Arthritis, Rheumatoid
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Publication
Journal: Arthritis and rheumatism
May/12/1988
Abstract
The revised criteria for the classification of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were formulated from a computerized analysis of 262 contemporary, consecutively studied patients with RA and 262 control subjects with rheumatic diseases other than RA (non-RA). The new criteria are as follows: 1) morning stiffness in and around joints lasting at least 1 hour before maximal improvement; 2) soft tissue swelling (arthritis) of 3 or more joint areas observed by a physician; 3) swelling (arthritis) of the proximal interphalangeal, metacarpophalangeal, or wrist joints; 4) symmetric swelling (arthritis); 5) rheumatoid nodules; 6) the presence of rheumatoid factor; and 7) radiographic erosions and/or periarticular osteopenia in hand and/or wrist joints. Criteria 1 through 4 must have been present for at least 6 weeks. Rheumatoid arthritis is defined by the presence of 4 or more criteria, and no further qualifications (classic, definite, or probable) or list of exclusions are required. In addition, a "classification tree" schema is presented which performs equally as well as the traditional (4 of 7) format. The new criteria demonstrated 91-94% sensitivity and 89% specificity for RA when compared with non-RA rheumatic disease control subjects.
Publication
Journal: Nature
June/28/2007
Abstract
There is increasing evidence that genome-wide association (GWA) studies represent a powerful approach to the identification of genes involved in common human diseases. We describe a joint GWA study (using the Affymetrix GeneChip 500K Mapping Array Set) undertaken in the British population, which has examined approximately 2,000 individuals for each of 7 major diseases and a shared set of approximately 3,000 controls. Case-control comparisons identified 24 independent association signals at P < 5 x 10(-7): 1 in bipolar disorder, 1 in coronary artery disease, 9 in Crohn's disease, 3 in rheumatoid arthritis, 7 in type 1 diabetes and 3 in type 2 diabetes. On the basis of prior findings and replication studies thus-far completed, almost all of these signals reflect genuine susceptibility effects. We observed association at many previously identified loci, and found compelling evidence that some loci confer risk for more than one of the diseases studied. Across all diseases, we identified a large number of further signals (including 58 loci with single-point P values between 10(-5) and 5 x 10(-7)) likely to yield additional susceptibility loci. The importance of appropriately large samples was confirmed by the modest effect sizes observed at most loci identified. This study thus represents a thorough validation of the GWA approach. It has also demonstrated that careful use of a shared control group represents a safe and effective approach to GWA analyses of multiple disease phenotypes; has generated a genome-wide genotype database for future studies of common diseases in the British population; and shown that, provided individuals with non-European ancestry are excluded, the extent of population stratification in the British population is generally modest. Our findings offer new avenues for exploring the pathophysiology of these important disorders. We anticipate that our data, results and software, which will be widely available to other investigators, will provide a powerful resource for human genetics research.
Publication
Journal: International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
February/1/2007
Abstract
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS, e.g. nitric oxide, NO(*)) are well recognised for playing a dual role as both deleterious and beneficial species. ROS and RNS are normally generated by tightly regulated enzymes, such as NO synthase (NOS) and NAD(P)H oxidase isoforms, respectively. Overproduction of ROS (arising either from mitochondrial electron-transport chain or excessive stimulation of NAD(P)H) results in oxidative stress, a deleterious process that can be an important mediator of damage to cell structures, including lipids and membranes, proteins, and DNA. In contrast, beneficial effects of ROS/RNS (e.g. superoxide radical and nitric oxide) occur at low/moderate concentrations and involve physiological roles in cellular responses to noxia, as for example in defence against infectious agents, in the function of a number of cellular signalling pathways, and the induction of a mitogenic response. Ironically, various ROS-mediated actions in fact protect cells against ROS-induced oxidative stress and re-establish or maintain "redox balance" termed also "redox homeostasis". The "two-faced" character of ROS is clearly substantiated. For example, a growing body of evidence shows that ROS within cells act as secondary messengers in intracellular signalling cascades which induce and maintain the oncogenic phenotype of cancer cells, however, ROS can also induce cellular senescence and apoptosis and can therefore function as anti-tumourigenic species. This review will describe the: (i) chemistry and biochemistry of ROS/RNS and sources of free radical generation; (ii) damage to DNA, to proteins, and to lipids by free radicals; (iii) role of antioxidants (e.g. glutathione) in the maintenance of cellular "redox homeostasis"; (iv) overview of ROS-induced signaling pathways; (v) role of ROS in redox regulation of normal physiological functions, as well as (vi) role of ROS in pathophysiological implications of altered redox regulation (human diseases and ageing). Attention is focussed on the ROS/RNS-linked pathogenesis of cancer, cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, hypertension, ischemia/reperfusion injury, diabetes mellitus, neurodegenerative diseases (Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease), rheumatoid arthritis, and ageing. Topics of current debate are also reviewed such as the question whether excessive formation of free radicals is a primary cause or a downstream consequence of tissue injury.
