Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonists reduce the signs and symptoms of spondyloarthritides, including ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Our objective was to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of adalimumab, 40 mg every other week, for patients with AS or PsA and prior treatment with infliximab (IFX) and/or etanercept (ETN).
Both trials were 12-week, open-label studies with an optional extension period up to week 20. Patients were stratified by history of anti-TNF treatment, prior anti-TNF therapy received (IFX, ETN, or both), and reason for discontinuation of prior TNF antagonist. ETN was discontinued ≥ 3 weeks, and IFX was discontinued ≥ 2 months before the first adalimumab administration. Effectiveness at week 12 was evaluated by using observed standard-outcome measurements for AS and PsA.
At week 12 of adalimumab treatment, Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index 50 responses were achieved by 40.8% of 326 patients with AS who had received prior anti-TNF therapy and by 63.0% of 924 patients with AS who were naive to TNF antagonist. Observed response rates were generally greater for patients who discontinued the prior anti-TNF therapy because of loss of response or intolerance than for patients who discontinued because of lack of response. Median changes in swollen-joint count and in enthesitis score were similar in patients with and without prior TNF-antagonist treatment. Modified PsA response criteria were fulfilled by 71.2% of 66 patients with PsA, with prior exposure to TNF antagonists, and by 78.8% of 376 patients with no history of anti-TNF therapy. The percentages of patients with PsA attaining a Physician's Global Assessment of psoriasis of "Clear/Almost clear" increased from 33.3% to 61.0% for patients with prior IFX and/or ETN treatment and from 34.6% to 69.7% for patients without anti-TNF therapy. The median change in the Nail Psoriasis Severity Index was -6 for both groups. In both studies, patterns of adverse events were similar for patients with and without prior anti-TNF therapy and were consistent with the known safety profile of adalimumab.
Patients with AS or PsA previously treated with IFX and/or ETN experienced clinically relevant improvements of their diseases after 12 weeks of adalimumab.
ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00478660 and NCT00235885.
Objectives: To investigate whether anti-Saccharomyces cerevisiae antibodies (ASCA), a marker for Crohn's disease (CD), are present in spondyloarthropathies (SpA) and in the subgroups ankylosing spondylitis (AS), undifferentiated SpA (uSpA), and psoriatic arthritis (PsA), in comparison with healthy and inflammatory controls (patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA)).
Methods: ASCA IgA and IgG levels were measured with an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kit (Medipan, Germany) in 26 patients with CD, 108 patients with SpA (43 patients with AS, 20 patients with uSpA, 45 patients with PsA), 56 patients with RA and 45 healthy controls. Gut biopsy samples were available in 18 AS and 10 patients with uSpA, these samples were screened for the presence of inflammation.
Results: Both ASCA IgG and IgA levels were raised in CD compared with healthy controls and patients with RA. ASCA IgA, but not IgG levels, were higher in SpA than in both healthy and RA controls. ASCA IgA levels were raised in AS and uSpA, but not in PsA. No significant differences in ASCA IgA levels were noted between patients with SpA with and without histological gut inflammation.
Conclusion: ASCA IgA levels are significantly higher in SpA, and more specifically in AS, than in healthy controls and patients with RA. This is the first serum marker associated with SpA. No correlation between the presence of subclinical bowel inflammation and ASCA IgA levels was noted. However, it remains to be evaluated whether patients with SpA with ASCA have an increased risk of developing CD.
The introduction of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) inhibitors represented a significant advance in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other chronic inflammatory diseases. Although three TNF-α inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of RA by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicinal Products Evaluation Agency (EMEA), not all patients achieve a satisfactory clinical improvement with these therapeutic agents. The mode of administration of these medications is inconvenient for some patients.
Golimumab is a novel anti-TNF-α monoclonal antibody that is in clinical development for the treatment of RA, psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and ankylosing spondylitis (AS), either as a first-line biologic therapy or an alternative after other TNF-α inhibitors have been discontinued. This review summarizes the development of, and clinical evidence achieved with, golimumab.
Golimumab has demonstrated significant efficacy in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials when administered subcutaneously once every four weeks. It has been generally well tolerated in clinical trials and demonstrates a safety profile comparable with currently available TNF-α inhibitors.
