Objective: To evaluate safety and efficacy of adalimumab (ADA) and infliximab (IFX) for the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis-related anterior uveitis (JIA-AU).
Methods: Starting January 2007, patients with JIA-AU treated with IFX and ADA were managed by a standard protocol and data were entered into the National Italian Registry (NIR). At baseline, all patients were refractory to standard immunosuppressive treatment and/or were corticosteroid-dependent. Data recorded every 3 months included uveitis course, number/type of ocular complications, drug-related adverse events (AE), treatment change or withdrawal, and laboratory measures. Data of patients treated for at least 1 year were retrieved from the NIR and analyzed using descriptive statistics. Treatment efficacy was based on change in uveitis course and in number of ocular complications.
Results: Up to December 2009, data for 108 patients with JIA-AU treated with anti-tumor necrosis factor-α agents were recorded in the NIR and data from 91, with at least 12 months' followup, were included in the study. Forty-eight patients were treated with IFX, 43 with ADA. Forty-seven patients (55.3%) achieved remission of AU, 28 (32.9%) had recurrent AU, and 10 (11.8%) maintained a chronic course. A higher remission rate was observed with ADA (67.4% vs 42.8% with IFX; p = 0.025). Ocular complications decreased from 0.47 to 0.32 per subject. Five patients experienced resolution of structural complications. No patient reported serious AE; 8 (8.8%) experienced 11 minor AE (9 with IFX, 2 with ADA).
Conclusion: IFX and ADA appear to be effective and safe for treatment of refractory JIA-related uveitis, with a better performance of ADA in the medium-term period.