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Concept: Ankylosing spondylitis

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BACKGROUND: Musculoskeletal conditions (MSCs) are widely prevalent in present-day society, with resultant high healthcare costs and substantial negative effects on patient health and quality of life. The main aim of this overview was to synthesize evidence from systematic reviews on the effects of exercise therapy (ET) on pain and physical function for patients with MSCs. In addition, the evidence for the effect of ET on disease pathogenesis, and whether particular components of exercise programs are associated with the size of the treatment effects, was also explored. METHODS: We included four common conditions: fibromyalgia (FM), low back pain (LBP), neck pain (NP), and shoulder pain (SP), and four specific musculoskeletal diseases: osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), and osteoporosis (OP). We first included Cochrane reviews with the most recent update being January 2007 or later, and then searched for non-Cochrane reviews published after this date. Pain and physical functioning were selected as primary outcomes. RESULTS: We identified 9 reviews, comprising a total of 224 trials and 24,059 patients. In addition, one review addressing the effect of exercise on pathogenesis was included. Overall, we found solid evidence supporting ET in the management of MSCs, but there were substantial differences in the level of research evidence between the included diagnostic groups. The standardized mean differences for knee OA, LBP, FM, and SP varied between 0.30 and 0.65 and were significantly in favor of exercise for both pain and function. For NP, hip OA, RA, and AS, the effect estimates were generally smaller and not always significant. There was little or no evidence that ET can influence disease pathogenesis. The only exception was for osteoporosis, where there was evidence that ET increases bone mineral density in postmenopausal women, but no significant effects were found for clinically relevant outcomes (fractures). For LBP and knee OA, there was evidence suggesting that the treatment effect increases with the number of exercise sessions. CONCLUSIONS: There is empirical evidence that ET has beneficial clinical effects for most MSCs. Except for osteoporosis, there seems to be a gap in the understanding of the ways in which ET influences disease mechanisms.

Concepts: Osteoporosis, Back pain, Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Acupuncture, Arthritis, Ankylosing spondylitis, Musculoskeletal disorders

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Anti-drug antibodies (ADAs) against biologic agents may be clinically significant and potentially alter a biologic drug’s treatment efficacy. This systematic review aims to 1) determine the prevalence of ADAs against infliximab, etanercept, adalimumab, and ustekinumab in psoriasis patients; 2) ascertain whether ADAs are associated with changes in drug efficacy; and 3) explore the use of concomitant methotrexate to prevent ADA formation. Through a systematic search using MEDLINE and EMBASE from January 29, 1950 to March 29, 2013, we identified 25 studies that met the inclusion criteria. Of 7,969 psoriasis patients, 950 patients tested positive for ADAs. Antibodies against infliximab, etanercept, adalimumab, and ustekinumab were reported in 5.4%-43.6%, 0.0%-18.3%, 6.6%-44.8%, and 3.8%-5.5% of patients, respectively. Anti-infliximab antibodies were associated with lower serum infliximab concentrations in three studies and decreased treatment response in five studies. ADAs against etanercept were non-neutralizing and not associated with any apparent effects on clinical response. Anti-adalimumab antibodies were associated with lower serum adalimumab concentrations in three of five studies and reduced clinical efficacy in four studies. Two of six studies reported that anti-ustekinumab antibodies were associated with lower PASI responses, and three ustekinumab studies noted that most of these antibodies were neutralizing. Although the use of concomitant methotrexate with biologic agents to prevent ADA formation in other immune-mediated diseases is promising, their use in psoriasis is sparse. ADA development remains a challenge with biologic therapies and therefore should be considered in psoriasis patients who experience diminished treatment response. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Concepts: Monoclonal antibodies, Rheumatoid arthritis, Infliximab, Ankylosing spondylitis, Psoriatic arthritis, Psoriasis, Etanercept, Adalimumab

