Immunology and Uveitis

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Sudharshan S, Nair N, Curi A, Banker A, Kempen JH. Human immunodeficiency virus and intraocular inflammation in the era of highly active anti retroviral therapy - An update. Indian J Ophthalmol 2020;68(9):1787-1798.Abstract
Intraocular inflammation in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection is commonly due to infectious uveitis. Ocular lesions due to opportunistic infections (OI) are the most common and have been described extensively in the pre highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era. Many eye lesions were classified as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) defining illnesses. HAART-associated improvement in immunity of the individual has changed the pattern of incidence of these hitherto reported known lesions leading to a marked reduction in the occurrence of ocular OI. Newer ocular lesions and newer ocular manifestations of known agents have been noted. Immune recovery uveitis (IRU), the new menace, which occurs as part of immune recovery inflammatory syndrome (IRIS) in the eye, can present with significant ocular inflammation and can pose a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge. Balancing the treatment of inflammation with the risk of reactivation of OI is a task by itself. Ocular involvement in the HAART era can be due to the adverse effects of some systemic drugs used in the management of HIV/AIDS. Drug-associated retinal toxicity and other ocular side effects are being increasingly reported. In this review, we discuss the ocular manifestations in HIV patients and its varied presentations following the introduction of HAART, drug-associated lesions, and the current treatment guidelines.
Suelves AM, Siddique SS, Schurko B, Foster SC. Anterior chamber intraocular lens implantation in patients with a history of chronic uveitis: five-year follow-up. J Cataract Refract Surg 2014;40(1):77-81.Abstract
PURPOSE: To compare the incidence of long-term complications after cataract surgery with primary anterior chamber intraocular lens (AC IOL) implantation in uveitic patients and patients without a history of intraocular inflammation (control group). SETTING: Single-center private practice. DESIGN: Retrospective clinical study. METHODS: The study comprised patients who between November 2005 and August 2010 had cataract extraction followed by AC IOL implantation because conventional placement was not possible. Outcome measures were the incidence of intraoperative and postoperative complications, preoperative corrected distance visual acuity (CDVA), and CDVA after 1 year. RESULTS: Of the 39 patients identified through electronic medical records, 17 (17 eyes) had a history of chronic uveitis and 22 (23 eyes) had no intraocular inflammatory disease. There were no significant differences in the incidence of intraoperative and postoperative complications between the 2 groups during follow-up (range 12 to 68 months) (P=.702). Although uveitic eyes had a greater risk for epiretinal membrane formation, the incidence of uveitis flareups attributed to the IOL and deposits on IOL surfaces was comparable to that in the control group (P<.001). The CDVA improved significantly in both groups 1 year after surgery (P<.01 and P<.001, respectively). CONCLUSION: In uveitic eyes with inadequate capsule support, AC IOL implantation restored visual function without a significant increase in long-term postoperative complications compared with eyes that had no history of uveitis.
Suelves AM, Lamba N, Meese HK, Foster SC, González-Martín JM, Díaz-Llopis M, Christen WG. Nuclear cataract as an early predictive factor for recalcitrant juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis. J AAPOS 2016;20(3):232-238.e1.Abstract

PURPOSE: To analyze factors predictive of having treatment-resistant uveitis in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)-associated uveitis. METHODS: The medical records of patients diagnosed with JIA-associated uveitis treated at a single tertiary referral center from October 2005 to March 2013 were reviewed retrospectively. The main outcome measures were demographic characteristics, ocular comorbidity, clinical course, treatments, and baseline risk factors associated with poor response to first-line therapies. RESULTS: A total of 96 patients (175 eyes) were included. Of these, 58 patients (108 eyes) required biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or alkylating agents for their uveitis during follow-up (recalcitrant group), and 38 patients (67 eyes) did not (nonrecalcitrant group). Eyes of the recalcitrant group tended to have a higher incidence of cataract at baseline (49%; P < 0.0001). In the nonrecalcitrant group, the most frequent complications were cataract (20.9%) and secondary glaucoma (20.9%). The mean number of flares in the recalcitrant group was significantly reduced from 3.7/eye/year prior to cataract surgery to 1.6/eye/year after (P < 0.0001). Nuclear cataract was found to be an independent predictor for a severe course of JIA-associated uveitis. Any other type of cataract, posterior synechiae, male sex, or active uveitis at baseline were not found to be independently associated with recalcitrant uveitis. CONCLUSIONS: Nuclear cataract at baseline evaluation is a risk factor for poor response to first-line therapies in JIA-associated uveitis patients.

