Differential effectiveness of etanercept and infliximab in the treatment of ocular inflammation

Ophthalmology. 2006 Dec;113(12):2317-23. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2006.04.038. Epub 2006 Sep 25.


Purpose: Anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha (anti-TNF-alpha) agents are being used increasingly in refractory inflammatory eye diseases. We reviewed our patients on etanercept and infliximab to determine whether these medications are equally efficacious in controlling ocular inflammation.

Design: Exploratory retrospective analysis.

Participants: Patients with ocular inflammatory disease on an anti-TNF-alpha agent (etanercept, infliximab).

Methods: Case records of 22 patients treated with anti-TNF-alpha therapy were reviewed for demographic information, ocular and systemic diagnosis, duration and dose of anti-TNF-alpha treatment, concomitant ocular and systemic immunosuppressive medications, and treatment response.

Main outcome measures: Uveitis recurrence rate, initial treatment response, treatment response, and medication use at 6 months, 1 year, and last visit.

Results: Patients treated with infliximab had a significant decrease in uveitis recurrences after starting therapy compared with those treated with etanercept (59% vs. 0%, P = 0.004). One year after treatment initiation and at final visit, more infliximab-treated patients had an improvement in their ocular inflammation (100% vs. 33%, P = 0.002, and 94% vs. 0%, P<0.001, respectively) and a decreased requirement for topical prednisolone acetate 1% (94% vs. 33%, P = 0.009, and 89% vs. 29%, P = 0.007, respectively) compared with those treated with etanercept. No significant differences in the use of oral corticosteroids and immunosuppressive agents were noted between the 2 groups at 6 months, 1 year, and final visit.

Conclusions: Infliximab was more effective than etanercept in the treatment of recalcitrant uveitis and decreased the use of topical steroids.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Child
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Etanercept
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / adverse effects
  • Immunoglobulin G / therapeutic use*
  • Infliximab
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / therapeutic use*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Scleritis / drug therapy*
  • Scleritis / physiopathology
  • Secondary Prevention
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Uveitis / drug therapy*
  • Uveitis / physiopathology
  • Visual Acuity


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Infliximab
  • Etanercept