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BACKGROUND: Uveitis is an autoimmune disease of the eye that refers to any of a number of intraocular inflammatory conditions. Because it is a rare disease, uveitis is often overlooked, and the possible associations between uveitis and extra-ocular disease manifestations are not well known. The aim of this study was to characterise uveitis in a large sample of patients and to evaluate the relationship between uveitis and systemic diseases. METHODS: The present study is a cross-sectional study of a cohort of patients with uveitis. Records from consecutive uveitis patients who were seen by the Uveitis Service in the Department of Ophthalmology at the Medical University of Vienna between 1995 and 2009 were selected from the clinical databases. The cases were classified according to the Standardization of Uveitis Nomenclature Study Group criteria for uveitis. RESULTS: Data were available for 2619 patients, of whom 59.9% suffered from anterior, 14.8% from intermediate, 18.3% from posterior and 7.0% from panuveitis. 37.2% of all cases showed an association between uveitis and extra-organ diseases; diseases with primarily arthritic manifestations were seen in 10.1% of all cases, non-infectious systemic diseases (i.e., Behcet’s disease, sarcoidosis or multiple sclerosis) in 8.4% and infectious uveitis in 18.7%. 49.4% of subjects suffering from anterior uveitis tested positively for the HLA-B27 antigen. In posterior uveitis cases 29% were caused by ocular toxoplasmosis and 17.7% by multifocal choroiditis. CONCLUSION: Ophthalmologists, rheumatologists, infectiologists, neurologists and general practitioners should be familiar with the differential diagnosis of uveitis. A better interdisciplinary approach could help in tailoring of the work-up, earlier diagnosis of co-existing diseases and management of uveitis patients.

Concepts: Medicine, Epidemiology, Medical terms, Infection, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ophthalmology, Ankylosing spondylitis, Uveitis

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OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether biologic-free remission can be achieved in patients with early, active axial spondyloarthritis (SpA) who were in partial remission after 28 weeks of infliximab (IFX)+naproxen (NPX) or placebo (PBO)+NPX treatment and whether treatment with NPX was superior to no treatment to maintain disease control. METHOD: Infliximab as First-Line Therapy in Patients with Early Active Axial Spondyloarthritis Trial (INFAST) Part 1 was a double-blind, randomised, controlled trial in biologic-naïve patients with early, active, moderate-to-severe axial SpA treated with either IFX 5 mg/kg+NPX 1000 mg/d or PBO+NPX 1000 mg/d for 28 weeks. Patients achieving Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) partial remission at week 28 continued to Part 2 and were randomised (1:1) to NPX or no treatment until week 52. Treatment group differences in ASAS partial remission and other efficacy variables were assessed through week 52 with Fisher exact tests. RESULTS: At week 52, similar percentages of patients in the NPX group (47.5%, 19/40) and the no-treatment group (40.0%, 16/40) maintained partial remission, p=0.65. Median duration of partial remission was 23 weeks in the NPX group and 12.6 weeks in the no-treatment group (p=0.38). Mean Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index scores were low at week 28, the start of follow-up treatment (NPX, 0.7; no treatment, 0.6), and remained low at week 52 (NPX, 1.2; no treatment, 1.7). CONCLUSIONS: In axial SpA patients who reached partial remission after treatment with either IFX+NPX or NPX alone, disease activity remained low, and about half of patients remained in remission during 6 months in which NPX was continued or all treatments were stopped.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Infliximab, Mean, Ankylosing spondylitis, Spondyloarthropathy, Psoriatic arthritis, Fisher's exact test, Spondylitis

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To compare the efficacy, safety, immunogenicity and pharmacokinetics (PK) of SB2 to the infliximab reference product (INF) in patients with moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis (RA) despite methotrexate therapy.

Concepts: Rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Crohn's disease, Infliximab, Methotrexate, Ankylosing spondylitis, Psoriatic arthritis, Psoriasis

