Rheumatology International

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 33–37 | Cite as

One year study of efficacy and safety of infliximab in the treatment of patients with ocular and neurological Behçet’s disease refractory to standard immunosuppressive drugs

  • AnnaRita Giardina
  • Angelo Ferrante
  • Francesco Ciccia
  • Maria Vadalà
  • Ennio Giardina
  • Giovanni Triolo
Original Article


The aim of the study was to assess the long-term efficacy and safety of Infliximab therapy in the treatment of patients with Behçet’s disease refractory to standard immunosuppressive agents. Twenty-one patients that did not respond to corticosteroids and to at least one immunosuppressant (cyclosporin, methotrexate, azathioprine, cyclophosphamide) for the presence of ocular and/or CNS involvement were enrolled. Eighteen patients completed the study up to 54 weeks. Stable doses of prednisone (<10 mg/day) were permitted, immunosuppressants were discontinued at least 4 weeks prior baseline visit. The patients received three infusions of 5 mg/kg Infliximab (at weeks 0, 2 and 6) and then infusions of 5 mg/kg Infliximab every 8 weeks. At each visit data on clinical symptoms, response to therapy and adverse events were collected. The primary outcome of interest was to assess the clinical efficacy (total or partial recovery) of infliximab. Secondary end points were to evaluate quality of life and to monitor the safety of the drug. Eighteen patients achieved a total remission. Two patients achieved a partial remission and relapsed after 3 months from discontinuation of therapy. Infliximab was well tolerated throughout the study. A case of non-Hodgkin lymphoma was observed within 6 months. Minor side effects were headache, dizziness, tachycardia that regressed spontaneously and did not entail interruption. Anti-nuclear antibodies were not detected during the period of observation.


Behçet’s disease TNF alfa Infliximab 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • AnnaRita Giardina
    • 1
  • Angelo Ferrante
    • 1
  • Francesco Ciccia
    • 1
  • Maria Vadalà
    • 2
  • Ennio Giardina
    • 1
  • Giovanni Triolo
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Chair and Division of RheumatologyUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  2. 2.Chair and Division of OphthalmologyUniversity of PalermoPalermoItaly
  3. 3.Unità Operativa e Cattedra di ReumatologiaPalermoItaly

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