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Intraocular surgery under adalimumab therapy in patients with refractory uveitis: a single center study of 23 eyes



We assessed the efficacy and safety of performing intraocular surgery for refractory uveitis under adalimumab (ADA) therapy.

Study design

Single-center cohort study between 2016 and 2019.


In uveitis patients undergoing intraocular surgery under ADA treatment, we collected clinical data before surgery, and at the first visit, 6 months and last visit after surgery (follow-up 19.3 ± 8.1 months). Primary outcomes were visual acuity (VA) improvement in patients after cataract surgery, intraocular pressure (IOP) in patients after trabeculectomy and intraocular inflammation in all patients. Secondary outcomes were activated inflammation, vitreous opacity (OCV), uveitic macula edema (UME) and infection.


Of 81 patients (161 eyes) initiated ADA therapy for uveitis, 19 patients (23 eyes) underwent intraocular surgery and were analyzed. Twelve of 18 eyes (66.6%) that underwent cataract surgery or vitrectomy with/without cataract surgery had improved VA at the last visit compared to before surgery. All 5 eyes that underwent trabeculectomy showed controlled IOP 6 months after surgery. Intraocular inflammation was resolved in 22 of 23 eyes at the first postoperative visit. Postoperative intraocular inflammation recurred in 3 eyes; 2 with UME, 1 with OCV. No eyes developed infection postoperatively. Preoperative ADA therapy duration was unrelated to relapse of intraocular inflammation.


Surgery for refractory uveitis under ADA treatment is safe and achieves good visual outcome and uveitis control if inflammation exists before surgery. ADA does not increase the risk of infections. Intraoperative findings of UME at surgery requires attention for postoperative relapse.

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This work was supported by a Grand-in-Aid for Scientific Research (C) 16K11330 and 19K09959 from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

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Correspondence to Yoshihiko Usui.

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Conflicts of interest

K. Kunimi, Financial Support (AbbVie, Eisai, Santen); Y. Usui, Financial Support (AbbVie, Eisai, Santen); K. Tsubota, None; T. Kezuka, None; H. Goto, Advisory board (AbbVie).

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Corresponding author: Yoshihiko Usui

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Kunimi, K., Usui, Y., Tsubota, K. et al. Intraocular surgery under adalimumab therapy in patients with refractory uveitis: a single center study of 23 eyes. Jpn J Ophthalmol (2021).

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  • Anti-TNF-α therapy
  • Adalimumab
  • Uveitis
  • Intraocular surgery