Golimumab has been confirmed to be an effective treatment for patients with RA, PsA, and AS in phase III clinical trials as evaluated by traditional measures of disease activity, such as signs and symptoms, as well as measures of physical function, patient reported outcomes, and health economic measures. The efficacy and safety profile of golimumab in RA, PsA, and AS appears to be similar to other anti-TNF agents. However, golimumab has the potential advantage of once monthly subcutaneous administration and the possibility of both subcutaneous and intravenous administration.
golimumab; TNF-α inhibitors; rheumatoid arthritis; psoriatic arthritis; ankylosing spondylitis
Background: There is currently no universal consensus on nomenclature for spondyloarthropathy (SpA), or on activity and severity criteria for ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
Method: Points of agreement and majority opinions among 28 international experts in the field were identified by questionnaire. Agreement was defined as >80% concurrence, clear majority as >60% concurrence, and a majority or trend as >50% concurrence.
Results: Respondents agreed on the need for one term that reflects the inflammatory nature of the disease, but no agreement was reached on a specific term. Agreement included subdivision of patients with SpA into AS, psoriatic arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease associated arthritis, and undifferentiated spondyloarthritis/spondyloarthropathy. A majority of experts defined active disease as fulfilling classification criteria for AS and/or a SpA, and disease activity measured by a Bath AS Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) score >4 determined by two patient visits during a two month period, but no maximum radiographic score. The majority of participants considered failure of treatment response to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) alone to be a prerequisite for active/severe AS, and 15/28 (54%) thought that NSAID treatment failure should be defined as lack of response to two or more NSAIDs.
Conclusions: Respondents agreed that a two to five year study is the ethical method to demonstrate effects of anti-tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) therapy on radiographic progression of AS, and that inclusion criteria should include a certain level of disease activity (measured by BASDAI) and failure of certain treatments. After the efficacy of anti-TNFα therapy in AS and psoriatic arthritis is proved, respondents agreed that more studies will be needed to show efficacy for other SpA subsets.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) remain the mainstay of treatment for ankylosing spondylitis (AS) though one recent trial suggests that continuous as opposed to on-demand use may be superior in preventing progression of structural damage. One particular NSAID, which is a highly selective cyclo-oxygenase 2 inhibitor, etoricoxib, may be superior to standard NSAIDs for AS. Second-line agents typically used for rheumatoid arthritis appear to lack efficacy. Salazopyrin is only moderately effective in the subgroup of AS patients with concomitant peripheral arthritis and not in those with purely axial disease. A recent trial showed that there is no greater efficacy in patients presenting early in their disease course. Three anti-tumor necrosis factor alpha agents, infliximab, etanercept, and adalimumab, are now available for the treatment of AS, the latest being adalimumab. All possess similar clinical efficacy in phase III trials with response rates of about 60%. Imaging studies using magnetic resonance show substantial amelioration of inflammatory lesions in the spine and sacroiliac joints. There is as yet no evidence that any of these agents prevent progression of structural damage. One study that evaluated etanercept demonstrated no impact on damage progression. Increasing evidence points to the superiority of the two monoclonal antibodies, infliximab and adalimumab, over etanercept for the treatment of extra-articular manifestations typically seen in AS such as acute anterior uveitis and inflammatory bowel disease. All three agents can be used as monotherapy and concomitant methotrexate appears to offer no advantages although insufficient doses have been used to date. Future studies should target patients earlier in their disease course as well as those with adverse prognostic factors such as elevated serum metalloproteinase 3 levels and radiographic evidence of spinal ankylosis.
infliximab; etanercept; adalimumab; ankylosing spondylitis; NSAIDs
The conventional approach to treatment of patients with spondyloarthritis (SpA), particularly ankylosing spondylitis (AS), has serious limitations, adding a sense of urgency to the evaluation of new treatments for these rheumatic disorders. Tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) is a cytokine that has been shown to mediate inflammatory and regulatory activities in SpA and other immune mediated diseases, including other arthritides and inflammatory bowel disease. Positive results have been reported in several international open label and randomised controlled trials of infliximab and etanercept, the two main biological agents targeting TNFα, which have included approximately 300 patients with SpA. Specifically, TNFα-directed therapy resulted in significant improvements in disease activity, function, and quality of life in these patients, most of whom had AS and received infliximab. Preliminary evidence from open label, long term extension trials suggests clinical benefit with continued use. Serious side effects were rare and consistent with experience from patient groups receiving infliximab or etanercept treatment for inflammatory bowel disease or rheumatoid arthritis. Together, these findings herald an age of more effective treatment of patients with AS with anti-TNFα and other emerging biological agents.
As long-term treatment with antitumour necrosis factor (TNF) drugs becomes accepted practice, the risk assessment requires an understanding of anti-TNF long-term safety. Registry safety data in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are available, but these patients may not be monitored as closely as patients in a clinical trial. Cross-indication safety reviews of available anti-TNF agents are limited.
To analyse the long-term safety of adalimumab treatment.
This analysis included 23 458 patients exposed to adalimumab in 71 global clinical trials in RA, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis (AS), psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis (Ps) and Crohn's disease (CD). Events per 100 patient-years were calculated using events reported after the first dose through 70 days after the last dose. Standardised incidence rates for malignancies were calculated using a National Cancer Institute database. Standardised death rates were calculated using WHO data.
The most frequently reported serious adverse events across indications were infections with greatest incidence in RA and CD trials. Overall malignancy rates for adalimumab-treated patients were as expected for the general population; the incidence of lymphoma was increased in patients with RA, but within the range expected in RA without anti-TNF therapy; non-melanoma skin cancer incidence was raised in RA, Ps and CD. In all indications, death rates were lower than, or equivalent to, those expected in the general population.
Analysis of adverse events of interest through nearly 12 years of adalimumab exposure in clinical trials across indications demonstrated individual differences in rates by disease populations, no new safety signals and a safety profile consistent with known information about the anti-TNF class.
To evaluate the clinical response after switching from one tumour necrosis factor (TNF)α antagonist to another in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
In this ongoing, longitudinal, observational study, data were prospectively collected on efficacy and safety since 2000 for patients starting biological treatments. The present analysis was restricted to patients with a diagnosis of spondyloarthropathy (SpA) who switched from one TNFα antagonist to another because of inadequate efficacy or adverse events.
In total, 589 anti‐TNFα‐naive patients were registered, of whom 165 had a diagnosis of SpA; 7 patients with AS and 15 with PsA received >1 TNFα antagonist. Two patients with PsA were treated with all the drugs. In all, 16 subjects switched from infliximab to etanercept, 7 from etanercept to adalimumab and 1 from etanercept to infliximab. Overall, a clinical response was seen in 75% of patients who changed from infliximab to etanercept, and in 57.1% who switched from etanercept to adalimumab.
The findings of this study on a selected population of patients with SpA indicate that the failure of an initial TNFα antagonist does not preclude the response to another one. Further trials are needed to confirm this preliminary observation.
spondyloarthropathy; ankylosing spondylitis; psoriatic arthritis; TNFα antagonists; switching
Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with infliximab (Remicade®) has been associated with the induction of antinuclear autoantibodies (ANA) and anti-double-stranded DNA (anti-dsDNA) autoantibodies. In the present study we investigated the humoral immune response induced by infliximab against organ-specific or non-organ-specific antigens not only in RA patients but also in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) during a two-year followup. The association between the presence of autoantibodies and clinical manifestations was then examined. The occurrence of the various autoantibodies was analyzed in 24 RA and 15 AS patients all treated with infliximab and in 30 RA patients receiving methotrexate but not infliximab, using the appropriate methods of detection. Infliximab led to a significant induction of ANA and anti-dsDNA autoantibodies in 86.7% and 57% of RA patients and in 85% and 31% of AS patients, respectively. The incidence of antiphospholipid (aPL) autoantibodies was significantly higher in both RA patients (21%) and AS patients (27%) than in the control group. Most anti-dsDNA and aPL autoantibodies were of IgM isotype and were not associated with infusion side effects, lupus-like manifestations or infectious disease. No other autoantibodies were shown to be induced by the treatment. Our results confirmed the occurrence of ANA and anti-dsDNA autoantibodies and demonstrated that the induction of ANA, anti-dsDNA and aPL autoantibodies is related to infliximab treatment in both RA and AS, with no significant relationship to clinical manifestations.
ankylosing spondylitis; anti-β2-glycoprotein I autoantibodies; antiphospholipid autoantibodies; infliximab; rheumatoid arthritis.
New developments in the field of targeted therapies or biologic agents led more effective management of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Recommendations for the management of rheumatic diseases propose to reduce inappropriate use of medications, minimize variations among countries, and enable cost-effective use of health care resources.
The aim this study was to evaluate conceptual agreement of ASsessment in SpondyloArthritis International Society (ASAS) and the EUropean League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations for the management of AS and EULAR recommendations for RA and to assess the rate of application among Turkish physiatrists in daily clinical practice.
An online survey link has been sent to 1756 Turkish physiatrists with e-mails asking to rate agreement on 11-item ASAS/EULAR AS recommendations and 15-item EULAR RA recommendations with synthetic and biological disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. Also barriers and difficulties for using biologic agents were assessed.
Three hundred nine physiatrists (17.5%) completed the survey. The conceptual agreement with both recommendations was very high (Level of agreement; mean 8.35±0.82 and 8.90± 0.67 for RA and AS recommendations, respectively), and the self-declared application of overall recommendations in the clinical practice was also high for both RA and AS (72.42% and 75.71%, respectively).
Turkish physiatrists are in good conceptual agreement with the evidence-based recommendations for the management of AS and RA. These efforts may serve to disseminate the knowledge and increase the current awareness among physicians who serve to these patients and also implementation of these recommendations is expected to increase as well.
Rheumatoid arthritis; ankylosing spondylitis; recommendations; agreement; physiatrist.
To date, anti-tumor necrosis factor alfa (anti-TNF-α) therapy is the only alternative to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis. Etanercept is a soluble TNF receptor, with a mode of action and pharmacokinetics different to those of antibodies and distinctive efficacy and safety. Etanercept has demonstrated efficacy in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis, with or without radiographic sacroiliitis, and other manifestations of the disease, including peripheral arthritis, enthesitis, and psoriasis. Etanercept is not efficacious in inflammatory bowel disease, and its efficacy in the treatment of uveitis appears to be lower than that of other anti-TNF drugs. Studies of etanercept confirmed regression of bone edema on magnetic resonance imaging of the spine and sacroiliac joint, but failed to reduce radiographic progression, as do the other anti-TNF drugs. It seems that a proportion of patients remain in disease remission when the etanercept dose is reduced or administration intervals are extended. Etanercept is generally well tolerated with an acceptable safety profile in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis. The most common adverse effect of etanercept treatment is injection site reactions, which are generally self-limiting. Reactivation of tuberculosis, reactivation of hepatitis B virus infection, congestive heart failure, demyelinating neurologic disorders, hematologic disorders like aplastic anemia and pancytopenia, vasculitis, immunogenicity, and exacerbation or induction of psoriasis are class effects of all the anti-TNF drugs, and have been seen in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. However, etanercept is less likely to induce reactivation of tuberculosis than the other anti-TNF drugs and it has been suggested that etanercept might be less immunogenic, especially in ankylosing spondylitis. Acute uveitis, Crohn’s disease, and sarcoidosis are other adverse events that have been rarely associated with etanercept therapy in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.
ankylosing spondylitis; etanercept; spondyloarthritis; efficacy; safety
Blocking tumor necrosis factor-α either with monoclonal antibodies or with soluble receptor constructs has been proven to be effective with an acceptable safety profile in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and more recently also in the diseases belonging to the spondyloarthropathy concept. Nevertheless multiple questions still remain unresolved especially concerning longer-term treatment. Data from a recent manuscript by Baraliakos and colleagues seem to indicate that at least for the vast majority of ankylosing spondylitis patients treatment with infliximab can not be withdrawn, if one wants to control disease activity in a continuous way. Although still unproven, this might be of crucial importance with regard to structure modification and prevention of ankylosis in this chronic inflammatory disorder.
Background: Anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) treatment is clinically efficacious in patients with active ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and leads to improvement of spinal inflammation, as assessed by magnetic resonance imaging. It is unclear whether anti-TNF treatment affects chronic spinal changes in AS.
Objectives: To analyse the effect of infliximab on the radiographic course of AS over 2 years.
Methods: Complete sets of lateral radiographs of the cervical spine and lumbar spine were available from 82 patients from two sources: 41 patients (group 1) had been treated with infliximab (5 mg/kg/6 weeks) as part of a recent randomised controlled trial and 41 patients (group 2) were part of the early German AS cohort (GESPIC), without controlled interventions. Radiographs were obtained at baseline and after 2 years and scored by the modified Stokes AS Spinal Score (mSASSS).
Results: Patients in the infliximab group were older, had a longer disease duration, and more radiographic damage at baseline. The mean (SD) mSASSS change was 0.4 (2.7) and 0.7 (2.8) for groups 1 and 2, respectively (p = NS). Radiographic damage at baseline was a predictor for more radiographic progression. Patients with baseline damage who were treated with infliximab showed a trend for less radiographic progression. No correlations between clinical parameters and radiographic progression were found.
Conclusions: Patients with AS treated with infliximab had less radiographic progression after 2 years. Patients with prevalent radiographic damage are prone to develop more damage over time. Infliximab may decelerate radiographic progression in such patients. Larger studies are needed to prove that anti-TNF treatment inhibits structural damage.
Background: There is ample evidence of important symptomatic efficacy of tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) inhibition in ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Moreover, studies suggest that anti-TNF could be considered as the first disease controlling antirheumatic treatment (DC-ART) for AS.
Objective: To determine precisely which patients with AS are most likely to benefit from anti-TNFα treatment because of the cost and possible long term side effects of such treatment.
Methods: Assessment in Ankylosing Spondylitis (ASAS) members were asked to use a Delphi technique to name the characteristics of patients with AS for whom they would start DC-ART, in three different clinical presentations (isolated axial involvement, peripheral arthritis, enthesitis).
Results: Among the 62 invited ASAS members, more than 50% actively participated in the four phases of definition according to the Delphi technique. For each of the three clinical presentations, a combination of five to six domains was proposed, with an evaluation instrument and a cut off point defining a minimum level of activity for each domain.
Conclusion: This study provides a profile for a patient with AS for considering initiation of biological agents that reflects the opinion of the ASAS members, using a Delphi exercise. Further studies are required to assess their relevance and their consistency with clinical practice.
OBJECTIVES—To investigate the occurrence of and risk factors for focal sialadenitis in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and spondyloarthropathy (SpA).
METHODS—A total of 85 patients (25 with RA, 19 with MCTD, 19 with AS, 22 with SpA) participated in the study. Each patient filled out a questionnaire for eye and oral symptoms and for the use of medication, and was interviewed; other tests included Schirmer's test, laboratory tests, collection of unstimulated and stimulated whole saliva, and minor salivary gland biopsy. A focus score of ⩾1 was regarded as an indicator of focal sialadenitis.
RESULTS—Focal sialadenitis was observed in 68% (57/84) of all patients. It affected 80% (20/25) of the patients with RA, 94% (17/18) of those with MCTD, 58% (11/19) of those with AS, and 41% (9/22) of those with SpA (χ2 test, p=0.0013). Salivary secretion correlated negatively with the focus scores—that is, severity of focal sialadenitis. Patients with focal sialadenitis had both decreased salivary secretion and decreased tear secretion significantly more often than did patients without (χ2 test, p=0.0074 and p=0.048 respectively). Patients with positive rheumatoid factor (RF), antinuclear antibodies (ANA), or SSA or SSB antibodies had sialadenitis significantly more often than did patients with negative antibodies. In the subgroup of patients with AS or SpA, no associations were found between focal sialadenitis and the presence of these antibodies.
CONCLUSION—In addition to patients with RA or MCTD, focal sialadenitis also affects a very high proportion of patients with AS or SpA. Focus scores are significantly higher in patients with RA or MCTD than in those with AS or SpA. A significant association exists between focal sialadenitis and RF, ANA, SSA and SSB. However, in the subgroup of patients with AS or SpA, no associations were found between focal sialadenitis and serological markers or clinical symptoms.
Tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) inhibitors are used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, Crohn disease, ankylosing spondylitis, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis. Use of TNF inhibitors is associated with the induction of autoimmunity (systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitis, psoriasis, and sarcoidosis/sarcoid-like granulomas). We report a case of interstitial granulomatous nephritis in a patient with ankylosing spondylitis after 18 months of treatment with adalimumab. Previously reported cases of sarcoid-like reactions secondary to the use of TNF-α inhibitors involved the liver, lung, lymph nodes, central nervous system, and skin. Granulomatous nephritis after adalimumab treatment has not been described. Close observation of patients undergoing treatment with TNF inhibitors for evolving signs and symptoms of autoimmunity is required. Organ involvement is unpredictable, which makes correct diagnosis and management extremely challenging.
Ankylosing spondylitis; granulomatous interstitial nephritis; sarcoidosis; tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) inhibitors
The aim of the present study was to emphasize the collagen turnover in 2 of the most common chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases by evaluating serum prolidase activity (SPA) in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). 30 patients who met the modified New York Criteria for the classification of AS, 29 patients who met the 2010 Rheumatoid Arthritis Classification Criteria for the classification of RA, and 31 healthy controls were enrolled in the study. Serum samples of the patients and the controls were collected and SPA was measured by a spectrophotometric method. The comparison of the SPA in these 3 groups was statistically examined. In both patient groups, the SPA was lower than in the control group. SPA in patients with AS was statistically significantly lower than in the control and RA groups (P < 0.001/P = 0.002). No statistically significant difference was found between the RA and the control groups (P = 0.891). In conclusion, lower SPA is presumably associated with decreased collagen turnover and fibrosis, leading to decreased physical functions in both chronic inflammatory musculoskeletal diseases.
ankylosing spondylitis; rheumatoid arthritis; serum prolidase activity
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of adalimumab in enthesitis and peripheral arthritis in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS).
Adults with active AS (Bath ankylosing spondylitis disease activity index [BASDAI] ≥ 4) received adalimumab 40 mg every other week with standard antirheumatic therapies in a 12-week, open-label study. Effectiveness in enthesitis was assessed using the Maastricht ankylosing spondylitis enthesitis score (MASES, 0-13) and by examining the plantar fascia in patients with enthesitis (≥ 1 inflamed enthesis) at baseline; effectiveness in peripheral arthritis was evaluated using tender and swollen joint counts (TJC, 0-46; SJC, 0-44) in patients with peripheral arthritis (≥ 1 swollen joint) at baseline. Overall effectiveness measures included Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society 20% response (ASAS20).
Of 1,250 patients enrolled, 686 had enthesitis and 281 had peripheral arthritis. In 667 patients with MASES ≥ 1 at baseline, the median MASES was reduced from 5 at baseline to 1 at week 12. At week 12, inflammation of the plantar fascia ceased in 122 of 173 patients with inflammation at baseline. The median TJC in 281 patients with SJC ≥ 1 at baseline was reduced from 5 at baseline to 1 at week 12; the median SJC improved from 2 to 0. ASAS20 responses were achieved by 70.5% of 457 patients with no enthesitis and no arthritis; 71.0% of 512 patients with only enthesitis; 68.0% of 107 patients with only arthritis; and 66.7% of 174 patients with both.
Treatment with adalimumab improved enthesitis and peripheral arthritis in patients with active AS.
Objective. Few data exist on the use of anti-TNF drugs for AS during routine clinical use in the UK. This report describes an improvement in Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) and Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index (BASFI) after 6 months of therapy in 261 patients enrolled in a national prospective observational register.
Methods. The British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register (BSRBR) recruited patients starting anti-TNF therapy for AS between 2002 and 2006. Multivariable linear regression models were used to estimate the predictors of absolute improvement in BASDAI and BASFI at 6 months. Covariates included age, gender, disease duration, baseline BASDAI and BASFI, presence of raised inflammatory markers (defined as twice the upper limit of normal) and DMARD therapy.
Results. The cohort was young (median age 43 years) and 82% were males. Median baseline BASDAI was 7.6 and BASFI 7.9. At 6 months, the mean improvements in BASDAI and BASFI were 3.6 and 2.6 U, respectively; 52% reached a BASDAI50. Patients with raised inflammatory markers at the start of therapy had a 0.9-U (95% CI 0.2, 1.5) better improvement in BASDAI compared with those without. Lesser responses were seen in those with higher baseline BASFI scores. Women had a 1.1-U (95% CI 0.3, 2.0) greater improvement in BASFI at 6 months, as did those who were receiving concurrent DMARD therapy [0.9 U (95% CI 0.2, 1.7)].
Conclusions. The majority of patients receiving anti-TNF therapy for AS during routine care demonstrated an improvement in disease activity. Raised inflammatory markers at the start of therapy predicted a greater improvement in BASDAI, identifying a group of patients who may be more responsive to anti-TNF therapies, although the results were not confined to this group.
Anti-TNF; Etanercept; Infliximab; Adalimumab; Ankylosing spondylitis; Treatment response; Treatment effectiveness; Disability
Aim: To determine the criteria considered important by Dutch rheumatologists in judging whether a patient with ankylosing spondylitis should start tumour necrosis factor (TNF) blocking therapy.
