• Written By: Ralph D. Levinson, MD, and Andrea D. Birnbaum, MD, PhD

    This prospective study found that infliximab was effective in treating refractory uveoretinitis in patients with Behcet's disease.

    This is believed to be the first prospective multicenter study of this size to investigate infliximab use among such patients. Subjects included 63 patients with uveoretinitis and Behcet's seen at eight tertiary centers in Japan.

    After one year, the medication was found to be quite effective and well-tolerated, with uveoretinitis improving or improving somewhat in 92 percent of patients. Forty-four percent experienced no ocular attacks, while the remainder saw a marked reduction in their frequency and severity. This was accompanied by a statistically significant improvement in mean best-corrected visual acuity. Adverse effects occurred in about half of patients, but most were minor and none severe. Overall, efficacy was greatest in patients who had uveoretinitis for less than five years. 

    It has been suggested that infliximab's efficacy may decrease over time, which could be related to the development of human antichimera antibodies. Some ophthalmologists recommend treating patients with low-dose methotrexate to reduce the formation of these antibodies.