Multidisciplinary management of auto-immune ocular diseases in adult patients by ophthalmologists and rheumatologists

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Abstract

Purpose: Management of chronic vision threatening auto-immune ocular diseases (AIOD, e.g. uveitis, scleritis) can be challenging. Guidelines recommend a multidisciplinary approach (MDA) with ophthalmologists and rheumatologists, to enhance the recognition of systemic diseases and guide the use of immunosuppressives. However, the indications and results of such an approach have not yet been studied. Methods: A monocentre, retrospective chart review of all patients treated in a MDA between ophthalmologists and rheumatologists, in a Dutch tertiary center. The collaboration was twofold: a combined multidisciplinary team meeting every 2 weeks, and an ophthalmology-dedicated rheumatology outpatient clinic. Primary endpoints of this descriptive study were as follows: indications for MDA, new diagnoses of systemic auto-immune diseases and changes in systemic immunosuppression and prednisone dosages. Results: In total, 157 adults (mean age 46 years, 57% female, median disease duration 19 months) were included, mainly with uveitis (74%) and scleritis (12%). Multidisciplinary approach (MDA)-indications included diagnostic workup (32%), treatment support (44%), diagnostic-and-treatment support (10%) and side effects (8%). A systemic disease was newly diagnosed in eight and already present in 34 patients. At baseline, 54 patients used oral prednisone at >7.5 mg/day. Non-corticoid immunosuppressives, mostly methotrexate, were started in 41% of the patients. During follow-up, systemic prednisone was lowered to ≤7.5 mg/day in 68% of the patients. Conclusion: This evaluation of an MDA-programme in the management of AIOD demonstrated its added value. Mainly, it addressed the high demand for support in managing systemic immunosuppression, resulting in significant corticosteroid tapering. In addition, it resulted in the recognition of underlying systemic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020

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