Cystoid macular edema (CME) is a leading cause of blindness. This study assessed the efficacy and safety of tocilizumab (TCZ) in refractory CME.
Retrospective case series.
Patients with CME secondary to noninfectious uveitis who had inadequate response to corticosteroids and at least 1 conventional immunosuppressive drug, and in most cases to other biological agents, were studied. CME was defined as central retinal thickness greater than 300 ?m. The primary outcome measure was macular thickness. Intraocular inflammation, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA), and corticosteroid-sparing effect were also analyzed.
A total of 25 patients (mean ± standard deviation age 33.6 ± 18.9 years; 17 women) with CME were assessed. Underlying diseases associated with uveitis-related CME are juvenile idiopathic arthritis (n = 9), Behçet disease (n = 7), birdshot retinochoroidopathy (n = 4), idiopathic (n = 4), and sarcoidosis (n = 1). The ocular patterns were panuveitis (n = 9), anterior uveitis (n = 7), posterior uveitis (n = 5), and intermediate uveitis (n = 4). Most patients had CME in both eyes (n = 24). TCZ was used in monotherapy (n = 11) or combined with conventional immunosuppressive drugs. Regardless of the underlying disease, compared to baseline, a statistically significant improvement in macular thickness (415.7 ± 177.2 vs 259.1 ± 499.5 ?m; P = .00009) and BCVA (0.39 ± 0.31 vs 0.54 ± 0.33; P = .0002) was obtained, allowing us to reduce the daily dose of prednisone (15.9 ± 13.6 mg/day vs 3.1 ± 2.3 mg/day; P = .002) after 12 months of therapy. Remission was achieved in 14 patients. Only minor side effects were observed after a mean follow-up of 12.7 ± 8.34 months.
Macular thickness is reduced following administration of TCZ in refractory uveitis-related CME.