INTRODUCTION: Glucocorticoids represent the standard therapy for reducing inflammation and immune activation in various diseases. However, as with any potent medication, they are not without side effects. Glucocorticoid-associated side effects may involve most major organ systems. Musculoskeletal, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, endocrine, neuropsychiatric, dermatologic, ocular, and immunologic side effects are all possible. AREAS COVERED: This article analyzes English-language literature and provides an update on the most recent literature regarding side effects of systemic glucocorticoid treatment. EXPERT OPINION: The risk/benefit ratio of glucocorticoid therapy can be improved by proper use. Careful monitoring and using appropriate preventive strategies can potentially minimize side effects.
PURPOSE: To identify changes in short-wavelength automated perimetry patterns and parameters between the active and inactive states. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study with age-matched, normal controls. METHODS: setting: Private tertiary referral center. STUDY POPULATION: Seventy-five eyes of 38 patients with active birdshot retinochoroidopathy and 37 eyes of 37 historical normal controls. INTERVENTION: Thirty-seven patients received immunomodulatory therapy. A fluocinolone acetonide intravitreal implant (Retisert) was implanted in both eyes of 1 patient as an initial treatment. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Changes in short-wavelength automated perimetry total deviation scores, pattern deviation scores, mean deviation, and pattern standard deviation in the active phase and the remission state. RESULTS: Mean deviation (P = .006), pattern standard deviation (P = .001), total deviation score (P = .002), and pattern deviation score (P = .007) were significantly different from the active phase to the remission state. The length of time required to achieve remission did not significantly affect the changes in mean deviation (regression coefficient = 0.01; P = .92), pattern standard deviation (regression coefficient = 0.01; P = .87), total deviation score (regression coefficient = -0.1; P = .32), or pattern deviation score (regression coefficient = 0.1; P = .36) from the active phase to the remission state. CONCLUSION: There was significant improvement in total deviation score, pattern deviation score, mean deviation, and pattern standard deviation on short-wavelength automated perimetry as patients achieved remission. Short-wavelength automated perimetry appears to be a useful and complementary modality in monitoring disease activity in birdshot retinochoroidopathy.
Ocular inflammatory disease is a leading cause of vision loss worldwide. Uveitis encompasses a wide spectrum of pathology, both with respect to its etiology and the anatomic location within the eye. Inflammation can be confined to the eye and may also be seen systemically. The cornerstone of management of ocular inflammatory disease historically has been corticosteroids, which are invaluable in the immediate control of inflammation; however, corticosteroids are inappropriate for long-term use as they are associated with a wide array of toxic side effects. As we continue to learn more about the various etiologies and elucidate the basic science pathways and mechanisms of action that cause intraocular inflammation, new therapeutic approaches have evolved. They include employment of immunomodulatory agents (corticosteroid-sparing therapies) that have expanded our treatment options for these vision-threatening diseases. These pharmacologics provide therapy for ocular and systemic inflammation in an individualized, patient-tailored, stepladder approach with the ultimate goal of durable, corticosteroid-free remission. We review the preferred practice patterns of a tertiary care center specializing in ocular inflammatory disease.
PURPOSE: To evaluate the effectiveness of a therapeutic trial of valganciclovir in patients with uveitis with positive Epstein-Barr virus early antigen D immunoglobulin G titers (EBV EA-D). METHODS: We performed a retrospective chart review of 14 patients at the Massachusetts Eye Research and Surgery Institution who had uveitis with positive EBV EA-D but negative studies for all other causes of uveitis and were treated with valganciclovir 450 mg twice a day or valganciclovir 900 mg twice a day between January 2010 and August 2014. RESULTS: Nine of 14 patients, who had presumed EBV reactivation with associated intraocular inflammation, were successfully treated with valganciclovir: 3 of these were treated with valganciclovir 450 mg twice a day and 6 were treated with valganciclovir 900 mg twice a day. Five of 14 patients failed to respond to valganciclovir with persistent inflammation after at least 2 weeks of valganciclovir therapy, and were subsequently treated with immunomodulatory therapy to control inflammation. CONCLUSIONS: Uveitis can be caused by EBV infection/reactivation. A therapeutic trial with valganciclovir 450 mg twice a day for 1 month in patients with uveitis with positive EBV EA antibody may be beneficial.