Suzuki J, Yoshimura T, Simeonova M, Takeuchi K, Murakami Y, Morizane Y, Miller JW, Sobrin L, Vavvas DG. Aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide ameliorates experimental autoimmune uveitis. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2012;53(7):4158-69.Abstract
PURPOSE: To investigate the anti-inflammatory effect of an adenosine monophosphate (AMP) analog, aminoimidazole carboxamide ribonucleotide (AICAR), in experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis (EAU). METHODS: C57BL/6 mice were injected daily with AICAR (200 mg/kg, intraperitoneally [IP]) from day 0, the day of interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP) immunization, until day 21. The severity of uveitis was assessed clinically and histopathologically. T-cell proliferation and cytokine production of IFN-γ, IL-17, and IL-10 in response to IRBP stimulation were determined. In addition, regulatory T-cell (Treg) populations were measured. Co-stimulatory molecule expression (CD40, 80, 86, and I-Ab) on dendritic cells (DCs) in EAU and on bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDCs) treated with AICAR was measured. RESULTS: AICAR treatment significantly reduced clinical and histologic severity of EAU as well as ocular cytokine production. An anti-inflammatory effect associated with the inhibition of T-cell proliferation and Th1 and Th17 cytokine production was observed. Increases in the Th2 response and Treg population were not observed with AICAR treatment. AICAR did significantly inhibit BMDC maturation by reducing co-stimulatory molecule expression. CONCLUSIONS: AICAR attenuates EAU by preventing generation of Ag-specific Th1 and Th17 cells. Impaired DC maturation may be an underlying mechanism for this anti-inflammatory effect observed with AICAR.
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Testi I, Agrawal R, Mahajan S, Agarwal A, Gunasekeran DV, Raje D, Aggarwal K, Murthy SI, Westcott M, Chee SP, McCluskey P, Ho SL, Teoh S, Cimino L, Biswas J, Narain S, Agarwal M, Mahendradas P, Khairallah M, Jones N, Tugal-Tutkun I, Babu K, Basu S, Carreño E, Lee R, Al-Dhibi H, Bodaghi B, Invernizzi A, Goldstein DA, Herbort CP, Barisani-Asenbauer T, González-López JJ, Androudi S, Bansal R, Moharana B, Esposti SD, Tasiopoulou A, Nadarajah S, Agarwal M, Abraham S, Vala R, Singh R, Sharma A, Sharma K, Zierhut M, Rousselot A, Grant R, Kon OM, Cunningham ET, Kempen J, Nguyen QD, Pavesio C, Gupta V. Tubercular Uveitis: Nuggets from Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2019;:1-9.Abstract
Tuberculosis (TB) is a major infection that can affect the eye as first and sole presentation without features of systemic disease. Controversy exists regarding diagnosis and management of tubercular uveitis (TBU), further compounded by regional variations in disease expression. Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1 aims to address knowledge deficits through collaboration amongst uveitis specialists across the globe by sharing the data of patients with TBU presented at participating centers from January 2004 to December 2014. Data collection was facilitated by a novel method of real-time encrypted web-based data entry allowing regular updates as new data and recommendations become available. Information on clinical features, investigation findings, management, and treatment outcomes were reviewed to get an idea about real world scenario. The current review aims to focus on methodology and briefing of published reports from COTS group in COTS-1 study to highlight key messages from this large data.
