Background. The severity of disease and the side-effects of long-term corticosteroid treatment support the rationale for other immunosuppressive drugs in the management of uveitis. Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is a selective inhibitor of ionosine monophosphate dehydrogenase and exerts its major effects by modulation of the function of T and B lymphocytes. This study was undertaken to evaluate the clinical effect of MMF in the control of intermediate and posterior uveitis.
Methods. A retrospective study of 18 consecutive patients with intermediate or posterior uveitis treated with MMF was performed. Activity of intraocular inflammation was graded according to the guidelines of the international uveitis study group before and during treatment with MMF. Furthermore, the ability of MMF treatment to reduce the steroid dosage and/or substitute other immunosuppressive agents with unacceptable side-effects (cyclosporin A,tacrolimus, azathioprine) was evaluated.
Results. The indication for treatment with MMF in all 18 patients (age range: 11-73 years) was either poor control of ocular inflammation by the previous immunosuppressive therapy or unacceptable side-effects of this therapy. The daily MMF dose was 2 g and therapy was combined with cyclosporin A and/or prednisolone. One patient received MMF monotherapy. Corticosteroids were discontinued in 4 patients and the steroid dose could be reduced in 14 patients following MMF therapy. Marked resolution of ocular inflammatory activity occurred in 13 patients. The most frequently observed side-effects of MMF were myalgia, fatigue, headache and gastrointestinal problems.
Conclusion. MMF was effective in disease control in the majority of patients with intermediate and posterior uveitis and proved to be a useful second line immunosuppressant for refractory intraocular inflammatory disease with an acceptable profile of side-effects.
- mycophenolate mofetil
- posterior uveitis
- intermediate uveitis
- CYCLOSPORINE THERAPY