Publication
Journal: Nature Medicine
December/25/1995
Abstract
Recent discoveries of endogenous negative regulators of angiogenesis, thrombospondin, angiostatin and glioma-derived angiogenesis inhibitory factor, all associated with neovascularized tumours, suggest a new paradigm of tumorigenesis. It is now helpful to think of the switch to the angiogenic phenotype as a net balance of positive and negative regulators of blood vessel growth. The extent to which the negative regulators are decreased during this switch may dictate whether a primary tumour grows rapidly or slowly and whether metastases grow at all.
Authors
Publication
Journal: Arthritis and rheumatism
February/6/1995
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
The development and validation of Modified Disease Activity Scores (DAS) that include different 28-joint counts.
METHODS
These scores were developed by canonical discriminant analyses and validated for criterion, correlational, and construct validity. The influence of disease duration on the composition of the DAS was also investigated.
RESULTS
No influence of disease duration was found. The Modified DAS that included 28-joint counts were able to discriminate between high and low disease activity (as indicated by clinical decisions of rheumatologists).
CONCLUSIONS
The Modified DAS are as valid as disease activity scores that include more comprehensive joint counts.
Publication
Journal: Arthritis and rheumatism
November/8/2010
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
The 1987 American College of Rheumatology (ACR; formerly, the American Rheumatism Association) classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have been criticized for their lack of sensitivity in early disease. This work was undertaken to develop new classification criteria for RA.
METHODS
A joint working group from the ACR and the European League Against Rheumatism developed, in 3 phases, a new approach to classifying RA. The work focused on identifying, among patients newly presenting with undifferentiated inflammatory synovitis, factors that best discriminated between those who were and those who were not at high risk for persistent and/or erosive disease--this being the appropriate current paradigm underlying the disease construct "rheumatoid arthritis."
RESULTS
In the new criteria set, classification as "definite RA" is based on the confirmed presence of synovitis in at least 1 joint, absence of an alternative diagnosis that better explains the synovitis, and achievement of a total score of 6 or greater (of a possible 10) from the individual scores in 4 domains: number and site of involved joints (score range 0-5), serologic abnormality (score range 0-3), elevated acute-phase response (score range 0-1), and symptom duration (2 levels; range 0-1).
CONCLUSIONS
This new classification system redefines the current paradigm of RA by focusing on features at earlier stages of disease that are associated with persistent and/or erosive disease, rather than defining the disease by its late-stage features. This will refocus attention on the important need for earlier diagnosis and institution of effective disease-suppressing therapy to prevent or minimize the occurrence of the undesirable sequelae that currently comprise the paradigm underlying the disease construct "rheumatoid arthritis."
Publication
Journal: New England Journal of Medicine
December/19/2011
Publication
Journal: Nature
June/9/2003
Abstract
Rheumatoid arthritis is the most common inflammatory arthritis and is a major cause of disability. It existed in early Native American populations several thousand years ago but might not have appeared in Europe until the 17th century. Early theories on the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis focused on autoantibodies and immune complexes. T-cell-mediated antigen-specific responses, T-cell-independent cytokine networks, and aggressive tumour-like behaviour of rheumatoid synovium have also been implicated. More recently, the contribution of autoantibodies has returned to the forefront. Based on the pathogenic mechanisms, specific therapeutic interventions can be designed to suppress synovial inflammation and joint destruction in rheumatoid arthritis.
Publication
Journal: Arthritis and rheumatism
May/13/1980
Abstract
A structure for representation of patient outcome is presented, together with a method for outcome measurement and validation of the technique in rheumatoid arthritis. The paradigm represents outcome by five separate dimensions: death, discomfort, disability, drug (therapeutic) toxicity, and dollar cost. Each dimension represents an outcome directly related to patient welfare. Quantitation of these outcome dimensions may be performed at interview or by patient questionnaire. With standardized, validated questions, similar scores are achieved by both methods. The questionnaire technique is preferred since it is inexpensive and does not require interobserver validation. These techniques appear extremely useful for evaluation of long term outcome of patients with rheumatic diseases.
