Rituximab Treatment for Persistent Scleritis Associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Purpose: To report a clinical case of a patient with severe scleritis associated with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) refractive to conventional treatment that was treated effectively with rituximab. Methods and Results: A 55-year-old man with RA, on etanercept and oral methotrexate, was referred with diagnosis of acute stromal keratitis, anterior uveitis, and anterior nodular scleritis in his right eye. Cyclophosphamide induced complete regression of acute stromal keratitis and anterior uveitis, but scleritis was still active and persistent. After two 1000-mg infusions of rituximab, scleritis regressed completely and is still in remission 9 months after the second rituximab infusion, without any concomitant use of oral steroids. Conclusion: Rituximab may be a treatment alternative in severe scleritis that is refractive to conventional therapy. Considering its safety profile, further studies are needed to refine its mechanism of action, optimal indications, and dosing in ocular inflammation.