Song IH et al. – Patients with axial spondyloarthritis treated with etanercept (ETA) over 1 year did not reach drug–free remission in a higher percentage compared to patients from a control group treated with sulfasalazine (SSZ).Methods
- 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.