Publication
Journal: Archives of internal medicine
August/7/2000
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Depression and anxiety are common in medical patients and are associated with diminished health status and increased health care utilization. This article presents a quantitative review and synthesis of studies correlating medical patients' treatment noncompliance with their anxiety and depression.
METHODS
Research on patient adherence catalogued on MEDLINE and PsychLit from January 1, 1968, through March 31, 1998, was examined, and studies were included in this review if they measured patient compliance and depression or anxiety (with n>10); involved a medical regimen recommended by a nonpsychiatrist physician to a patient not being treated for anxiety, depression, or a psychiatric illness; and measured the relationship between patient compliance and patient anxiety and/or depression (or provided data to calculate it).
RESULTS
Twelve articles about depression and 13 about anxiety met the inclusion criteria. The associations between anxiety and noncompliance were variable, and their averages were small and nonsignificant. The relationship between depression and noncompliance, however, was substantial and significant, with an odds ratio of 3.03 (95% confidence interval, 1.96-4.89).
CONCLUSIONS
Compared with nondepressed patients, the odds are 3 times greater that depressed patients will be noncompliant with medical treatment recommendations. Recommendations for future research include attention to causal inferences and exploration of mechanisms to explain the effects. Evidence of strong covariation of depression and medical noncompliance suggests the importance of recognizing depression as a risk factor for poor outcomes among patients who might not be adhering to medical advice.
Publication
Journal: New England Journal of Medicine
October/17/2001
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Infliximab is a humanized antibody against tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) that is used in the treatment of Crohn's disease and rheumatoid arthritis. Approximately 147,000 patients throughout the world have received infliximab. Excess TNF-alpha in association with tuberculosis may cause weight loss and night sweats, yet in animal models it has a protective role in the host response to tuberculosis. There is no direct evidence of a protective role of TNF-alpha in patients with tuberculosis.
METHODS
We analyzed all reports of tuberculosis after infliximab therapy that had been received as of May 29, 2001, through the MedWatch spontaneous reporting system of the Food and Drug Administration.
RESULTS
There were 70 reported cases of tuberculosis after treatment with infliximab, for a median of 12 weeks. In 48 patients, tuberculosis developed after three or fewer infusions. Forty of the patients had extrapulmonary disease (17 had disseminated disease, 11 lymph node disease, 4 peritoneal disease, 2 pleural disease, and 1 each meningeal, enteric, paravertebral, bone, genital, and bladder disease). The diagnosis was confirmed by a biopsy in 33 patients. Of the 70 reports, 64 were from countries with a low incidence of tuberculosis. The reported frequency of tuberculosis in association with infliximab therapy was much higher than the reported frequency of other opportunistic infections associated with this drug. In addition, the rate of reported cases of tuberculosis among patients treated with infliximab was higher than the available background rates.
CONCLUSIONS
Active tuberculosis may develop soon after the initiation of treatment with infliximab. Before prescribing the drug, physicians should screen patients for latent tuberculosis infection or disease.
Publication
Journal: Biochemical Journal
June/17/1984
Publication
Journal: New England Journal of Medicine
December/6/2000
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Neutralization of tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-alpha) for three to six months reduces the symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis. However, the capacity of this approach to effect a more sustained benefit and its effect on joint damage are not known.
METHODS
We treated 428 patients who had active rheumatoid arthritis despite methotrexate therapy with placebo or infliximab, a chimeric monoclonal antibody against TNF-alpha, in intravenous doses of 3 or 10 mg per kilogram of body weight every 4 or 8 weeks in combination with oral methotrexate for 54 weeks. We assessed clinical responses with use of the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology, the quality of life with a health-status questionnaire, and the effect on joint damage radiographically.
RESULTS
The combination of infliximab and methotrexate was well tolerated and resulted in a sustained reduction in the symptoms and signs of rheumatoid arthritis that was significantly greater than the reduction associated with methotrexate therapy alone (clinical response, 51.8 percent vs. 17.0 percent; P<0.001). The quality of life was also significantly better with infliximab plus methotrexate than with methotrexate alone. Radiographic evidence of joint damage increased in the group given methotrexate, but not in the groups given infliximab and methotrexate (mean change in radiographic score, 7.0 vs. 0.6, P<0.001). Radiographic evidence of progression of joint damage was absent in infliximab-treated patients whether or not they had a clinical response.
