Long-term efficacy and tolerability of TNFα inhibitors in the treatment of non-infectious ocular inflammation: an 8-year prospective surveillance study

Srilakshmi M Sharma, Erika Damato, Ann Hinchcliffe, Colm D Andrews, Katie Myint, Richard Lee, Andrew Dick

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Background/Aim To report the efficacy and tolerability of antitumour necrosis factor-alpha therapy (TNF inhibitors [TNFi]) in the management of non-infectious ocular inflammation, including uveitis and scleritis, in adult patients over an 8-year period.

Materials and methods This is a prospective cohort study of infliximab and adalimumab in the treatment of non-infectious ocular inflammatory disease. 43 of 85 adult patients on TNFi (34 infliximab, 9 adalimumab) for ≥1 year with non-infectious uveitis or scleritis were followed from 2006 to 2014. Clinical assessments, medication, adverse events and history of steroid rescues were collected at 6 monthly intervals. General quality of life (Short Form Health Survey (SF-36)) and visual quality of life (Vision-related quality of life Core Measure (VCM1)) were assessed annually. Outcome measures included rate of sustained remission, rate of relapse, systemic corticosteroid reduction, adverse events, and VCM1 and SF-36 scores.

Results The median time on infliximab was 3.2 years (IQR 4.3) and on adalimumab was 2.4 years (IQR 1.8). Sustained remission was induced in 39 patients (91%) (0.5 per patient year) after a median of 1.2 years on a TNFi. 22 (51%) experienced one relapse, and 5 (12%) had two relapses. 23 (54%) had at least one adverse event; serious adverse events necessitating hospitalisation or cessation of medication occurred in four (9%) patients. 10 patients (23%) switched from the initiation of TNFi, at 1.7 years after starting, to another TNFi or another class of biologic therapy.

Conclusion TNFi treatment is associated with long-term drug-induced remission of ocular inflammation, visual stability and corticosteroid reduction. Adverse events were common and no new safety signals occurred. Relapse of inflammation occurs in half of the treated population.

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Ophthalmology
Publication statusPublished - 12 Mar 2019


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