Date: Sunday, November 5, 2017
Session Type: ACR Poster Session A
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Background/Purpose: Joint damage in RA is thought to be irreparable. We hypothesized that in patients in whom inflammation is persistently well suppressed, repair may be possible.
Objectives: To investigate whether reversal of erosions and joint space narrowing (JSN) in RA occurs and whether clinical variables predict repair.
Methods: In the BeSt study, patients with active early RA were randomized to 4 treatment strategies, each with the aim to induce and maintain suppression of disease activity by adjusting medication based on three-monthly calculations of the 44-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS), target ≤2.4. Radiographic joint damage was assessed yearly, using the Sharp/van der Heijde score (SHS). In this analysis, 8-years data of the study were used. Repair of erosions or JSN was defined at the individual joint level as a reduction of ≥1 SHS point compared to the previous available X-ray, present in ≥2 consecutive visits and with ≥3 out of 4 independent scorers agreeing. Radiographs were scored in random order per patient, blind for patient identity and treatment arm. Multiple logistic regressions were applied at the patient level for associations between achieving repair and maximum duration of previous remission, mean DAS until repair, previous prednisone use, previous infliximab use, ACPA, gender, age and randomization arm. All models were adjusted for mean joint damage over time in the group with repair. In the group without repair, the models were corrected for mean damage over time until mean time point of repair in the group with repair.
Results: Seven out of 508 patients did not have any X-ray images taken in the study. Of the remaining 501 patients, 320 had damage in at least 1 joint and thus could potentially show repair. In total, 2395 X-rays were available, on average 7.5 per patient (range 2-9). Median SHS after 8 years in these patients was 13 (IQR 4-21, range 0.67-255), and mean (SD) DAS from month 3 was 2.00 (0.67). Repair was seen in 17 out of 320 patients, 5.3%; 10 had reduction of JSN, 7 of erosions. In 14 patients repair was seen in 1 joint, in 3 patients repair was seen in 2 joints (same time point). Mean (SD) time to repair was 44.1 (20.1) months. Ten of 17 patients (59%) had previously achieved DAS-remission, compared to 100% of the patients who at a matching time point showed no repair. Adjusted for mean SHS until repair, we found a trend for less repair with longer baseline symptom duration and for less repair in the arm with initial infliximab. There were no associations with repair for duration of remission, mean DAS until repair, gender, age, presence of ACPA, or previous exposure to prednisone or infliximab (table 1).
Conclusion: In this early RA cohort, during 8 years treated to target DAS ≤2.4, repair of JSN and erosions was seen in 17 patients (5.3%). Repair does not seem to relate to previous inflammation or other predictors in this cohort.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:van der Pol JA, Akdemir G, van den Broek M, Dirven L, Kerstens PJSM, Lems WF, Markusse IM, Allaart CF, Huizinga TWJ. Repair of Joint Damage Is Rare in Newly Diagnosed Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients and Appears Not to Relate to Previous Suppression of Inflammation [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2017; 69 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/repair-of-joint-damage-is-rare-in-newly-diagnosed-rheumatoid-arthritis-patients-and-appears-not-to-relate-to-previous-suppression-of-inflammation/. Accessed December 7, 2019.
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/repair-of-joint-damage-is-rare-in-newly-diagnosed-rheumatoid-arthritis-patients-and-appears-not-to-relate-to-previous-suppression-of-inflammation/