PURPOSE: To analyze the efficacy of high dose (≥ 15mg/m2/week) methotrexate (MTX) versus low dose (<15mg/m2/week) MTX in relation to time to remission on medication.
METHODS: Retrospective observational cohort study of pediatric patients with auto-immune uveitis with or without underlying systemic disease treated with MTX at the University Medical Center Groningen (the Netherlands) between 1990 and 2014. Primary outcome was time to remission on medication, which was defined as an observable inactive disease in the affected eye for longer than 3 months without the use of systemic corticosteroids.
RESULTS: A total of 42 patients were included. Mean age at uveitis diagnosis was 6.5 years (range 1.7 - 14.4), and 22 (52.4%) patients were male. Bilateral disease was found in 33 patients. Most patients (n=25) had anterior uveitis. JIA was the underlying systemic disease in 21 patients. Overall, 28 (66.7%) patients reached remission on medication in (median) 22.5 months (IQR 10.4- 45). Time to remission on medication in the low dose group (median 35.2, IQR 20.5 - 72.1 months) was significantly longer than in the high dose group (median 16.6, IQR 7.8 - 22.5 months) (p= 0.01). No statistically significant differences in ocular complications, steroid-sparing effect, cumulative dosage and side effects of MTX were found between the high and low dose groups.
CONCLUSION: In this retrospective study on pediatric auto-immune uveitis, high dose MTX was associated with a shorter time to remission on medication as compared to low dose MTX, while side effects were comparable in both groups.