[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aims of this study were (1) to assess the frequency and duration of drug-free remission and efficacy of etanercept (ETA) treatment after flare in patients with early active axial spondyloarthritis who were treated with ETA (n=40) versus sulfasalazine (SSZ, n=36) for 48 weeks and (2) to analyse the efficacy of ETA treatment in patients in year 2 who did not reach remission at week 48.
At week 48, patients who reached study remission (Assessment of Spondyloarthritis international Society (ASAS) plus MRI remission) were followed up without active treatment up to 1 year. In case of a flare, patients were treated with ETA for another year. All patients who were not in ASAS plus MRI remission at week 48 were treated with ETA in year 2.
ASAS plus MRI remission at week 48 was reached significantly more often in ETA-treated compared to SSZ-treated patients (33% vs 11%, p=0.03). However, the flare rate was not different between these two groups: 69% in the ETA group versus 75% in the SSZ group. Only 8% of patients initially treated with ETA versus 3% of those initially treated with SSZ reached permanent drug-free remission (not significant). After treatment with ETA over 1 year, patients with flare showed an improvement in all clinical and imaging variables.
Patients with axial spondyloarthritis treated with ETA over 1 year did not reach drug-free remission in a higher percentage compared to patients from a control group treated with SSZ.
Full-text · Article · Mar 2012 · Annals of the rheumatic diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the potential of etanercept versus sulfasalazine to reduce active inflammatory lesions on whole-body MRI in active axial spondyloarthritis with a symptom duration of less than 5 years.
Patients were randomly assigned to etanercept (n=40) or sulfasalazine (n=36) treatment over 48 weeks. All patients showed active inflammatory lesions (bone marrow oedema) on MRI in either the sacroiliac joints or the spine. MRI was performed at weeks 0, 24 and 48 and was scored for active inflammatory lesions in sacroiliac joints and the spine including posterior segments and peripheral enthesitis by two radiologists, blinded for treatment arm and MRI time point.
In the etanercept group, the reduction of the sacroiliac joint score from 7.7 at baseline to 2.0 at week 48 was significantly (p=0.02) larger compared with the sulfasalazine group from 5.4 at baseline to 3.5 at week 48. A similar difference in the reduction of inflammation was found in the spine from 2.2 to 1.0 in the etanercept group versus from 1.4 to 1.3 in the sulfasalazine group between baseline and week 48, respectively (p=0.01). The number of enthesitic sites also improved significantly from 26 to 11 in the etanercept group versus 24 to 26 in the sulfasalazine group (p=0.04 for difference). 50% of patients reached clinical remission in the etanercept group versus 19% in the sulfasalazine group at week 48.
In patients with early axial spondyloarthritis active inflammatory lesions detected by whole-body MRI improved significantly more in etanercept versus sulfasalazine-treated patients. This effect correlated with a good clinical response in the etanercept group.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2011 · Annals of the rheumatic diseases