Effect of biologic agents on radiographic progression of rheumatoid arthritis
Gabriel J Tobón1, Alain Saraux1,2, Valérie Devauchelle-Pensec1,2
1Immunology Laboratory, Morvan Hospital, Université de Bretagne Occidentale, Brest, France; 2Rheumatology Unit, Hôpital de la Cavale Blanche, CHU Brest, France
Abstract: The treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has benefited over the last few years from the introduction of biologic agents whose development was based on new insights into the immunological factors involved in the pathogenesis of RA and the development of joint damage. These biological agents have been proven effective in RA patients with inadequate responses to synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Preventing joint damage is now the primary goal of RA treatment, and guidelines exist for the follow-up of joint abnormalities. Most biologic agents produced high clinical and radiological response rates in patients with established or recent-onset RA. Thus, for the first time, obtaining a remission is a reasonable treatment goal in RA patients. Factors that are crucial to joint damage control are: early initiation of DMARDs, use of intensive treatments including biological agents, and close monitoring of clinical disease activity and radiographic progression. However, some patients remain unresponsive to all available treatments and continue to experience joint damage progression. A major objective now is to identify patients at high risk for severe joint damage, in order to tailor the treatment regimen to their specific needs.
Keywords: rheumatoid arthritis, radiographic progression, biologics
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