Abstract: Background: Visual involvement is the most feared complication of giant cell arteritis (GCA). Information on the efficacy of tocilizumab (TCZ) for this complication is scarce and controversial.
Objective: We assessed a wide series of GCA treated with TCZ, to evaluate its role in the prevention of new visual complications and its efficacy when this manifestation was already present before the initiation of TCZ.
Design: This is an observational multicenter study of patients with GCA treated with TCZ.
Methods: Patients were divided into two subgroups according to the presence or absence of visual involvement before TCZ onset. Visual manifestations were classified into the following categories: transient visual loss (TVL), permanent visual loss (PVL), diplopia, and blurred vision.
Results: Four hundred seventy-one GCA patients (mean age, 74 ± 9 years) were treated with TCZ. Visual manifestations were observed in 122 cases (26%), of which 81 were present at TCZ onset: PVL (n = 60; unilateral/bilateral: 48/12), TVL (n = 17; unilateral/bilateral: 11/6), diplopia (n = 2), and blurred vision (n = 2). None of the patients without previous visual involvement or with TVL had new episodes after initiation of TCZ, while only 11 out of 60 (18%) patients with PVL experienced some improvement. The two patients with diplopia and one of the two patients with blurred vision improved.
Conclusion: TCZ may have a protective effect against the development of visual complications or new episodes of TVL in GCA. However, once PVL was established, only a few patients improved.
Otras publicaciones de la misma revista o congreso con autores/as de la Universidad de Cantabria