Ulcerative keratitis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in the modern biologic era: a series of eight cases and literature review

Ryu Watanabe, Tomonori Ishii, Masaaki Yoshida, Naoko Takada, Shunji Yokokura, Yuko Shirota, Hiroshi Fujii, Hideo Harigae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aim: To assess the prevalence, clinical characteristics, treatment, and outcomes of patients who developed ulcerative keratitis (UK) during the course of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the modern biologic era. Method: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 589 patients with RA who visited our department between April 2003 and October 2014, and identified patients who developed UK. We also obtained data about clinical characteristics of RA and UK, complications, treatment, and both visual and life prognoses of these patients. Results: Among 589 patients with RA, eight patients (1.4%) were diagnosed with UK. The mean age at the onset of RA was 61.0 years, while the mean age at the onset of UK was 73.0 years. Most of the patients were seropositive and had established RA with a relatively low disease activity. Secondary Sjögren's syndrome was observed in two patients. Peripheral UK occurred as a complication of scleritis, while central UK was not associated with scleritis. Although the mean duration of follow-up was only 3.7 years, visual and life prognoses were both tolerable with therapy, including the use of topical and systemic corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors, sometimes combined with biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and corneal transplantation. Conclusion: This retrospective study demonstrated that the prevalence of UK in patients with RA was 1.4%. Immediate combination therapy, including topical and systemic corticosteroids and calcineurin inhibitors, together with biologic DMARDs and corneal transplantation, was effective for treating RA patients who developed UK in the modern biologic era.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-230
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Rheumatic Diseases
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Feb 1

Keywords

  • biologics
  • corneal ulceration
  • rheumatoid arthritis
  • ulcerative keratitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology

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