Testi I, Agrawal R, Mahajan S, Agarwal A, Gunasekeran DV, Raje D, Aggarwal K, Murthy SI, Westcott M, Chee S-P, McCluskey P, Ho SL, Teoh S, Cimino L, Biswas J, Narain S, Agarwal M, Mahendradas P, Khairallah M, Jones N, Tugal-Tutkun I, Babu K, Basu S, Carreño E, Lee R, Al-Dhibi H, Bodaghi B, Invernizzi A, Goldstein DA, Herbort CP, Barisani-Asenbauer T, González-López JJ, Androudi S, Bansal R, Moharana B, Esposti SD, Tasiopoulou A, Nadarajah S, Agarwal M, Abraham S, Vala R, Singh R, Sharma A, Sharma K, Zierhut M, Kon OM, Cunningham ET, Kempen JH, Nguyen QD, Pavesio C, Gupta V. The Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1: A Multinational Descriptive Review of Tubercular Uveitis in Paediatric Population. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-7.Abstract
PURPOSE: To examine disease profile of tubercular uveitis (TBU) in Paediatric population. METHODS: Among 945 patients of the retrospective multinational study by the Collaborative Ocular Tuberculosis Study (COTS)-1, 29 Paediatric patients diagnosed with TBU were analyzed. RESULTS: Mean age of disease presentation was 12.8 (range 4-18 years), with predominance of males (n = 14/20; 70.0%) and Asian ethnicity (n = 25/29; 86.2%). Posterior uveitis (n = 14/28; 50%) was the most frequent uveitis phenotype, with choroidal involvement occurring in 64.7% (n = 11/17). Incidence of optic disc edema and macular edema was higher in children (n = 8/18; 44.4% and n = 5/18; 27.8%, respectively) than in adults (n = 160/942; 16.9% and n = 135/942; 14.3%, respectively). Comparison of optic disc edema between subgroups showed a significant difference (). All patients received oral corticosteroids, most of them with antitubercular therapy. Treatment failure developed in 4.8% (n = 1/21). CONCLUSIONS: Children have a more severe inflammatory response to the disease, and an intensive anti-inflammatory therapeutic regimen is required to achieve a positive treatment outcome.
Thorne JE, Sugar EA, Holbrook JT, Burke AE, Altaweel MM, Vitale AT, Acharya NR, Kempen JH, Jabs DA, Jabs DA. Periocular Triamcinolone vs. Intravitreal Triamcinolone vs. Intravitreal Dexamethasone Implant for the Treatment of Uveitic Macular Edema: The PeriOcular vs. INTravitreal corticosteroids for uveitic macular edema (POINT) Trial. Ophthalmology 2019;126(2):283-295.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the comparative effectiveness of 3 regional corticosteroid injections for uveitic macular edema (ME): periocular triamcinolone acetonide (PTA), intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide (ITA), and the intravitreal dexamethasone implant (IDI). DESIGN: Multicenter, randomized clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: Patients with uveitic ME. METHODS: Patients were randomized 1:1:1 to receive 1 of the 3 therapies. Patients with bilateral ME were assigned the same treatment for both eyes. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: The primary outcome was the proportion of baseline (PropBL) central subfield thickness (CST) at 8 weeks (CST at 8 weeks/CST at baseline) assessed with OCT by masked readers. Secondary outcomes included ≥20% improvement and resolution of ME, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), and intraocular pressure (IOP) events over 24 weeks. RESULTS: All treatment groups demonstrated improved CST during follow-up. At 8 weeks, each group had clinically meaningful reductions in CST relative to baseline (PropBL: 0.77, 0.61, and 0.54, respectively, which translates to reductions of 23%, 39%, and 46% for PTA, ITA, and IDI, respectively). Intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide (PropBL ITA/PropBL PTA, hazard ratio [HR], 0.79; 99.87% confidence interval [CI], 0.65-0.96) and IDI (PropBL IDI/PropBL PTA, HR, 0.69; 99.87% CI, 0.56-0.86) had larger reductions in CST than PTA (P < 0.0001). Intravitreal dexamethasone implant was noninferior to ITA at 8 weeks (PropBL IDI/PropBL ITA, HR, 0.88; 99.87% CI, 0.71-1.08). Both ITA and IDI treatments also were superior to PTA treatment in improving and resolving uveitic ME. All treatment groups demonstrated BCVA improvement throughout follow-up. Both ITA and IDI groups had improvements in BCVA that was 5 letters greater than in the PTA group at 8 weeks (P < 0.004). The risk of having IOP ≥24 mmHg was higher in the intravitreal treatment groups compared with the periocular group (HR, 1.83; 95% CI, 0.91-3.65 and HR, 2.52; 95% CI, 1.29-4.91 for ITA and IDI, respectively); however, there was no significant difference between the 2 intravitreal treatment groups. CONCLUSIONS: Intravitreal triamcinolone acetonide and the IDI were superior to PTA for treating uveitic ME with modest increases in the risk of IOP elevation. This risk did not differ significantly between intravitreal treatments.
