Objective: Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is the most common inherited monogenic autoinflammatory disease worldwide. It is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the MEFV gene, mostly affecting Eastern Mediterranean population. It is discussed if it should be considered an autosomal-dominant disease with variable penetrance, because heterozygosis mutations are associated with clinical autoinflammatory manifestations. Colchicine constitutes that the mainstay of FMF treatment should be preventing acute attacks and amyloidosis, and decreasing the chronic inflammation. In colchicine-resistant or intolerant patients, recent insights into the pathogenesis of FMF have made the anti-IL1 treatments important. We aimed to search for the retrospective results of canakinumab treatment in patients with FMF who are unresponsive to colchicine.
Methods: In this study, 22 (13 males and nine females) patients with FMF with colchicine resistance/intolerance, age ranging from 6 to 18 years, were included in Ege University Department of Pediatric Rheumatology. After clinical and genetic diagnosis, colchicine treatment with standard doses was started. After treatment with canakinumab, complete response to treatment was determined as no acute episodes and normal level of acute phase reactants.
Results: After canakinumab treatment, 22 patients with FMF who were colchicine-resistant were evaluated. After the treatment, no attack was observed in 19 patients, and the values of acute phase reactants were normal in 22 patients. In three patients, disease attack was observed 16 months after the first dose treatment. In all patients, the values of acute phase reactants were found at normal level during treatment. No drug-related side effects were observed in any patient.
Conclusion: Canakinumab is an effective and safe anti-IL1 agent to reduce attacks in patients with FMF with no response to colchicine and to reduce the level of high-level laboratory findings associated with FMF.