Comparable Efficacy of Abatacept Used as First-line or Second-line Biological Agent for Severe Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis-related Uveitis

J Rheumatol. 2016 Nov;43(11):2068-2073. doi: 10.3899/jrheum.151389. Epub 2016 Sep 15.


Objective: Abatacept (ABA) has recently been proposed as second-line treatment in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)-associated uveitis refractory to anti-tumor necrosis factor-α (anti-TNF) agents, but little is known about its efficacy as a first-line approach. The aim of the present study was to compare the safety and efficacy of ABA as a first-line biological agent (ABA-1) with that of ABA as a second-line treatment after 1 or more anti-TNF agents (ABA-2), in patients with severe JIA-related uveitis.

Methods: In this multicenter study, we collected data on patients with severe JIA-related uveitis treated with ABA as a first-line or second-line biological agent. Changes in frequency of uveitis flares/year and ocular complications before and after ABA treatment, clinical remission, and side effects were recorded.

Results: Thirty-five patients with a mean age of 10.8 years were treated with ABA for a mean period of 19.6 months. In 4 patients, ABA administration was discontinued, owing to inefficacy on arthritis in 3 cases and allergic reaction in 1. Thirty-one patients, 14 in the ABA-1 group and 17 in the ABA-2 group, completed the 12-month followup period; of these, 17 (54.8%) had clinical remission. The mean frequency of uveitis flares decreased from 4.1 to 1.2 in the ABA-1 group (p = 0.002) and from 3.7 to 1.2 in the ABA-2 group (p = 0.004). Preexisting ocular complications improved or remained stable in all but 5 patients, all in the ABA-2 group. No significant difference was found between the efficacy of the 2 treatment modalities. ABA confirmed its good safety profile.

Conclusion: ABA, used as first-line biological treatment or after 1 or more anti-TNF agents, induces a comparable improvement in severe refractory JIA-related uveitis.


Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abatacept / therapeutic use*
  • Adolescent
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / drug therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Retreatment
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Uveitis / drug therapy*
  • Young Adult


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Abatacept