Treatment of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis-Associated Uveitis

Oray M., Tugal-Tutkun I.

TURK OFTALMOLOJI DERGISI-TURKISH JOURNAL OF OPHTHALMOLOGY, vol.46, no.2, pp.77-82, 2016 (ESCI) identifier identifier identifier


Pediatric uveitis may be a serious health problem because of the lifetime burden of vision loss due to severe complications if the problem is not adequately treated. Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)-associated uveitis is characterized by insidious onset and potentially blinding chronic anterior uveitis. Periodic ophthalmologic screening is of utmost importance for early diagnosis of uveitis. Early diagnosis and proper immunomodulatory treatment are essential for good visual prognosis. The goal of treatment is to achieve enduring drug-free remission. The choice of therapeutic regimen needs to be tailored to each individual case. One must keep in mind that patients under immunomodulatory treatment should be monitored closely due to possible side effects. Local and systemic corticosteroids have long been the mainstay of therapy; however, long-term corticosteroid therapy should be avoided due to serious side effects. Steroid-sparing agents in the treatment of JIA-associated uveitis include antimetabolites and biologic agents in refractory cases. Among the various immunomodulatory agents, methotrexate is generally the first choice, as it has a well-established safety and efficacy profile in pediatric cases and does not appear to increase the risk of cancer. Other classic immunomodulators that may also be used in combination with methotrexate include azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, and cyclosporin A. Biologic agents, primarily tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors including infliximab or adalimumab, should be considered in cases of treatment failure with classic immunomodulatory agents.