How should we approach management of childhood onset chronic anterior uveitis refractory to adalimumab?

Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2024 Mar;20(3):267-276. doi: 10.1080/1744666X.2023.2284845. Epub 2023 Nov 28.


Introduction: The management of refractory juvenile idiopathic associated uveitis (JIAU) or childhood-onset chronic anterior uveitis (CAU) is a challenge. There is no clear consensus or evidence base for to suggest the most appropriate therapy after primary or secondary failure of biweekly adalimumab. In this scenario, most clinicians advocate switching to another anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitor; however, there are a variety of other disease modifying agents to choose from albeit with a differing levels of evidence.

Areas covered: We discuss how to define nonresponse and potential treatment options for patients with JIAU and CAU refractory to biweekly adalimumab.

Expert opinion: Uncontrolled CAU and JIAU remain one of the most challenging diseases to manage and can lead to irreversible loss of vision in a third of those affected. Amongst the possible choices, weekly adalimumab, infliximab, tocilizumab and abatacept have more evidence to support their use. JAK inhibitors seem to be a promising option. Golimumab and Rituximab has also been thought to be partially effective in some refractory cases, whereas IL-17, IL-23, and IL-12 inhibition along with apremilast seem not to be a therapeutic option currently. The route of administration should also be considered as there can be significant pros and cons for different children.

Keywords: Abatacept; IL-17 inhibition; IL-23 inhibition; JAK inhibition; anti-TNFa; idiopathic anterior chronic uveitis; juvenile idiopathic arthritis associated; mycophenolate; mofetil refractory/resistant anterior uveitis; rituximab uveitis; tocilizumab.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Juvenile* / complications
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Humans
  • Infliximab / therapeutic use
  • Uveitis* / drug therapy
  • Uveitis, Anterior* / complications
  • Uveitis, Anterior* / drug therapy


  • Adalimumab
  • Infliximab