Severe ocular inflammation is a blinding ophthalmological emergency. This study evaluates the efficacy and patient tolerance of a validated regime of pulsed intravenous cyclophosphamide and methylprednisolone (‘PICM protocol’) for these patients.Methods
26 patients with severe inflammatory eye disease (43 eyes: 22 uveitis, 21 scleritis/sclerokeratitis; median age 52 years (IQR 40.25–62.25)) presenting to a regional tertiary referral centre were recruited over a 10-year period (January 2002–December 2011) into the PICM protocol, comprising intravenous cyclophosphamide 15 mg/kg, intravenous methylprednisolone 10 mg/kg, maximum nine pulses over 20 weeks supplemented with low-dose continuous oral prednisolone. Data were captured pretreatment and at 6 and 12 months follow-up. Primary outcome measures were control of inflammation according to standard criteria and reduction in systemic glucocorticoid to ≤10 mg prednisolone/day.Results
A median of six pulses (IQR 5–6) were administered over a median of 3 months (IQR 2.25–4). In the scleritis/sclerokeratitis group, 15/21(71%) achieved success or partial success at 6 and 12 months versus 9/22 (41%) for the same time points in the uveitis group (χ2=4.058, p=0.044). Two patients had adverse events requiring treatment withdrawal.Conclusions
This PICM protocol is a well-tolerated regimen for managing severe ocular inflammation and appears particularly useful in patients with scleritis/sclerokeratitis.