Impact of COVID-19 pandemic on uveitis patients receiving immunomodulatory and biological therapies (COPE STUDY)

© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ..

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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Electronic Article

Year of Publication:


Contained In:

The British journal of ophthalmology - Vol. 106, No. 1 (2022), p. 97-101




Agarwal, Aniruddha Kishandutt
Sudharshan, Sridharan
Mahendradas, Padmamalini
Babu, Kalpana
Shenoy, Pratik
Dogra, Mohit
Bansal, Reema
Agarwal, Manisha
Biswas, Jyotirmay
Balamurugan, S
Agrawal, Rupesh
Gupta, Vishali



Keywords: Schlagworte

Date Completed 11.01.2022

Date Revised 11.01.2022

published: Print-Electronic

Citation Status MEDLINE

Copyright: From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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