Effects of Long-Term Continuous Remission on Functional and X-Ray Outcomes in Early Rheumatoid Arthritis

11 May 09:04

Study Objectives: To describe the course of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) over a 5-year follow-up and to assess the effects of long-term continuous remission and low activity of RA on its functional and X-ray outcomes.

Materials and Methods: The study included 204 patients with early RA who had participated in the Early Arthritis: Diagnosis, Outcomes, Criteria and Active Treatment program between 2003 and 2007. The median patient age was 49 (range 40-58). Patients received standard background anti-inflammatory drugs and genetically-engineered biological agents. Monitoring was done in the form of careful check-ups.

Study Results: After a year of follow-up, 29 patients were in continuous remission (Group I); 28 patients had periods of low disease activity between periods of remission (Group II); 121 patients had recurrent RA (Group III); and 26 patients had stable disease activity (Group IV). After five years of follow-up, the Health Assessment Questionnaire score of > 0.5 was reported in 7%, 23%, 62%, and 100% of patients in Groups 1 to 4, respectively; and the modified Sharp score was 37.93 ± 18.98, 35.42 ± 15.11, 51.45 ± 30.06, and 69.84 ± 38.70, respectively.

Conclusion: Patients who had achieved long-term continuous remission and low disease activity had better functional and X-ray outcomes after five years of follow-up. In RA patients, even short non-remission (non-low activity) periods worsened the 5-year functional and X-ray prognosis.

Yu. A. Ermakova — V. A. Nasonova Rheumatology Research Institute, Moscow. E-mail:

D. E. Karateev — V. A. Nasonova Rheumatology Research Institute, Moscow. E-mail:

E. L. Luchikhina — V. A. Nasonova Rheumatology Research Institute, Moscow. E-mail:

N. V. Demidova — V. A. Nasonova Rheumatology Research Institute, Moscow. E-mail:

E. V. Orlova — V. A. Nasonova Rheumatology Research Institute, Moscow. E-mail: у

11 May 09:04
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