Since remission is now possible in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) we wished to examine remission rates in PsA patients following anti tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFα) therapy and to examine possible predictors of response.
Analysis of a prospective patient cohort attending a biologic clinic, between November 2004 and March 2008, was performed prior to commencing therapy and at regular intervals. Baseline clinical characteristics including demographics, previous disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) response, tender and swollen joint counts, early morning stiffness, pain visual analogue score, patient global assessment, C reactive protein (CRP) and health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) were collected.
A total of 473 patients (152 PsA; 321 rheumatoid arthritis (RA)) were analyzed. At 12 months remission, defined according to the disease activity score using 28 joint count and CRP (DAS28-CRP), was achieved in 58% of PsA patients compared to 44% of RA patients, significant improvement in outcome measures were noted in both groups (P < 0.05). Analysis of a subgroup of PsA and RA patients matched for DAS28-CRP at baseline also showed higher numbers of PsA patients achieving remission. Linear regression analysis identified the HAQ at baseline as the best predictor of remission in PsA patients (P < 0.001).
DAS28 remission is possible in PsA patients at one year following anti-TNF therapy, at higher rates than in RA patients and is predicted by baseline HAQ.