Autoimmune disorders caused by intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guerine treatment: A systemic review

Omer Anis*, David Yogev, Arad Dotan, Avishai M. Tsur, Paula David, Vicktoria Vishnevskia Dai, Menachem Laufer, Zohar Dotan, Yehuda Shoenfeld

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a common and highly effective treatment for non-muscle invasive urothelial carcinoma of the urinary bladder. BCG may cause an autoimmune reaction in some patients. One hundred and fifty-eight papers were analyzed, for a total of hundred and thirty patients with reactive arthritis, sixty patients with ocular manifestations and eighteen patients with other rheumatologic diseases. Among 130 subjects with reactive arthritis, an autoimmune symptom occurred after 5 instillations of intravesical BCG (IQR 4–6), which represents 5 weeks in most cases. Fifty-one patients had concurrent ocular involvement. The resolution of symptoms was achieved in a median of 32.5 days (IQR 14–90). Forty-two men and twenty women had ocular manifestations, most commonly conjunctivitis. Patients with HLA-B27 typing had earlier presentation of ocular symptoms related to the number of instillations (4.5 vs 6 [p < 0.05]. Resolution of symptoms was achieved at a median of 128 days (IQR 21–150). Among patients treated with NSAIDs (either with or without steroids), the duration of the disease was significantly shorter in both the articular and the ocular groups (28 vs. 120 [p < 0.05] and 30 vs.105 [p < 0.05], respectively). Other autoimmune manifestations included general autoimmune diseases, such as vasculitis, psoriasis and myasthenia gravis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103329
JournalAutoimmunity Reviews
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Bacillus Calmette-Guerine
  • Bladder cancer
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Immune response
  • Reactive arthritis
  • Urothelial carcinoma
  • Uveitis


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