Objective: Since Behçet's syndrome (BS) is the prototype of inflammation-induced thrombosis, immunosuppressants are recommended in place of anticoagulants. We undertook this study to assess the clinical efficacy and the corticosteroid-sparing effect of adalimumab (ADA)–based treatment versus disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) therapy in a large retrospective cohort of patients with BS-related venous thrombosis. Methods: We retrospectively collected data on 70 BS patients treated with DMARDs or ADA-based regimens (ADA with or without DMARDs) because of venous complications. Clinical and imaging evaluations were performed to define vascular response. We explored differences in outcomes between ADA-based regimens and DMARDs with respect to efficacy, corticosteroid-sparing role, and time on treatment. We also evaluated the role of anticoagulants as concomitant treatment. Results: After a mean ± SD follow-up period of 25.7 ± 23.2 months, ADA-based regimens induced clinical and imaging improvement of venous thrombosis more frequently (P = 0.001) and rapidly (P < 0.0001) than did DMARDs. The mean dose of corticosteroids administered at the last follow-up visit was significantly lower with ADA-based regimens than with DMARDs (P < 0.0001). The time on treatment was significantly longer with ADA plus DMARDs than with DMARDs alone (P = 0.002). No differences were found in terms of efficacy and time on treatment between DMARDs or ADA-based regimens among patients who received anticoagulants and those who did not. Conclusion: In this large retrospective study, we have shown that ADA-based regimens are more effective and rapid than DMARDs in inducing resolution of venous thrombosis in BS patients, allowing reduction of steroid exposure. Moreover, our findings suggest that anticoagulation does not modify the efficacy of either ADA-based regimens or DMARDs for venous complications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy