Background and question: The prognosis of patients with Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) refractory to standard treatment for the induction of remission (cyclophosphamide and steroids) has been poor so far. We report on the results of the follow-up of six patients refractory to the standard regimen (Fauci's scheme) with progressive, imminent visual loss, pulmonary and renal involvement, respectively. How long can remissions be successfully maintained with anti-TNF-α-antibody infliximab? What side effects occur? Patients and methods: Patients received infliximab (3 mg/kg) in addition to standard therapy with cyclophosphamide and steroids. Intervals between the first two infliximab infusions were 2 weeks, thereafter 4 weeks. Based on the impression of higher efficacy patients received 5 mg/kg infliximab for subsequent infusions. Results: Remission was induced after 4-6 infliximab infusions in five patients. Remission has been maintained in four patients for 16-26 months. After 12 months a pulmonary relapse occurred in one patient, who received azathioprine for the maintenance of remission. Infliximab was stopped in another patient because of a suspected infection. In the light of high cumulative cyclophosphamide doses (100 g/275 g) and cyclophosphamide induced hemorrhagic cystitis, infliximab was added to azathioprine in the two patients with a pulmonary relapse and protrusion of the eye with imminent visual loss, respectively. Remission was induced in both patients. A carcinoid of the bronchus was diagnosed in one patient after 12 months in remission. Conclusion: Infliximab means a new therapeutic option and offers better perspectives for a patient group with previously bad prognosis.
|Translated title of the contribution||Induction of remission with infliximab in therapy-refractory Wegener's granulomatosis - Follow-up of six patients|
|Journal||Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift|
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - 13.09.2002|
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)