Tolesa K, Abateneh A, Kempen JH, Gelaw Y. Patterns of Uveitis among Patients Attending Jimma University Department of Ophthalmology, Jimma, Ethiopia. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;28(7):1109-1115.Abstract
: Uveitis is an important cause of blindness and ocular morbidity in the world. The patterns of uveitis have not been well characterized in sub-Saharan Africa. : To describe the characteristics of uveitis among patients presenting to Jimma University Department of Ophthalmology (JUDO) from July 2013 to December 2014. : This hospital-based prospective cross-sectional study included all new uveitis patients visiting JUDO outpatient department during the study period. : Among 98 patients diagnosed with uveitis, anterior uveitis was found in 74.5% of patients. Majority of the patients, 83.7%, had unilateral uveitis. A uveitis syndrome was identified in 22.5% of cases; of these 15 (68.2%) were infectious. Herpes simplex uveitis was the commonest infectious cause (53.3%) while Toxoplasmosis was the most common cause of posterior uveitis (60%). : Anterior uveitis was the most common pattern found among uveitis patients. Herpes simplex and toxoplasmic chorioretinitis were the most common-identified infectious causes.
Tomkins-Netzer O, Lightman SL, Burke AE, Sugar EA, Lim LL, Jaffe GJ, Altaweel MM, Kempen JH, Holbrook JT, Jabs DA, and Group MSTTF-up SR. Seven-Year Outcomes of Uveitic Macular Edema: The Multicenter Uveitis Steroid Treatment Trial and Follow-up Study Results. Ophthalmology 2021;128(5):719-728.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the long-term outcomes of uveitic macular edema (ME). DESIGN: Longitudinal follow-up of a cohort of participants in a randomized clinical trial. PARTICIPANTS: A total of 248 eyes of 177 participants with uveitic ME enrolled in the Multicenter Uveitis Steroid Treatment (MUST) Trial and Follow-up Study. METHODS: OCT measurements, taken at baseline and annually, were graded by reading center graders masked to clinical data. Macular edema was defined as a center macular thickness (CMT) ≥240 μm on time-domain OCT or time-domain OCT equivalent. Resolution of ME was defined as normalization of macular thickness on OCT. Relapse of ME was defined as increase in macular thickness to ≥240 μm in an eye that previously had resolution. Visual acuity was measured at each visit with logarithmic visual acuity charts. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Resolution and relapse of ME. Visual acuity. RESULTS: Among 227 eyes with ME followed ≥1 year, the cumulative percent of eyes with ME resolving at any point during 7 years was 94% (95% confidence interval [CI], 89-97). Epiretinal membranes on OCT were associated with a lower likelihood of ME resolution (hazard ratio [HR], 0.74; 95% CI, 0.55-1.01; P = 0.05). Among 177 eyes with resolved ME, the cumulative percent with relapse within 7 years was 43% (95% CI, 32-51). Eyes in which ME resolved gained a mean of 6.24 letters (95% CI, 4.40-8.09; P < 0.001) compared with eyes that remained free from ME during the 1-year follow-up intervals, whereas eyes in which ME did not resolve experienced no gain in vision (mean change -1.30 letters; 95% CI, -2.70 to 0.09; P = 0.065), and eyes that developed ME during the year (incident or relapsed) experienced a mean loss of -8.65 letters (95% CI, -11.5 to -5.84, P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Given sufficient time and treatment, nearly all uveitic ME resolves, but episodes of relapse were common. Visual acuity results were better among eyes with resolved ME, suggesting that control of inflammation and resolution of ME might be visually relevant treatment targets.
Tripathy K, Ying H, Maldonado Cerda A, Filipowicz A, Kaya M, Seymen Z, Anesi SD, Chang PY, Foster CS. Widefield Fundus Fluorescein Angiography Features of Uveitis Associated with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2020;:1-10.Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the wide-field fundus fluorescein angiography (WFA) characteristics of uveitis associated with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA-uveitis). METHODS: Retrospective review of records. WFA with Spectralis (Heidelberg) of JIA-uveitis patients were analyzed using the scoring system by Angiography Scoring for Uveitis Nomenclature. RESULTS: Thirty-seven eyes of 20 patients were studied. A total score of at least 1 was noted in 27 eyes (72.97%). WFA features included optic disc hyperfluorescence (51.35%), macular leakage (27.03%), retinal vascular staining/leakage at posterior pole (27.03%) and peripheral retina (64.86%), capillary leakage at the posterior pole (37.84%), and peripheral retina (59.46%). A decision to change the management plan was made in 8 of 9 patients with bilateral quiet anterior chambers after WFA results. CONCLUSION: More than 70% of JIA-uveitis eyes showed some WFA-evidence of posterior segment inflammation, which changed the course of therapy for a major proportion of patients with no clinically active anterior chamber inflammation.
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Uchi S-H, Yanai R, Kobayashi M, Hatano M, Kobayashi Y, Yamashiro C, Nagai T, Tokuda K, Connor KM, Sonoda K-H, Kimura K. Dendritic cells mediate the anti-inflammatory action of omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in experimental autoimmune uveitis. PLoS One 2019;14(7):e0219405.Abstract
We previously showed that dietary omega (ω)-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) suppress inflammation in mice with experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU). We have now investigated the role of antigen presenting cells (APCs) in this action of ω-3 LCPUFAs. C57BL/6 mice were fed a diet supplemented with ω-3 or ω-6 LCPUFAs for 2 weeks, after which splenocytes were isolated from the mice and cocultured with CD4+ T cells isolated from mice with EAU induced by injection of a human interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein peptide together with complete Freund's adjuvant. The proliferation of and production of interferon-γ and interleukin-17 by T cells from EAU mice in vitro were attenuated in the presence of splenocytes from ω-3 LCPUFA-fed mice as compared with those from mice fed ω-6 LCPUFAs. Splenocyte fractionation by magnetic-activated cell sorting revealed that, among APCs, dendritic cells (DCs) were the target of ω-3 LCPUFAs. Adoptive transfer of DCs from mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs attenuated disease progression in EAU mice as well as the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines by T cells isolated from these latter animals. The proliferation of T cells from control Balb/c mice was also attenuated in the presence of DCs from ω-3 LCPUFA-fed mice as compared with those from ω-6 LCPUFA-fed mice. Furthermore, T cell proliferation in such a mixed lymphocyte reaction was inhibited by prior exposure of DCs from mice fed an ω-6 LCPUFA diet to ω-3 LCPUFAs in vitro. Our results thus suggest that DCs mediate the anti-inflammatory action of dietary ω-3 LCPUFAs in EAU.
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Valdes LM, Sobrin L. Uveitis Therapy: The Corticosteroid Options. Drugs 2020;80(8):765-773.Abstract
Uveitis is characterized by intraocular inflammation involving the uveal tract; its etiologies generally fall into two broad categories: autoimmune/inflammatory or infectious. Corticosteroids  are a powerful and important class of medications ubiquitous in the treatment of uveitis. They may be given systemically or locally, in the form of topical drops, periocular injection, intravitreal suspension, or intravitreal implant. This review describes each of the currently available corticosteroid treatment options for uveitis, including favorable and unfavorable characteristics of each as well as applicable clinical trials. The main advantage of corticosteroids as a whole is their ability to quickly and effectively control inflammation early on in the course of uveitis. However, they can have serious side effects, whether localized to the eye (such as cataract and elevated intraocular pressure) or systemic (such as osteonecrosis and adrenal insufficiency) and in the majority of cases of uveitis are not an appropriate option for long-term therapy.