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Background Few blinded trials have compared conventional therapy consisting of a combination of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs with biologic agents in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who have active disease despite treatment with methotrexate - a common scenario in the management of rheumatoid arthritis. Methods We conducted a 48-week, double-blind, noninferiority trial in which we randomly assigned 353 participants with rheumatoid arthritis who had active disease despite methotrexate therapy to a triple regimen of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (methotrexate, sulfasalazine, and hydroxychloroquine) or etanercept plus methotrexate. Patients who did not have an improvement at 24 weeks according to a prespecified threshold were switched in a blinded fashion to the other therapy. The primary outcome was improvement in the Disease Activity Score for 28-joint counts (DAS28, with scores ranging from 2 to 10 and higher scores indicating more disease activity) at week 48. Results Both groups had significant improvement over the course of the first 24 weeks (P=0.001 for the comparison with baseline). A total of 27% of participants in each group required a switch in treatment at 24 weeks. Participants in both groups who switched therapies had improvement after switching (P<0.001), and the response after switching did not differ significantly between the two groups (P=0.08). The change between baseline and 48 weeks in the DAS28 was similar in the two groups (-2.1 with triple therapy and -2.3 with etanercept and methotrexate, P=0.26); triple therapy was noninferior to etanercept and methotrexate, since the 95% upper confidence limit of 0.41 for the difference in change in DAS28 was below the margin for noninferiority of 0.6 (P=0.002). There were no significant between-group differences in secondary outcomes, including radiographic progression, pain, and health-related quality of life, or in major adverse events associated with the medications. Conclusions With respect to clinical benefit, triple therapy, with sulfasalazine and hydroxychloroquine added to methotrexate, was noninferior to etanercept plus methotrexate in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who had active disease despite methotrexate therapy. (Funded by the Cooperative Studies Program, Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Research and Development, and others; CSP 551 RACAT ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00405275 .).

Concepts: Medicine, Rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Methotrexate, Ankylosing spondylitis, Psoriatic arthritis, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Hydroxychloroquine

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Background Baricitinib is an oral, reversible inhibitor of the Janus kinases JAK1 and JAK2 that may have therapeutic value in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Methods We conducted a 52-week, phase 3, double-blind, placebo- and active-controlled trial in which 1307 patients with active rheumatoid arthritis who were receiving background therapy with methotrexate were randomly assigned to one of three regimens in a 3:3:2 ratio: placebo (switched to baricitinib after 24 weeks), 4 mg of baricitinib once daily, or 40 mg of adalimumab (an anti-tumor necrosis factor α monoclonal antibody) every other week. End-point measures evaluated after adjustment for multiplicity included 20% improvement according to the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR20 response) (the primary end point), the Disease Activity Score for 28 joints (DAS28), the Health Assessment Questionnaire-Disability Index, and the Simplified Disease Activity Index at week 12, as well as radiographic progression of joint damage as measured by the van der Heijde modification of the total Sharp score (mTSS) (range, 0 to 448, with higher scores indicating greater structural joint damage) at week 24. Results More patients had an ACR20 response at week 12 with baricitinib than with placebo (primary end point, 70% vs. 40%, P<0.001). All major secondary objectives were met, including inhibition of radiographic progression of joint damage, according to the mTSS at week 24 with baricitinib versus placebo (mean change from baseline, 0.41 vs. 0.90; P<0.001) and an increased ACR20 response rate at week 12 with baricitinib versus adalimumab (70% vs. 61%, P=0.014). Adverse events, including infections, were more frequent through week 24 with baricitinib and adalimumab than with placebo. Cancers were reported in five patients (two who received baricitinib and three who received placebo). Baricitinib was associated with reductions in neutrophil counts and increases in levels of creatinine and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol. Conclusions In patients with rheumatoid arthritis who had had an inadequate response to methotrexate, baricitinib was associated with significant clinical improvements as compared with placebo and adalimumab. (Funded by Eli Lilly and Incyte; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01710358 .).

Concepts: Clinical trial, Rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Infliximab, Enzyme inhibitor, Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, Ankylosing spondylitis, Psoriatic arthritis

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To assess the efficacy and safety of switching from the infliximab reference product (RP; Remicade) to its biosimilar CT-P13 (Remsima, Inflectra) or continuing CT-P13 in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) for an additional six infusions.

Concepts: Rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology, Infliximab, Methotrexate, Ankylosing spondylitis, Psoriatic arthritis, Etanercept, Adalimumab

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To investigate the efficacy and safety of switching from infliximab reference product (RP) to its biosimilar or maintaining biosimilar treatment in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS).

Concepts: Infliximab, Ankylosing spondylitis

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To compare persistence and adherence to triple therapy with nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) methotrexate (MTX), hydroxychloroquine, and sulfasalazine, versus a tumor necrosis factor inhibitor plus MTX (TNFi+MTX) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Concepts: Rheumatoid arthritis, Methotrexate, Arthritis, Tumor necrosis factor-alpha, Ankylosing spondylitis, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Hydroxychloroquine, Sulfasalazine