Objective: To assess the effectiveness of methotrexate (MTX) in the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) associated uveitis, which is still one of the most common causes of visual impairment.
Methods: A retrospective chart review of patients with the diagnosis of uveitis associated with JIA between July 1, 2002, and December 31, 2002.
Results: Four hundred sixty-seven patients with JIA were followed. Thirty-eight had uveitis: 31 associated with oligoarticular JIA and 7 with psoriatic JIA. Twenty-five of the 38 patients received MTX; in 23 patients uveitis was the indication for MTX therapy. In the MTX treated group 46/50 eyes had uveitis, the mean (range) age at onset of uveitis was 7.82 years (1.8-15.8), and the mean age at onset of arthritis was 7.25 years (1.25-15.7). MTX treatment was started an average of 11.4 months (0-72) after the onset of uveitis. The mean MTX dose was 15.6 mg/m2. Remission occurred after 4.25 months (1-12). Mean duration of remission was 10.3 months (3-27). The total duration of MTX therapy was 661 months and patients were in remission for 417/661 months. In 6 patients MTX was discontinued after 12 months of remission. Four patients were still in remission after 7.5 months (1-14).
Conclusion: MTX seems to be an effective therapy for JIA associated uveitis.