OBJECTIVE: Anti-TNF-α agents have significantly changed the management of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). We evaluated the safety and efficacy of adalimumab (ADA) and infliximab (IFX) for the treatment of JIA-associated uveitis in patients treated for ≥ 2 years.
METHODS: Patients with JIA-associated uveitis treated with IFX and ADA were managed by a standardized protocol and data were entered in the ORCHIDEA registry. At baseline, all patients were refractory to standard immunosuppressive treatment or were corticosteroid-dependent. Data recorded every 3 months were uveitis course, number/type of ocular flares and complications, drug-related adverse events (AE), and treatment switch or withdrawal. Data of patients treated for ≥ 2 years were analyzed by descriptive statistics.
RESULTS: Up to December 2014, 154 patients with ≥ 24 months followup were included in the study. Fifty-nine patients were treated with IFX and 95 with ADA. Clinical remission, defined as the absence of flares for > 6 months on treatment, was achieved in 69 patients (44.8%), with a better remission rate for ADA (60.0%) as compared to IFX (20.3%; p < 0.001). A significant reduction of flares was observed in all patients without difference between the 2 treatment modalities. The number of new ocular complications decreased in both groups but was lower for ADA (p = 0.015). No serious AE were recorded; 16.4% of patients experienced 35 minor AE and the incidence rate was lower with ADA than with IFX.
CONCLUSION: At the 2-year followup, ADA showed a better efficacy and safety profile than IFX for the treatment of refractory JIA-associated uveitis.