Valdes L, Bispo P, Sobrin L. Application of Metagenomic Sequencing in the Diagnosis of Infectious Uveitis. Semin Ophthalmol 2020;:1-4.Abstract
: to summarize the origin and very recent history of the use of metagenomic sequencing for the diagnosis of infectious uveitis, convey the technique as described by one of the primary institutions experimenting with the technology, and present recent successful applications of the technology as well as potential advantages and pitfalls compared to other current diagnostic tools.: review of peer-reviewed literature concerning metagenomic sequencing for the diagnosis of infectious uveitis.: compared to existing diagnostic methods, metagenomic deep sequencing is a sensitive, unbiased, and comprehensive technique with great potential for diagnosing the causative pathogens of cases of infectious uveitis. However, many issues remain to be addressed in the process of developing this technology, including but not limited to the potentially overwhelming amount of information generated, definition of diagnostic thresholds, demonstration of validity, contamination, and cost.
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Wentworth BA, Freitas-Neto CA, Foster SC. Management of pediatric uveitis. F1000Prime Rep 2014;6:41.Abstract
Pediatric uveitis is a topic of special interest not only because of the unique diagnostic and therapeutic challenges but also because of the lifetime burden of vision loss if the problem is not adequately treated, as well as the economic and psychological toll on the family. Often, uveitis in children is discovered as part of a routine eye exam; this silent, insidious inflammation can be difficult to treat and can lead to further complications if not handled skillfully. Corticosteroids have long been the mainstay of therapy; however, the significant associated side effects mandate a corticosteroid-sparing therapeutic regimen in pursuit of remission. In this review, we cover the therapeutic options for pediatric uveitis, specifically focusing on the most common non-infectious varieties, juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis and pars planitis.
Werdich XQ, Jakobiec FA, Singh AD, Kim IK. A review of advanced genetic testing for clinical prognostication in uveal melanoma. Semin Ophthalmol 2013;28(5-6):361-71.Abstract
Uveal melanoma (UM) has a strong propensity to metastasize and the prognosis for metastatic disease is very poor. It has been suggested that occult micrometastases are already present, but undetectable, in many patients at the time when the primary ocular tumor is diagnosed and treated. To identify high-risk patients for close monitoring and early intervention with prophylactic adjuvant systemic therapy, an accurate predictive system is necessary for stratifying those patients at risk of developing metastatic disease. To date, many clinical and histopathological features, molecular pathway characteristics, and genetic fingerprints of UM have been suggested for disease prognostication. Among the newest of them, tumor genetics has received the most attention in demonstrating promise as a prognostic tool. Because of the plethora of recent developments, we summarize and compare in this review the important standard and more advanced cytogenetic prognostic markers. We further describe the variety of genetic tests available for prognostication of UM, and provide a critical assessment of the respective advantages and disadvantages of these tools.
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You C, Lasave AF, Kubaisi B, Syeda S, Ma L, Wai KCK, Diaz MH, Walsh M, Stephenson A, Montieth A, Foster SC. Long-term outcomes of systemic corticosteroid-sparing immunomodulatory therapy for Birdshot Retinochoroidopathy. Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2019;:1-9.Abstract
: To report the visual prognosis, electroretinography (ERG) and perimetry outcomes of systemic corticosteroid-sparing immunomodulatory treatment (IMT) for birdshot retinochoroidopathy (BSRC). : Retrospective non-comparative case series of 132 patients (264 eyes) with BSRC treated with IMT from Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution. : The average follow-up time was 60.1 months. After one year on IMT, 39.4% showed no clinically active inflammation. After 5 years of IMT, 78.0% had no signs of clinical inflammation. No significant differences were observed on best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), ERG parameters, and perimetry parameters between baseline and subsequent visits on IMT. : Long-term systemic corticosteroid-sparing IMT was associated with a low rate of BSRC disease exacerbation. While differences were seen on testing parameters, they were not consistent trends and difference were attributed to variability of testing or fluctuation of inflammation that may be expected in the course of the disease.
