To demonstrate improvement and stabilization of retinal findings, including recalcitrant cystoid macular edema, in a patient with nonparaneoplastic autoimmune retinopathy after treatment with tocilizumab, a humanized monoclonal antibody against soluble and membrane-bound IL-6 receptor.
Observational case report. A 46-year-old woman was diagnosed with nonparaneoplastic autoimmune retinopathy and followed over 4 years on various immunosuppressive medications with worsening disease and recalcitrant cystoid macular edema. This report describes the rapid improvement and stabilization of her ocular disease once tocilizumab was initiated.
Tocilizumab, a monoclonal antibody against the IL-6 receptor, was initiated at a dose of 8 mg/kg every 4 weeks. Cystoid macular edema was significantly decreased after just two infusions and nearly resolved after five infusions. Ellipsoid zone and outer retinal integrity also improved on optical coherence tomography. The patient tolerated the medication with limited side effects.
Long-term immunosuppression is the cornerstone of treatment for nonparaneoplastic autoimmune retinopathy, although success is highly variable. We report a case treated with tocilizumab with dramatic improvement in refractory macular edema and reconstitution of the ellipsoid zone on optical coherence tomography in a patient with nonparaneoplastic autoimmune retinopathy. This case highlights the potential role of treatment with an IL-6 inhibitor in autoimmune retinopathy though further studies are needed.