Anti-tumour necrosis factor α monoclonal antibody therapy for recalcitrant cerebral vasculitis in a patient with Behçet’s syndrome
- 1Dipartimento Biomedico di Medicina Interna e Specialistica, Division of Internal Medicine, University of Palermo, Italy
- 2Istituto di Radiologia, University of Palermo, Italy
- 3Dipartimento Biomedico di Medicina Interna e Specialistica, Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology Section, University of Palermo, Italy
- Correspondence to:
Professor G Triolo, Istituto di Clinica Medica, piazza delle Cliniche 2, 90127 Palermo, Italy; e-mail
- Accepted 5 August 2002
Behçet’s disease (BD) is a relapsing systemic vasculitis of unknown definite cause, mainly characterised by recurrent oral and genital ulceration, uveitis, skin lesions, and arthritis. It is also one of the best recognised condition known to cause vasculitis in the central nervous system (CNS), presenting as one of the most devastating manifestations of the disease.
Corticosteroids and immunosuppressive agents are the preferred drugs in the treatment of both primary and secondary CNS vasculitis. Immunosuppressive agents (for example, azathioprine, cyclosporin, cyclophosphamide, and chlorambucil), however, given alone or in different combinations, have not been shown to prevent the development of neurological complications of the disease, to reduce its exacerbations, or stop its progression.
The aetiopathogenesis of BD has not yet been fully elucidated; however, increased concentrations of tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) and soluble TNF receptors have been found in the serum of patients with active disease.1
Therapeutic TNF blockade …