• Rituximab Effective for Autoimmune Retinopathy

    Written By: Jean Shaw and selected by Richard K. Parrish II, MD

    Journal Highlights

    American Journal of Ophthalmology, August 2017

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    Davoudi et al. set out to report out­comes for patients with autoimmune retinopathy (AIR) treated with ritux­imab as well as to evaluate whether adaptive optics scanning laser oph­thalmoscopy (AO-SLO) is an effective monitoring tool for these patients. They found that visual acuity (VA) either improved or stabilized in the majority of the patients. They also found that AO-SLO findings remained stable during treatment; however, these results did not reach statistical significance.

    For this retrospective case series, the investigators evaluated data on 16 AIR patients (30 eyes) who were examined at 1 center during 2010-2016. All were treated with a loading and maintenance dose of rituximab. In addition, all pa­tients received ancillary testing, includ­ing electroretinograms (ERGs), visual fields, and spectral-domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). A subset of patients (n = 4) had AO-SLO images that could be analyzed.

    For the primary outcome, VA im­proved in 2 patients, stabilized in 11, and declined in 3. The variances may reflect the point in the disease course during which treatment was initiated, the authors said, as the 2 patients who experienced improvement started rituximab early on during their disease. ERG and SD-OCT parameters as well as AO-SLO cone densities were stable during treatment.

    The authors noted that larger studies with longer follow-up are needed to prospectively assess the effectiveness of rituximab and the use of AO-SLO to monitor disease progression.

    The original article can be found here.