Background: Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is a new immunosuppressive agent that effectively controls the intraocular inflammation in adults.
Purpose: To assess the efficacy of MMF in uveitis in children and to analyse the possible side effects.
Participants and methods: A retrospective analysis was carried out on 17 children (32 eyes) with intraocular inflammation treated with MMF and followed up at the University Eye Hospital Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany, between 2000 and 2005. All children had chronic non-infectious uveitis and received MMF for at least 6 months. All patients were given steroids or other immunosuppressive agents before initiating treatment with MMF.
Results: 17 children (10 boys and 7 girls) with a mean age of 8 (range 2–13) years at the onset of uveitis were examined. The average duration of follow-up after initiation of MMF was 3 (range 2–5) years. A steroid-sparing effect was achieved in 88% of the patients. The oral prednisolone was successfully discontinued in 41% children and reduced to a daily dose of ⩽5 mg in 47% of the children. 24% of the patients remained relapse-free during the treatment, but a reduction in the relapse rate was observed in all other patients except one. Visual acuity was increased or maintained in 13 children (76%). Mild side effects (headache, rash, gastrointestinal discomfort) occurred in 7 patients (41%) and were the cause of discontinuation of MMF in 1 patient.
Conclusion: The results of our study are encouraging and suggest that MMF is an effective agent also in the treatment for uveitis in children, with marked steroid-sparing potential and an acceptable side effect profile.
- MMF, mycophenolate mofetil
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Published Online First 6 July 2006
Competing interests: None.