Prednisolone combined with adjunctive immunosuppression is not superior to prednisolone alone in terms of efficacy and safety in giant cell arteritis: meta-analysis.
ABSTRACT To conduct a meta-analysis of published data of the effectiveness of drug treatment in giant cell arteritis (GCA) to provide evidence to support the optimal use of glucocorticoids (GCs) and adjunct therapy. MEDLINE, CENTRAL and EMBASE searches were used to identify randomised control trials on the treatment of GCA. Studies included were trials in which: (1) the participants were classified as having GCA by the 1990 ACR criteria or biopsy proven disease; (2) parallel-group randomised control of at least 16 weeks duration had been conducted with at least 20 participants; (3) the design included either alternative adjunct immunosuppressant regimens, alternative GCs dosing or routes of administration; and (4) outcome data was included on either relapse rates or rates of infection. One thousand eight hundred thirty-six articles were retrieved, of which only 37 met the primary inclusion criteria. Sixteen of these studies reported some information about the GCs or adjuvant regimen used. Only ten studies were of sufficient quality to be included in the meta-analysis. Together these comprised 638 participants of which 72 % were female. Three studies compared various GCs regimens, with two comparing IV GCs, the latter showing a marginal benefit with respect to relapse (risk ratio (RR) = 0.78, 95 % CI = 0.54 to 1.12) but a greater risk of infection (RR = 1.58, 95 % CI = 0.90 to 2.78). Another three used methotrexate as an adjunctive agent and showed marginal benefit with respect to relapse (RR = 0.85, 95 % CI = 0.66 to 1.11). The remaining four trials compared prednisolone to dapsone, infliximab, adalimumab and hydroxychloroquine, respectively. There are various clinical trials of varying quality. The results from this meta-analysis show that the use of adjunct agents is not associated with improved outcome.
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ABSTRACT: To assess the efficacy of tocilizumab (TCZ) in giant cell arteritis (GCA) patients with refractory disease and/or with unacceptable side effects due to corticosteroids. A retrospective multicenter open-label study on 22 GCA patients treated with TCZ at standard dose of 8mg/kg/month. The main outcomes were achievement of disease remission and reduction of corticosteroid dose. The mean age ± standard deviation of patients was 69 ± 8 years. The main clinical features at TCZ onset were polymyalgia rheumatica (n = 16), asthenia (n = 7), headache (n =5), constitutional symptoms (n = 4), jaw claudication (n = 2), and visual loss (n = 2). Besides corticosteroids and before TCZ onset, 19 of 22 patients had also received several conventional immunosuppressive and/or biologic drugs. Of 22 patients, 19 achieved rapid and maintained clinical improvement following TCZ therapy. Also, after a median follow-up of 9 (interquartile range: 6-19) months, the C-reactive protein level had fallen from 1.9 (1.2-5.4) to 0.2 (0.1-0.9)mg/dL (p < 0.0001) and the erythrocyte sedimentation rate decreased from 44 (20-81) to 12 (2-20)mm/1st hour (p = 0.001). The median dose of prednisone was also tapered from 18.75 (10-45) to 5 (2.5-10)mg/day (p < 0.0001). However, TCZ had to be discontinued in 3 patients due to severe neutropenia, recurrent pneumonia, and cytomegalovirus infection. Moreover, 1 patient died after the second infusion of TCZ due to a stroke in the setting of an infectious endocarditis. TCZ therapy leads to rapid and maintained improvement in patients with refractory GCA and/or with unacceptable side effects related to corticosteroids. However, the risk of infection should be kept in mind when using this drug in patients with GCA. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism 12/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.semarthrit.2014.12.005 · 3.63 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Giant cell arteritis (GCA) and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) are two closely related diseases in people aged 50 years and older, which are more frequently observed in Western countries. Despite being common entities, concern still exists about the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and diagnosis of both entities. New imaging techniques, such as 18 fluorodeoxyglucose-positron emission tomography, have proved to be useful in detecting large-vessel involvement in GCA. Corticosteroids are the cornerstone of the therapy in GCA and PMR. Relapses are frequent in these conditions. Unlike methotrexate and tumor necrosis factor-α antagonists, anti-interleukin-6 receptor therapy appears to be useful in patients with GCA and PMR who are refractory to corticosteroids. This review summarizes recent studies on GCA and PMR.Current Rheumatology Reports 02/2015; 17(2):480. DOI:10.1007/s11926-014-0480-1 · 2.45 Impact Factor