CONCLUSIONS
In patients with persistently active rheumatoid arthritis despite methotrexate therapy, repeated doses of infliximab in combination with methotrexate provided clinical benefit and halted the progression of joint damage.
Publication
Journal: New England Journal of Medicine
November/29/2000
Abstract
Each year, clinical upper gastrointestinal events occur in 2 to 4 percent of patients who are taking nonselective nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). We assessed whether rofecoxib, a selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2, would be associated with a lower incidence of clinically important upper gastrointestinal events than is the nonselective NSAID naproxen among patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
We randomly assigned 8076 patients who were at least 50 years of age (or at least 40 years of age and receiving long-term glucocorticoid therapy) and who had rheumatoid arthritis to receive either 50 mg of rofecoxib daily or 500 mg of naproxen twice daily. The primary end point was confirmed clinical upper gastrointestinal events (gastroduodenal perforation or obstruction, upper gastrointestinal bleeding, and symptomatic gastroduodenal ulcers).
Rofecoxib and naproxen had similar efficacy against rheumatoid arthritis. During a median follow-up of 9.0 months, 2.1 confirmed gastrointestinal events per 100 patient-years occurred with rofecoxib, as compared with 4.5 per 100 patient-years with naproxen (relative risk, 0.5; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.3 to 0.6; P<0.001). The respective rates of complicated confirmed events (perforation, obstruction, and severe upper gastrointestinal bleeding) were 0.6 per 100 patient-years and 1.4 per 100 patient-years (relative risk, 0.4; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.2 to 0.8; P=0.005). The incidence of myocardial infarction was lower among patients in the naproxen group than among those in the rofecoxib group (0.1 percent vs. 0.4 percent; relative risk, 0.2; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.1 to 0.7); the overall mortality rate and the rate of death from cardiovascular causes were similar in the two groups.
In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, treatment with rofecoxib, a selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2, is associated with significantly fewer clinically important upper gastrointestinal events than treatment with naproxen, a nonselective inhibitor.
Publication
Journal: Medical Care
November/17/1981
Abstract
The final development of the Sickness Impact Profile (SIP), a behaviorally based measure of health status, is presented. A large field trial on a random sample of prepaid group practice enrollees and smaller trials on samples of patients with hyperthyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis and hip replacements were undertaken to assess reliability and validity of the SIP and provide data for category and item analyses. Test-retest reliability (r = 0.92) and internal consistency (r - 0.94) were high. Convergent and discriminant validity was evaluated using the multitrait--multimethod technique. Clinical validity was assessed by determining the relationship between clinical measures of disease and the SIP scores. The relationship between the SIP and criterion measures were moderate to high and in the direction hypothesized. A technique for describing and assessing similarities and differences among groups was developed using profile and pattern analysis. The final SIP contains 136 items in 12 categories. Overall, category, and dimension scores may be calculated.
Publication
Journal: Bulletin on the rheumatic diseases
June/30/2000
Publication
Journal: Arthritis and rheumatism
January/13/1988
Publication
Journal: Nature Reviews Immunology
July/11/2007
Abstract
Cytokines regulate a broad range of inflammatory processes that are implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. In rheumatoid joints, it is well known that an imbalance between pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine activities favours the induction of autoimmunity, chronic inflammation and thereby joint damage. However, it remains less clear how cytokines are organized within a hierarchical regulatory network, and therefore which cytokines may be the best targets for clinical intervention a priori. Here, we discuss the crucial effector function of cytokines in the immunological processes that are central to the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.
Publication
Journal: New England Journal of Medicine
June/22/2004
Abstract
BACKGROUND
An open-label study indicated that selective depletion of B cells with the use of rituximab led to sustained clinical improvements for patients with rheumatoid arthritis. To confirm these observations, we conducted a randomized, double-blind, controlled study.
METHODS
We randomly assigned 161 patients who had active rheumatoid arthritis despite treatment with methotrexate to receive one of four treatments: oral methotrexate >> or =10 mg per week) (control); rituximab (1000 mg on days 1 and 15); rituximab plus cyclophosphamide (750 mg on days 3 and 17); or rituximab plus methotrexate. Responses defined according to the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the European League against Rheumatism (EULAR) were assessed at week 24 (primary analyses) and week 48 (exploratory analyses).
