Intraocular surgery under systemic interferon-alpha therapy in ocular Adamantiades-Behçet's disease

Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2007 Nov;245(11):1617-21. doi: 10.1007/s00417-007-0577-6. Epub 2007 Apr 13.


Background: Adamantiades-Behçet's disease (ABD) is a multi-system disorder with recurrent oral and/or genital ulcerations, skin lesions and ocular involvement. Eye involvement is a common manifestation that affects the patients' quality of life more than any other. Left untreated, it leads to blindness and often to loss of the eye through secondary complications like phthisis or painful glaucoma. In some cases, such as tractional retinal detachment, secondary glaucoma or secondary cataract formation, intraocular surgery is required.

Methods: A prospective study of patients with ocular ABD who underwent intraocular surgery under systemic treatment with interferon-alpha was conducted. From 1999 to 2005, we treated eight eyes from five patients with pars plana vitrectomy (n = 1), phacoemulsification (n = 6) and trabeculectomy (n = 1). The mean follow-up was 49 months (range 5-94 months).

Results: Seven out of eight eyes had better visual acuity following surgery. One eye did not benefit from cataract surgery because of optic nerve atrophy. Only one eye showed prolonged inflammation following phacoemulsification. None of the patients showed a recurrence during follow-up. The failure of conservative glaucoma treatment necessitated trabeculectomy in one eye; the patient has had no further recurrence for 6 years under monotherapy with interferon-alpha.

Conclusion: Interferon-alpha is a potent therapy for Adamantiades-Behçet's disease with ocular involvement. It also provides a basis for safe and reliable surgical interventions. In seven of eight eyes, there was no intra- or peri-operative recurrence of inflammation, which is a common complication after these procedures. Only one eye showed acute and prolonged inflammation following cataract surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Behcet Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Behcet Syndrome / surgery*
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Humans
  • Injections, Subcutaneous
  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha / therapeutic use*
  • Middle Aged
  • Phacoemulsification*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Silicone Oils / administration & dosage
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride / administration & dosage
  • Trabeculectomy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Visual Acuity
  • Vitrectomy*


  • Interferon alpha-2
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Silicone Oils
  • Sulfur Hexafluoride