Anti-interleukin-6 (Tocilizumab) therapy in takayasu’s arteritis: A real life experience

KILIÇ L., KARADAĞ Ö., Erden A., Sari A., Armağan B., Yardimci G. K., ...More

Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences, vol.50, no.1, pp.31-36, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 50 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.3906/sag-1906-39
  • Journal Name: Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.31-36
  • Keywords: Anti-interleukin-6, Takayasu’s arteritis, Tocilizumab
  • Gazi University Affiliated: No


© TÜBİTAK.Background/aim: Tumour necrosis factor inhibitors and anti-interleukin-6 (anti-IL-6) therapies are increasingly being used in Takayasu’s arteritis (TA) patients who are unresponsive to corticosteroids ± conventional immunosuppressive agents. The aim of this study is to assess the efficacy and safety of anti-IL-6 (tocilizumab) therapy in refractory TA patients in real life. Materials and methods: Fifteen TA patients (86.7% were female) who received at least 3 cycles of tocilizumab therapy were retrospectively assessed by clinical, laboratory, and radiological evaluations before and after tocilizumab therapy. Results: The median (min–max) age of the patients at evaluation was 35 (20–58) years and the median disease duration from diagnosis was 24 (12–168) months. The median (min.–max.) duration of follow-up after tocilizumab was 15 (3–42) months. There was a significant decrease in erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), and patient global visual analogue scale (VAS) scores of patients after tocilizumab therapy. The median (min.–max.) ESR was 26 (5–119) vs. 3 (2–49) mm/h, P = 0.02; CRP was 39.8 (2.4–149.0) vs. 7.9 (0–92.9) mg/L, P = 0.017; and patient global VAS was 50 (0–90) vs. 30 (0–60), P = 0.027, respectively. In 8 patients, ESR and CRP levels were in the normal range in the last control. Imaging modality results after tocilizumab were available for 9 patients; 8 patients were radiologically stable and regression was seen in 1 patient. Comparable imaging modality results before and after tocilizumab were available for 5 patients; 4 patients were radiologically stable and regression was seen in 1 patient. Radiological findings were consistent with laboratory responses. Glucocorticoid dosages decreased from a mean dosage of 16.2 (9.1) mg/day at baseline to 7.1 (3.8) mg/day (P = 0.001) at the last follow-up visit. There was no increase in the steroid dosage in any of the patients. All patients tolerated tocilizumab well. Conclusion: Based on retrospective real life data, anti-IL-6 (tocilizumab) appears to be an effective and tolerable treatment option in refractory TA patients.