RESULTS
At week 24, the proportion of patients with 50 percent improvement in disease symptoms according to the ACR criteria, the primary end point, was significantly greater with the rituximab-methotrexate combination (43 percent, P=0.005) and the rituximab-cyclophosphamide combination (41 percent, P=0.005) than with methotrexate alone (13 percent). In all groups treated with rituximab, a significantly higher proportion of patients had a 20 percent improvement in disease symptoms according to the ACR criteria (65 to 76 percent vs. 38 percent, P< or =0.025) or had EULAR responses (83 to 85 percent vs. 50 percent, P< or =0.004). All ACR responses were maintained at week 48 in the rituximab-methotrexate group. The majority of adverse events occurred with the first rituximab infusion: at 24 weeks, serious infections occurred in one patient (2.5 percent) in the control group and in four patients (3.3 percent) in the rituximab groups. Peripheral-blood immunoglobulin concentrations remained within normal ranges.
CONCLUSIONS
In patients with active rheumatoid arthritis despite methotrexate treatment, a single course of two infusions of rituximab, alone or in combination with either cyclophosphamide or continued methotrexate, provided significant improvement in disease symptoms at both weeks 24 and 48.
Publication
Journal: The Lancet
October/13/2010
Abstract
Rheumatoid arthritis is characterised by persistent synovitis, systemic inflammation, and autoantibodies (particularly to rheumatoid factor and citrullinated peptide). 50% of the risk for development of rheumatoid arthritis is attributable to genetic factors. Smoking is the main environmental risk. In industrialised countries, rheumatoid arthritis affects 0·5-1·0% of adults, with 5-50 per 100 000 new cases annually. The disorder is most typical in women and elderly people. Uncontrolled active rheumatoid arthritis causes joint damage, disability, decreased quality of life, and cardiovascular and other comorbidities. Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), the key therapeutic agents, reduce synovitis and systemic inflammation and improve function. The leading DMARD is methotrexate, which can be combined with other drugs of this type. Biological agents are used when arthritis is uncontrolled or toxic effects arise with DMARDs. Tumour necrosis factor inhibitors were the first biological agents, followed by abatacept, rituximab, and tocilizumab. Infections and high costs restrict prescription of biological agents. Long-term remission induced by intensive, short-term treatment selected by biomarker profiles is the ultimate goal.
Publication
Journal: Arthritis and rheumatism
March/9/2008
Abstract
OBJECTIVE
To provide a single source for the best available estimates of the US prevalence of and number of individuals affected by arthritis overall, rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile arthritis, the spondylarthritides, systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, and Sjögren's syndrome. A companion article (part II) addresses additional conditions.
METHODS
The National Arthritis Data Workgroup reviewed published analyses from available national surveys, such as the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey and the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). For analysis of overall arthritis, we used the NHIS. Because data based on national population samples are unavailable for most specific rheumatic conditions, we derived estimates from published studies of smaller, defined populations. For specific conditions, the best available prevalence estimates were applied to the corresponding 2005 US population estimates from the Census Bureau, to estimate the number affected with each condition.
RESULTS
More than 21% of US adults (46.4 million persons) were found to have self-reported doctor-diagnosed arthritis. We estimated that rheumatoid arthritis affects 1.3 million adults (down from the estimate of 2.1 million for 1995), juvenile arthritis affects 294,000 children, spondylarthritides affect from 0.6 million to 2.4 million adults, systemic lupus erythematosus affects from 161,000 to 322,000 adults, systemic sclerosis affects 49,000 adults, and primary Sjögren's syndrome affects from 0.4 million to 3.1 million adults.
CONCLUSIONS
Arthritis and other rheumatic conditions continue to be a large and growing public health problem. Estimates for many specific rheumatic conditions rely on a few, small studies of uncertain generalizability to the US population. This report provides the best available prevalence estimates for the US, but for most specific conditions, more studies generalizable to the US or addressing understudied populations are needed.
