Vojnosanitetski pregled 2012 Volume 69, Issue 2, Pages: 168-174
doi:10.2298/VSP1202168Z
Full text ( 468 KB)


Efficacy of TNF-α antagonist and other immunomodulators in the treatment of patients with ophthalmologic manifestations of Behcet's disease and HLA B51 positive vasculitis

Zlatanović Gordana, Jovanović Svetlana, Veselinović Dragan, Živković Maja

Bacground/Aim. Behcet's disease is genetically conditioned, immune-mediated multisystem occlusive vasculitis of small blood vessels, espesially venules, of unknown etiology. The aim of this study was to analyze the clinical features, disease activity and therapy of the patients with ophthalmologic manifestation of Behcet's disease. Methods. In this study symptoms and signs of the disease were analyzed both prospectively and retrospectively during the active manifestation of the disease. The diagnosis was reached according to the International Criteria for Behcet's Disease (2006). The treatment effects were evaluated based on the presence of the best corrected visual acuity and the inflammation of the vitreous humour before and after the application of our therapeutic method. The applied therapeutic modality consisted of the primary application of corticosteroid therapy in the active stage of the disease complemented with the choice of drugs from the immunosuppressive group. In this study there drugs were cyclosporine or methotrexate. A treatment refractory patients with poor vision prognosis were treated with a third drug, the biological preparation infliximab, a tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) antagonist. Results. The mean age of 11 patients with ophthalmologic manifestation of Behcet's disease was 50.6 years. HLA B-5(51) was positive in 81% of the patients while 36% of the patients had positive pathergy test. Changes in affected eyes included vitritis (100%), posterior uveitis (45%), panuveitis (54%), retinal vasculitis (54%), cystoid macular edema (54%), and cystoid degeneration (18%). Increased intraocular pressure was observed in 27% of the patients. There was no statistically significant variation in disease activity parameters in any of the patients (p > 0.05). A statistically significant improvement in visual acuity (p < 0.05) and a high statistically significant decrease of inflammation of the worst affected eyes (p = 0.001) were detected. Conclusion. Our therapeutic method is useful for producing the optimal therapeutic plan for the acute - chronic stage of the difficult ophtamological manifestation of Behcet's desease as well as the prevention of relapse. However the high cost of the therapy and the potential complications should be taken into consideration when prescribing this therapy, especially a TNF-α antagonist.

Keywords: Behcet syndrome, retinal diseases, uveitis, diagnosis, cyclosporine, methotrexate, treatment outcome