Infliximab treatment trial in a patient with neuro-Behcet's disease unresponsive to other treatments

Kadowaki, S.; Matsuda, N.; Moriya, A.; Ebitani, M.; Yoshihara, A.; Nakamura, K.; Mochizuki, H.; Ugawa, Y.

Rinsho Shinkeigaku 51(4): 261-266


ISSN/ISBN: 0009-918X
DOI: 10.5692/clinicalneurol.51.261
Accession: 068510869

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A 22-year-old man with a previous uveitis episode was admitted to our hospital because of persistent hiccup. On admission, he presented right-upper quadrantanopia, mydriasis and lack of the light reflex in the left eye, left-sided hemiplegia, and bilateral pathologic hyperreflexia. The MR fluid attenuated inversion recovery images showed left side dominant, high intensity lesions on the brainstem and the diencephalon. The HLA-B51 was positive. The CSF IL-6 was extremely elevated (998 pg/ml: reference value < = 6.0 pg/ml). Based on these, we concluded he had the neuro-Behçet's disease and treated him by high dose intravenous corticosteroids. This treatment improved his symptoms and MRI lesions, and decreased the CSF IL-6 levels initially. On 13th day after the first his discharge, however, dysarthria appeared and the CSF IL-6 levels elevated again. In addition to the high dose intravenous corticosteroids therapy for acute attack, 15 mg/week of methotrexate was started to prevent the recurrence. Even with this prevention, meningitis related to neuro-Behçet's disease occurred within six weeks. We administered 5 mg/kg of infliximab intravenously at 0, 2, 6, and 14 weeks. After the infliximab treatment, his symptoms improved and the IL-6 levels decreased, and no recurrence has occurred. This case supports that infliximab, anti-TNF-alpha agent, is a good candidate for neuro-Behçet's disease treatment when it is resistant to conventional immunosuppressive agents such as corticosteroids or methotrexate.