Secular Trends In Baseline Characteristics, Treatment Retention And Response Rates In 27189 Bio-Naive Axial Spondyloarthritis Patients Initiating Tnfi - Results From The Eurospa Collaboration

L. Midtboll Ornbjerg, S. N. Christiansen, S. H. Rasmussen, A. G. Loft, U. Lindstrom, J. Zavada, F. Iannone, F. Onen, M. J. Nissen, B. Michelsen, M. J. Santos, G. Macfarlane, D. Nordstrom, M. Pombo-Suarez, C. Codreanu, M. Tomsic, I. Van der Horst-Bruinsma, B. Gudbjornsson, J. Askling, B. GlintborgK. Pavelka, E. Gremese, N. Akkoc, A. Ciurea, E. Kristianslund, A. Barcelos, G. T. Jones, A. M. Hokkanen, C. Sanchez-Piedra, R. Ionescu, Z. Rotar, M. G. H. Van De Sande, A. J. Geirsson, M. Ostergaard, M. L. Hetland

Research output: Contribution to journalAbstractpeer-review


Background: Knowledge of changes over time in baseline characteristics and tumor necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) response in bio-naïve axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) patients treated in routine care is limited.
Objectives: To investigate secular trends in baseline characteristics and retention, remission and response rates in axSpA patients initiating a first TNFi.
Methods: Prospectively collected data on bio-naïve axSpA patients starting TNFi in routine care from 15 European countries were pooled. According to year of TNFi initiation, three groups were defined a priori based on bDMARD availability: Group A (1999–2008), Group B (2009–2014) and Group C (2015–2018). Retention rates (Kaplan-Meier), crude and LUNDEX adjusted1 remission (Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS) <1.3, Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) <20) and response (ASDAS Major and Clinically Important Improvement (MI/CII), BASDAI 50) rates were assessed at 6, 12 and 24 months. No statistical comparisons were made. Results: In total, 27189 axSpA patients were included (5945, 11255 and 9989 in groups A, B and C). At baseline, patients in group A were older, had longer disease duration and a larger proportion of male and HLA-B27 positive patients compared to B and C, whereas disease activity was similar across groups. Retention rates at 6, 12 and 24 months were highest in group A (88%/81%/71%) but differed little between B (84%/74%/64%) and C (85%/76%/67%). In all groups, median ASDAS and BASDAI had decreased markedly at 6 months (Table 1). The ASDAS values at 12 and 24 months and BASDAI at 24 months were higher in group A compared with groups B and C. Similarly, crude remission and response rates were lowest in group A. After adjustments for drug retention (LUNDEX), remission and response rates showed less pronounced between group differences regarding ASDAS measures and no relevant differences regarding BASDAI measures.
Conclusion: Nowadays, axSpA patients initiating TNFi are younger with shorter disease duration and more frequently female and HLA-B27 negative than previously, while baseline disease activity is unchanged. Drug retention rates have decreased, whereas crude remission and response rates have increased. This may indicate expanded indication but also a stable disease activity threshold for TNFi initiation over time, an increased focus on targeting disease remission andmore available treatment options.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-218
Number of pages2
JournalAnnals of the Rheumatic Diseases
Early online date19 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021
EventEuropean Congress of Rheumatology 2021
: EULAR 2021
- virtual
Duration: 2 Jun 20215 Jun 2021

Bibliographical note

Acknowledgements: Novartis Pharma AG and IQVIA for supporting the EuroSpA Research Collaboration Network.


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