Long-term efficacy of infliximab in refractory posterior uveitis of Behcet's disease: a 24-month follow-up study

Rheumatology (Oxford). 2007 Jul;46(7):1161-4. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/kem101. Epub 2007 May 3.


Objectives: To evaluate the long-term efficacy and safety of infliximab in patients with Behçet's disease (BD) and refractory bilateral posterior uveitis, and to assess the proportion of relapse-free subjects through months 12 and 24.

Methods: Open-label, multicentre, 24-month, prospective, follow up study on 12 consecutive patients with BD and refractory posterior uveitis who had failed at least one immunosuppressive drug. At baseline patients received prednisolone 1 mg/Kg/day with rapid tapering and nine infliximab infusions (5 mg/kg) over a 12-month period. Non-responders after the third infusion withdrew from the study. Patients were evaluated for ocular inflammation degree, visual acuity (VA), number of ocular attacks and incidence of adverse events (AEs).

Results: At 12-month visit, 9/12 (75%) patients achieved a complete remission with no relapse during the treatment period. All had a dramatic improvement of ocular inflammation after the first infusion, six were in complete remission after three infusions, and three after four. All these patients suspended corticosteroids at week 22. At 24-month visit, seven out of nine (78%) were still in remission. Mean VA improved from 0.2 +/- 0.6 to 0.5 +/- 0.2 (P < 0.001), and ocular attacks dropped from 40 in the year before therapy to 5 after infliximab cessation (P < 0.001). One patient had a partial remission with two relapses during treatment, and 2/12 (17%) patients showed no improvement. Infliximab was well tolerated with no serious AEs.

Conclusions: Infliximab is rapidly effective and safe in a high proportion BD patients with refractory posterior uveitis, and may be helpful to prevent recurrences.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Behcet Syndrome / complications
  • Behcet Syndrome / drug therapy*
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Infliximab
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prednisolone / therapeutic use
  • Prospective Studies
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uveitis, Posterior / complications
  • Uveitis, Posterior / drug therapy*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Prednisolone
  • Infliximab