Earlier use of systemic immunosuppression is associated with fewer ophthalmic surgeries in paediatric non-infectious uveitis. Br J Ophthalmol 2020;104(7):938-942.Abstract.
BACKGROUND/AIMS: There is a paucity of large trials investigating the effect of management strategies for paediatric non-infectious uveitis on complications requiring surgery. The purpose of our study is to investigate whether earlier initiation of systemic immunosuppression in paediatric non-infectious uveitis is associated with fewer ophthalmic surgeries. METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted on 48 children with non-infectious uveitis assessed in 1998-2013. Patients were divided into uveitis diagnosed before December 2008 (group 1) and after January 2009 (group 2). Duration from uveitis onset to methotrexate initiation (U-MTX) and biological addition (U-Biologic) were reviewed. Follow-up visits with topical corticosteroids >3 times daily and active uveitis (≥1+ cells) during 3.5 years were documented. The main outcome measure was the need for ≥1 ophthalmic surgery at 3.5 years. RESULTS: In group 1, 69.5% of patients required ≥1 ophthalmic surgery at 3.5 years versus 26.9% in group 2 (p=0.005). U-MTX was 28.9±11.8 weeks and 14.2±10.0 weeks for groups 1 and 2 (p=0.028). U-Biologic was 134.6±46.0 weeks and 82.3±43.3 weeks for groups 1 and 2 (p=0.0016). Corticosteroid use >3 times daily was 85.9±52.7 weeks and 14.6±11.1 weeks for groups 1 and 2. Multivariate regression showed methotrexate initiation within 6 months of uveitis onset lowered the likelihood of needing ophthalmic surgery at 3.5 years (OR=6.2, 95% CI 1.2 to 33.4; p=0.033). Univariate regression demonstrated biological addition within 18 months of uveitis onset reduced the likelihood of requiring ophthalmic surgery (OR 12.57, 95% CI 1.28 to 123.48; p=0.030). CONCLUSION: Earlier control of uveitis by addition of immunosuppressive therapy reduced the need for ophthalmic surgery.