Purpose To evaluate the change in the ongoing immunomodulatory (IMT) and biological therapies among patients with non-infectious uveitis (NIU), and determine the number of uveitis relapses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Methods In this national multicentric prospective case series, data of subjects with NIU receiving corticosteroids, systemic IMT and/or biological agents were analysed. The data collection was performed from 1 March 2020 to 25 June 2020. Main outcome measures included change in the ongoing treatments with corticosteroids, IMT and biological agents, use of alternate therapies and rates of uveitis relapse.
Results In this study, 176 patients (284 eyes) with NIU (mean age: 33±17.1 years; males: 68) were included. A total of 121 eyes (90 patients) were deemed to have active NIU. Of these, seven subjects (7.8%) did not receive intravenous methylprednisolone despite need felt by the treating uveitis experts. In addition, 35 subjects (57.4%) received a rapid tapering dosage of oral corticosteroids despite active disease. A total of 161 (91.5%) subjects were receiving systemic IMT and 25 (14.2%) were on biological therapies. Overall, IMT was altered in 29/161 (18.0%) subjects. Twenty-two eyes were treated with intravitreal therapies in the study period. Fifty-three eyes (32.5%, 29 subjects) developed relapse of NIU, of which 25 subjects (86.2%) were deemed to have reactivation related to altered systemic IMT. No patient developed COVID-19 during follow-up.
Conclusions During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, uveitis specialists may tend to reduce the ongoing systemic IMT, or prefer less aggressive treatment strategies for NIU. These subjects may be at high risk of relapse of uveitis.
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Twitter Aniruddha Agarwal @aniruddha9.
Contributors Conceptualisation and study design: AKA, VG, RA; study data, and data analysis and interpretation.
Funding This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request.
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