A retrospective review of oral low-dose sirolimus (rapamycin) for the treatment of active uveitis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of Ophthalmic Inflammation and Infection








Corticosteroid-sparing agent; Immunomodulatory; Inflammation; Rapamycin; Sirolimus; Uveitis


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to elicit the role of oral low-dose sirolimus as a corticosteriod-sparing agent for active uveitis. Methods: A retrospective, interventional case series was performed by reviewing the clinical records of all patients treated with oral, low-dose sirolimus (1-4 mg daily) for severe uveitis. Data reviewed included symptomatic improvement, Snellen best-corrected visual acuity, corticosteroid requirement, sirolimus levels, intraocular inflammation, spectral-domain optical coherence tomography, and fluorescein angiogram. Primary outcome measures were determined by the ability to decrease the intraocular inflammation, corticosteroid requirement, and frequency of flares. Results: Eight patients with varied diagnoses were treated with oral low-dose sirolimus for severe, chronic uveitis between 2008 and 2010. In four of the eight patients, there was an improvement of all primary outcome measures. While sirolimus monotherapy was successful in only one patient, a sirolimus/methotrexate combination was successful in three patients. Although there was a good initial response in three patients, treatment was a failure after serious side effects forced the cessation of sirolimus therapy. One patient was lost to follow-up. Conclusion: Sirolimus may have a limited role in severe uveitis as an adjunct corticosteroid-sparing agent in combination with more standard immunosuppressive agents. Oral low-dose sirolimus appeared to be better tolerated than higher doses, but there were a significant number of adverse events, requiring therapy to be stopped. © 2010 The Author(s).