Biologic Treatment Options for Retinal Neovascularization in Behcet's Disease

Markomichelakis N. N., Aissopou E. K., Maselos S., Tugal-Tutkun I., Sfikakis P. P.

OCULAR IMMUNOLOGY AND INFLAMMATION, vol.27, no.1, pp.51-57, 2019 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


Purpose: Relapsing ocular inflammation occurs in about 70% of patients with Behcet's disease (BD) and can lead to permanent loss of vision. Neovascularization of the optic disc (NVD) or elsewhere in the retina (NVE) is a relatively uncommon but severe complication that lacks standardized treatment. Methods: We report on the therapeutic use of anti-TNF monoclonal antibodies for BD-associated NVD and NVE in one pediatric patient (subcutaneous adalimumab) and one young man (intravenous infliximab). Also, we review the previously published experience on biologic therapeutic options, namely anti-TNF agents and interferon-alpha in a total of three and eight patients, respectively. Results: A fast-onset therapeutic effect was observed in both patients leading to complete regression of neovascularizations. Conclusions: Both options may lead to regression of neovascularization, thus preventing loss of vision, but comparative studies need to determine the optimal treatment for this sight-threatening complication of BD.