You C, Ma L, Lasave AF, Foster SC. Rituximab Induction and Maintenance Treatment in Patients with Scleritis and Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (Wegener's). Ocul Immunol Inflamm 2017;:1-8.Abstract
AIMS: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of rituximab (RTX) induction and maintenance treatment for patients with scleritis and granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), Wegener's. METHODS: Nine patients (12 eyes) with scleritis with GPA who did not respond to corticosteroids and more than one immunosuppressive agent who received ongoing maintenance RTX treatment were identified. Demographics and outcome measures were recorded. RESULTS: Median follow-up time of 30 months (range, 15 to 87 months). All 12 eyes achieved remission during the RTX maintenance period with a median time in remission of 14 months (range, 5-76 months), and median interval between RTX initiation and inactive disease of 5 months (range, 2-8 months). Two eyes in two patients relapsed. One received steroid eye drops, and the other received a short-term increased dose of intravenous corticosteroids. CONCLUSIONS: RTX was effective as an induction and maintenance treatment in our small cohort of patients with GPA-associated scleritis.
You C, Lamba N, Lasave AF, Ma L, Diaz MH, Foster SC. Rituximab in the treatment of ocular cicatricial pemphigoid: a retrospective cohort study. Graefes Arch Clin Exp Ophthalmol 2017;255(6):1221-1228.Abstract
PURPOSE: The purpose was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of rituximab (RTX) for the treatment of patients with aggressive ocular cicatricial pemphigoid (OCP). METHODS: A review of patient records at a tertiary referral center with biopsy confirmed OCP who presented between 2006 and 2016. Sixty-one eyes of 32 patients with symptomatic OCP who received treatment with RTX monotherapy or RTX in combination with additional immunomodulatory treatment (IMT) were evaluated. Main outcomes included clinically evident remission of disease, the percentage of corticosteroid sparing patients, stage of OCP (Foster), best corrected visual acuity, and treatment complications. Remission was defined as absence of progressive scarring and active ocular inflammation for ≥ 2 months. Partial remission/responding was defined as disease control and clinical improvement for ≥ 2 months. RESULTS: Mean age at the initiation of RTX treatment was 59.1 years (range, 24-80 years) with a median follow-up time after RTX initiation of 32 months (range, 14 to 127 months). Twenty-six patients achieved clinical remission with an average sustained remission of 24.5 months (from 9 months to 84 months). RTX monotherapy was used in six patients, RTX in combination with intravenous immunoglobulin in 14 patients, and RTX with intravenous immunoglobulin and/or with other IMT agent in six patients. Seven eyes (11.5%) of six patients had favorable response to RTX and achieved response and partial remission, while inflammation remained active in the other seven eyes (11.5%) of four patients though there was no progressive scarring. At the last visit, three patients (9.4%) were on topical corticosteroid, three patients (9.4%) were treated with systemic corticosteroid treatments, and the other 26 patients (81.2%) achieved corticosteroid sparing therapy. Five eyes (8.2%) progressed one Foster stage. No other cicatrization progression or worsening of LogMAR visual acuity (p = 0.641) was observed during the follow-up period. Adverse events included leukopenia in three patients (9.4%), anemia in two patients (6.2%), liver enzyme elevation in three patients (9.4%) who were also on another concomitant IMT drug, and Epstein-Barr Virus infection and sinus infection in one patient each (3.1%). No other severe adverse events were noted during the follow-up period. CONCLUSIONS: These retrospective data suggest that RTX is efficacious and well tolerated when included for the treatment of OCP. Controlled studies are necessary to identify the role of this IMT agent in the therapeutic arsenal, especially its optimum dose and duration of administration.

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