FRIDAY, March 17, 2017 (HealthDay News) — For patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)-associated uveitis refractory to anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF) therapy, tocilizumab (TCZ) is beneficial, yielding improvement in all ocular parameters, according to a study published in the March issue of Arthritis & Rheumatology.
Vanesa Calvo-Río, M.D., Ph.D., from the Hospital Universitario Marqués de Valdecilla in Santander, Spain, and colleagues conducted a multicenter trial involving 25 patients with JIA-associated uveitis that was refractory to conventional immunosuppressive drugs and anti-TNF agents. In 22 of the patients, uveitis was bilateral, with 47 affected eyes.
The researchers found that in most cases, patients received 8 mg/kg TCZ intravenously every four weeks. Rapid and maintained improvement in all ocular parameters was seen with TCZ treatment. Overall, 79.2 and 88.2 percent of patients showed improvement in anterior chamber cell number after six months and one year, respectively. In patients with cystoid macular edema there was a decrease in central macular thickness measured by optical coherence tomography from a mean of 401.7 ± 86.8 µm to 259.1 ± 39.5 µm after six months of TCZ (P = 0.012). There was an increase in the best corrected visual acuity from 0.56 ± 0.35 to 0.64 ± 0.32 (P < 0.01). Visual improvement persisted after a median follow-up of 12 months, and complete remission of uveitis was seen in 19 of 25 patients.
“TCZ appears to be a useful therapy for severe refractory JIA-associated uveitis,” the authors write.
Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
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