Methods: 19 Dutch rheumatologists were asked to prioritise various demographic and clinical features for their importance in judging whether a patient should be treated with TNF blocking therapy. In addition, nine Dutch physicians who had referred patients with ankylosing spondylitis for inclusion in an ongoing long term observational study (OASIS) were asked to determine on the basis of case record review for each of their patients whether or not TNF blocking therapy would be considered appropriate.
Results: The variables considered most important were: rate of development of functional impairment; physician's global assessment of current disease activity; physician's global assessment of cumulative disease activity; presence of hip arthritis; physician's global assessment of disease severity. Analysis of the OASIS data (79 patients) showed that patients in whom TNF blocking therapy was considered justified (n = 24; 30%) differed significantly from those in whom it was not considered justified in: patient reported disease activity; functional impairment; spinal mobility; radiographic damage score. Multivariate analysis showed that male sex, function, and radiographic damage were the only independent determinants of a decision to start TNF blocking drugs.
Conclusions: Physicians reported that disease activity, function, and severity were critically important in judging whether to start TNF blocking therapy. In practice, they based their decision more on severity than on activity. They were able to select patients with a high level of radiographic damage, which suggests that this feature captures other domains such as disease activity, spinal mobility, and function.
To determine the rate and factors associated with ankylosing spondylitis in a cohort of patients with undifferentiated spondyloarthritides (SpA).
62 consecutive patients with undifferentiated SpA seen between 1998 and 1999 underwent clinical and imaging evaluations throughout follow up. The main outcome measure was a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis.
50 patients with peripheral arthritis (n = 35) and inflammatory back pain (n = 24) (26 male; mean (SD) age at onset, 20.4 (8.8) years; disease duration 5.4 (5.7) years) were followed up for 3–5 years. At baseline, >90% of patients had axial and peripheral disease, while 38% had radiographic sacroiliitis below the cut off level for a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis (BASDAI 3.9, BASFI 2.9). At the most recent evaluation, 21 patients (42%) had ankylosing spondylitis. Two factors were associated with a diagnosis of ankylosing spondylitis in multivariate analysis: radiographic sacroiliitis grade <2 bilateral, or grade <3 unilateral (odds ratio (OR) = 11.18 (95% confidence interval, 2.59 to 48.16), p = 0.001), particularly grade 1 bilateral (OR = 12.58 (1.33 to 119.09), p = 0.027), and previous uveitis (OR = 19.25 (1.72 to 214.39), p = 0.001). Acute phase reactant levels, juvenile onset, and HLA‐B27 showed a trend to linkage with ankylosing spondylitis (NS).
Low grade radiographic sacroiliitis is a prognostic factor for ankylosing spondylitis in patients originally classified as having undifferentiated SpA. Low grade radiographic sacroiliitis should be regarded as indicative of early ankylosing spondylitis in patients with undifferentiated SpA.
ankylosing spondylitis; spondyloarthritis; sacroiliitis; HLA‐B27
Identifying ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients who are likely to benefit from tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α) blocking therapy is important, especially in view of the costs and potential side effects of these agents. Recently, the AS Disease Activity Score (ASDAS) has been developed to assess both subjective and objective aspects of AS disease activity. However, data about the predictive value of the ASDAS with respect to clinical response to TNF-α blocking therapy are lacking. The aim of the present study was to identify baseline predictors of response and discontinuation of TNF-α blocking therapy in AS patients in daily clinical practice.
AS outpatients who started TNF-α blocking therapy were included in the Groningen Leeuwarden Ankylosing Spondylitis (GLAS) study, an ongoing prospective longitudinal observational cohort study with follow-up visits according to a fixed protocol. For the present analysis, patients were excluded if they had previously received anti-TNF-α treatment. Predictor analyses of response and treatment discontinuation were performed using logistic and Cox regression models, respectively.
