular attacks and improved visual acuity in patients with BD-related uveitis and was generally well tolerated with few serious adverse events.
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