Use of synthetic and biological DMARDs in patients with enteropathic spondyloarthritis: a combined gastro-rheumatological approach.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2019 Sep-Oct;37(5):723-730. Epub 2019 Jun 6.

Department of Systems Medicine, Rheumatology, Allergology and Clinical Immunology, University of Rome 'Tor Vergata', Rome, Italy.

Objectives: The aim of this 2-year prospective study was to assess the diagnostic and therapeutic effect of a combined gastro-rheumatological approach in enteropathic spondyloarthritis (eSpA) patients.

Methods: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients with joint pain were referred by IBD-dedicated gastroenterologists to a dedicated rheumatologist. At baseline and at 3, 6, 12, 24 months, the following parameters were recorded: clinical and biochemical variables, SpA and IBD activity scores, treatment (conventional synthetic; csDMARDs, biologics; bDMARDs). Associations between treatment and patient characteristics were evaluated by logistic regression (AOR [95% CI]).

Results: Overall, 229 IBD patients were referred to rheumatologists. eSpA was diagnosed in 147 (64.2%) patients: 96 (65.3%) showing peripheral and 51 (34.7%) axial involvement. IBD included Crohn's disease (CD) in 141 (61.6%) and ulcerative colitis (UC) in 88 (38.4%). bDMARD treatment increased over the follow-up (baseline-24 months: 32.7-60%; AOR 3.45 [1.93-6.2], p<0.001). bDMARD use was less frequent in elderly patients (AOR 0.73 [0.56-0.96], p=0.023), in UC (AOR 0.43 [0.2-0.94], p=0.034) and in patients with peripheral involvement (AOR 0.53 [0.3-1.04], p=0.067). csDMARD use was increased in patients with peripheral involvement (AOR 4.65 [2.09-10.33], p<0.001) and in UC (AOR 2.30 [1.13-4.67], p=0.021). CRP, ESR, ASDAS-ESR levels and BASFI significantly decreased over the follow-up, whereas the pMayo score, BASDAI and HAQ-S were unchanged.

Conclusions: In this prospective study in eSpA patients, a multidisciplinary approach was shown to optimise the therapeutic management and outcome (e.g. disease activity scores). bDMARD use paralleled an improvement in disease activity scores and confirmed a good safety profile.

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October 2019
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