Between November 2004 and April 2010, 220 patients started treatment with infliximab (n = 32), etanercept (n = 137), or adalimumab (n = 51). At three and six months, 68% and 63% of patients were Assessments in Ankylosing Spondylitis (ASAS)20 responders, 49% and 46% ASAS40 responders, and 49% and 50% Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI)50 responders, respectively. Baseline predictors of response were younger age, male gender, higher ASDAS score, higher erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) level, higher C-reactive protein (CRP) level, presence of peripheral arthritis, higher patient's global assessment of disease activity, and lower modified Schober test. In August 2010, 64% of patients were still using their TNF-α blocking agent with a median follow-up of 33.1 months (range 2.4 to 68.2). Baseline predictors of discontinuation of TNF-α blocking therapy were female gender, absence of peripheral arthritis, higher BASDAI, lower ESR level, and lower CRP level.
Besides younger age and male gender, objective variables such as higher inflammatory markers or ASDAS score were identified as independent baseline predictors of response and/or continuation of TNF-α blocking therapy. In contrast, higher baseline BASDAI score was independently associated with treatment discontinuation. Based on these results, it seems clinically relevant to include more objective variables in the evaluation of anti-TNF-α treatment.
The concept and definition of disease duration in patients with ankylosing spondylitis is ambiguous, and often many years pass between the onset of symptoms and diagnosis. Members of the Assessment in Ankylosing Spondylitis (ASAS) International Working Group by consensus recently recommended identifying specific components of the medical history to better define and document the concept of disease duration. These include (1) the time of onset of the first symptoms of axial manifestations (including inflammatory back pain); (2) the time of onset of the first symptoms of each individual manifestation, which may be an extra‐axial sign or symptom of ankylosing spondylitis, such as peripheral arthritis and enthesitis; (3) the time of onset of associated diseases belonging to the spondyloarthritides, in particular acute anterior uveitis, inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis; and (4) the time since actual diagnosis by a healthcare provider. Such uniformity in data collection will ensure comparability across studies and facilitate future research.
The Human Leukocyte Antigen HLA-B27(B27) is strongly associated with the spondyloarthritides. B27 can be expressed at the cell surface of antigen presenting cells (APC) as both classical β2m-associated B27 and as B27 free heavy chain forms (FHC) including disulphide-bonded heavy chain homodimers (termed B272). B27 FHC forms but not classical B27 bind to KIR3DL2. HLA-A3 which is not associated with spondyloarthritis (SpA) is also a ligand for KIR3DL2. Here we show that B272 and B27 FHC bind more strongly to KIR3DL2 than other HLA-class I, including HLA-A3. B272 tetramers bound KIR3DL2 transfected cells more strongly than HLA-A3. KIR3DL2Fc bound to HLA-B27-transfected cells more strongly than to cells transfected with other HLA-class I. KIR3DL2Fc pulled down multimeric, dimeric and monomeric free heavy chains from HLA-B27 expressing cell lines. Binding to B272 and B27 FHC stimulated greater KIR3DL2 phosphorylation than HLA-A3. B272 and B27 FHC stimulated KIR3DL2CD3ε–transduced T cell IL-2 production to a greater extent than control HLA-class I. KIR3DL2 binding to B27 inhibited NK IFNγ secretion and promoted greater survival of KIR3DL2+CD4 T and NK cells than binding to other HLA-class I. KIR3DL2+ T cells from B27+SpA patients proliferated more in response to antigen presented by syngeneic APC than the same T cell subset from healthy and disease controls. Our results suggest that expansion of KIR3DL2-expressing leukocytes observed in B27+ SpA may be explained by the stronger interaction of KIR3DL2 with B27 FHC.
The introduction of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-blocking therapy has revolutionized the management of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) over the last decade. This review highlights the current evidence relating to the use of TNF-blocking therapy in AS. International guidelines for the use of TNF blockers in AS are summarized. An outline of the evidence for efficacy and safety of these drugs is included, highlighting recent data from registries and real-life observational studies. Such cohort data is also reviewed highlighting the evidence for ‘switching’ TNF blockers in AS in the case of non-response or adverse events. The potential new application of TNF blockers in preradiographic axial spondyloarthropathy (SpA) or ‘early AS’ is discussed with reviews of two recent studies in this area. Finally research into the possible additional impacts of TNF therapies is reviewed. The question of whether TNF blockers are truly disease modifying in AS remains unanswered with conflicting reports. The additional burden of AS in terms of cardiovascular disease is now becoming understood. Recent data from basic science studies highlights the potential impact of TNF blockers on this excess cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Future studies and registry data will be able to assess whether TNF blockers have an additional role in controlling systemic inflammation and its associated cardiovascular risk.
ankylosing spondylitis; TNF-blocking therapy; treatment