Objective: To assess the effects of infliximab infusions on insulin sensitivity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
Methods: 45 patients (28 with RA, 17 with AS) aged 19–74 years were studied. All patients were treated with intravenous infliximab. A complete biochemical profile was obtained before and after 6 months' treatment with infliximab. The Homoeostasis Model Assessment (HOMA) Index was used to measure insulin resistance and the Quantitative Insulin Sensitivity Check Index (QUICKI) to measure insulin sensitivity.
Results: In the whole study group, no significant changes of the HOMA Index or QUICKI were seen. In the tertile of patients with the highest insulin resistance, a significant decrease of the HOMA Index and increase of the QUICKI was found (p<0.01 for both).
Conclusions: The results suggest that infliximab treatment may have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity in the most insulin resistant patients with RA and AS.