Systematic review of anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha therapy for treatment of immune-mediated uveitis

Ocul Immunol Inflamm. 2013;21(1):19-27. doi: 10.3109/09273948.2012.723107.


Purpose: To establish evidence-based recommendations regarding the use of anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha (TNF-α) agents for managing uveitis patients.

Methods: Medline was searched via OVID (1950 - October Week 3, 2011) using a Cochrane highly sensitive search (phases 1 and 2). Additional literature searches were also conducted incuding the following databases: the Cochrane, LILACS and the TRIP Database.

Results: A total of 54 studies met all of the inclusion criteria and were included in this review. A different level of recommendation and evidence is assigned to each anti-TNF-α agent. The overall rate of reported side effects with anti-TNF-α agents for the treatment of uvetis which required discontinuation of therapy was 2.2% (26/1147 patients).

Conclusion: Based on the evidence gathered, infliximab and adalimumab seem to be effective in the management of immune-mediated uveitis. Further randomized studies evaluating the efficacy of these agents are warranted. It is the most common cause of inflammatory eye disease, with an estimated prevalence of 115 cases per 100,000 persons. Endogenous or associated with a systemic disease, noninfectious uveitis accounts for approximately 75% of total cases comprising of a heterogeneous group of inflammatory conditions responsible for about 10% of legal blindness in developed nations. Endogenous uveitides are thought to have an autoimmune component mediated by T lymphocytes specific to intraocular antigens that have failed to successfully pass basic processes designed to maintain self-tolerance.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Infliximab
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / metabolism
  • Uveitis / drug therapy
  • Uveitis / immunology
  • Uveitis / metabolism


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Immunologic Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Infliximab