Publication
Journal: Immunity
September/22/1999
Abstract
PD-1, a 55 kDa transmembrane protein containing an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif, is induced in lymphocytes and monocytic cells following activation. Aged C57BL/6(B6)-PD-1(-/-) congenic mice spontaneously developed characteristic lupus-like proliferative arthritis and glomerulonephritis with predominant IgG3 deposition, which were markedly accelerated by introduction of a Fas mutation (lpr). Introduction of a PD-1 null mutation into the 2C-TCR (anti-H-2Ld) transgenic mice of the H-2(b/d) background resulted in the chronic and systemic graft-versus-host-like disease. Furthermore, CD8+ 2C-TCR+ PD-1(-/-) T cells exhibited markedly augmented proliferation in vitro in response to H-2d allogenic cells. Collectively, it is suggested that PD-1 is involved in the maintenance of peripheral self-tolerance by serving as a negative regulator of immune responses.
Publication
Journal: Annual Review of Immunology
December/23/1996
Abstract
Analysis of cytokine mRNA and protein in rheumatoid arthritis tissue revealed that many proinflammatory cytokines such as TNF alpha, IL-1, IL-6, GM-CSF, and chemokines such as IL-8 are abundant in all patients regardless of therapy. This is compensated to some degree by the increased production of anti-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-10 and TGF beta and cytokine inhibitors such as IL-1ra and soluble TNF-R. However, this upregulation in homeostatic regulatory mechanisms is not sufficient as these are unable to neutralize all the TNF alpha and IL-1 produced. In rheumatoid joint cell cultures that spontaneously produce IL-1, TNF alpha was the major dominant regulator of IL-1. Subsequently, other proinflammatory cytokines were also inhibited if TNF alpha was neutralized, leading to the new concept that the proinflammatory cytokines were linked in a network with TNF alpha at its apex. This led to the hypothesis that TNF alpha was of major importance in rheumatoid arthritis and was a therapeutic target. This hypothesis has been successfully tested in animal models, of, for example, collagen-induced arthritis, and these studies have provided the rationale for clinical trials of anti-TNF alpha therapy in patients with long-standing rheumatoid arthritis. Several clinical trials using a chimeric anti-TNF alpha antibody have shown marked clinical benefit, verifying the hypothesis that TNF alpha is of major importance in rheumatoid arthritis. Retreatment studies have also shown benefit in repeated relapses, indicating that the disease remains TNF alpha dependent. Overall these studies demonstrate that analysis of cytokine expression and regulation may yield effective therapeutic targets in inflammatory disease.
Publication
Journal: JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association
May/22/2006
Abstract
BACKGROUND
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF) plays an important role in host defense and tumor growth control. Therefore, anti-TNF antibody therapies may increase the risk of serious infections and malignancies.
OBJECTIVE
To assess the extent to which anti-TNF antibody therapies may increase the risk of serious infections and malignancies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis by performing a meta-analysis to derive estimates of sparse harmful events occurring in randomized trials of anti-TNF therapy.
METHODS
A systematic literature search of EMBASE, MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, and electronic abstract databases of the annual scientific meetings of both the European League Against Rheumatism and the American College of Rheumatology was conducted through December 2005. This search was complemented with interviews of the manufacturers of the 2 licensed anti-TNF antibodies.
METHODS
We included randomized, placebo-controlled trials of the 2 licensed anti-TNF antibodies (infliximab and adalimumab) used for 12 weeks or more in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Nine trials met our inclusion criteria, including 3493 patients who received anti-TNF antibody treatment and 1512 patients who received placebo.
METHODS
Data on study characteristics to assess study quality and intention-to-treat data for serious infections and malignancies were abstracted. Published information from the trials was supplemented by direct contact between principal investigators and industry sponsors.
RESULTS
We calculated a pooled odds ratio (Mantel-Haenszel methods with a continuity correction designed for sparse data) for malignancies and serious infections (infection that requires antimicrobial therapy and/or hospitalization) in anti-TNF-treated patients vs placebo patients. We estimated effects for high and low doses separately. The pooled odds ratio for malignancy was 3.3 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-9.1) and for serious infection was 2.0 (95% CI, 1.3-3.1). Malignancies were significantly more common in patients treated with higher doses compared with patients who received lower doses of anti-TNF antibodies. For patients treated with anti-TNF antibodies in the included trials, the number needed to harm was 154 (95% CI, 91-500) for 1 additional malignancy within a treatment period of 6 to 12 months. For serious infections, the number needed to harm was 59 (95% CI, 39-125) within a treatment period of 3 to 12 months.
CONCLUSIONS
There is evidence of an increased risk of serious infections and a dose-dependent increased risk of malignancies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with anti-TNF antibody therapy. The formal meta-analysis with pooled sparse adverse events data from randomized controlled trials serves as a tool to assess harmful drug effects.
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