Omega (ω)-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs) inhibit the production of inflammatory mediators and thereby contribute to the regulation of inflammation. Experimental autoimmune uveitis (EAU) is a well-established animal model of autoimmune retinal inflammation. To investigate the potential effects of dietary intake of ω-3 LCPUFAs on uveitis, we examined the anti-inflammatory properties of these molecules in comparison with ω-6 LCPUFAs in a mouse EAU model. C57BL/6 mice were fed a diet containing ω-3 LCPUFAs or ω-6 LCPUFAs for 2 weeks before as well as after the induction of EAU by subcutaneous injection of a fragment of human interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein emulsified with complete Freund's adjuvant. Both clinical and histological scores for uveitis were smaller for mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs than for those fed ω-6 LCPUFAs. The concentrations of the T helper 1 (Th1) cytokine interferon-γ and the Th17 cytokine interleukin-17 in intraocular fluid as well as the production of these cytokines by lymph node cells were reduced for mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs. Furthermore, the amounts of mRNAs for the Th1- and Th17-related transcription factors T-bet and RORγt, respectively, were reduced both in the retina and in lymph node cells of mice fed ω-3 LCPUFAs. Our results thus show that a diet enriched in ω-3 LCPUFAs suppressed uveitis in mice in association with inhibition of Th1 and Th17 cell function.
PURPOSE: To characterize the risk and risk factors for intraocular pressure (IOP) elevation in pediatric noninfectious uveitis. DESIGN: Multicenter retrospective cohort study. PARTICIPANTS: Nine hundred sixteen children (1593 eyes) younger than 18 years at presentation with noninfectious uveitis followed up between January 1978 and December 2007 at 5 academic uveitis centers in the United States. METHODS: Medical records review by trained, certified experts. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Prevalence and incidence of IOP of 21 mmHg or more and 30 mmHg or more and incidence of a rise in IOP by 10 mmHg or more. To avoid underascertainment, outcomes were counted as present when IOP-lowering therapies were in use. RESULTS: Initially, 251 (15.8%) and 46 eyes (2.9%) had IOP ≥21 mmHg and ≥30 mmHg, respectively. Factors significantly associated with presenting IOP elevation included age of 6 to 12 years (versus other pediatric ages), prior cataract surgery, pars plana vitrectomy, duration of uveitis ≥6 months, contralateral IOP elevation, presenting visual acuity worse than 20/40, and topical corticosteroid use (in a dose-response relationship). The median follow-up was 1.25 years (interquartile range, 0.4-3.66). The estimated incidence of any observed IOP elevation to ≥21 mmHg, to ≥30 mmHg, and increase in IOP by ≥10 mmHg was 33.4%, 14.8%, and 24.4%, respectively, within 2 years. Factors associated with IOP elevation included pars plana vitrectomy, contralateral IOP elevation (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], up to 9.54; P < 0.001), and the use of topical (aHR, up to 8.77 that followed a dose-response relationship; P < 0.001), periocular (aHR, up to 7.96; P < 0.001), and intraocular (aHR, up to 19.7; P < 0.001) corticosteroids. CONCLUSIONS: Intraocular pressure elevation affects a large minority of children with noninfectious uveitis. Statistically significant risk factors include IOP elevation or use of IOP-lowering treatment in the contralateral eye and local corticosteroid use that demonstrated a dose-and route of administration-dependent relationship. In contrast, use of immunosuppressive drug therapy did not increase such risk. Pediatric eyes with noninfectious uveitis should be followed up closely for IOP elevation, especially when strong risk factors such as the use of local corticosteroids and contralateral IOP elevation are present.
Since the first reported use in 2001 of an anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) agent, infliximab, for the treatment of uveitis, several new anti-TNF-α agents have emerged for the treatment of refractory noninfectious uveitides, although their use remains off-label in the US. These agents have demonstrated remarkable clinical antiinflammatory efficacy and a potential immunoregulatory role in selected uveitis patients, but it is currently unclear whether they can modify the natural history of disease. We review the rationale and clinical indications for this therapy, the differences between agents, how to manage dosing and intervals, and how to screen for and identify potential side effects. We also present a summary of the science behind the use of anti-TNF-α agents in ocular inflammation and the evidence for their efficacy.