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 alpha (anti-TNFalpha) agents.
Methods: Patients with JIA-related uveitis refractory to immunosuppressive and anti-TNFalpha 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 >or=2 anti-TNFalpha 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-TNFalpha-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.