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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate the safety and efficacy of abatacept in patients with severe juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)–related uveitis refractory or intolerant to immunosuppressive and anti–tumor necrosis factor α (anti-TNFα) agents.

Methods

Patients with JIA-related uveitis refractory to immunosuppressive and anti-TNFα agents were treated with intravenous abatacept (10 mg/kg monthly). Side effects, frequency of uveitis flares, and ocular complications before and after treatment were reported.

Results

Seven patients (6 females and 1 male) with a mean uveitis duration of 11.6 years entered the study. All patients had failed previous immunosuppressive therapy and ≥2 anti-TNFα treatments. All patients responded to abatacept and 6 maintained a clinical remission after a mean of 9.2 months of treatment. One patient withdrew from the study with oral mycosis and arthritis flare; no other patients had side effects. The mean frequency of uveitis flares during the 6 months before and after treatment decreased from 3.7 to 0.7 episodes. No new ocular complications or worsening of preexisting ones were reported.

Conclusion

Abatacept treatment led to sustained improvement in severe anti-TNFα–resistant JIA-related uveitis and was well tolerated in all but 1 patient. These results provide new insights into a possible indication of abatacept for the treatment of uveitis.