Ann Rheum Dis 62:1020-1021 doi:10.1136/ard.62.10.1020
  • Letter

Bone mineral density improvement in spondyloarthropathy after treatment with etanercept

  1. H Marzo-Ortega1,
  2. D McGonagle1,2,
  3. G Haugeberg1,3,
  4. M J Green1,
  5. S P Stewart4,
  6. P Emery1
  1. 1Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Research Unit, The Leeds General Infirmary, Great George Street, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK
  2. 2Department of Rheumatology, Calderdale General Hospital, Salterhebble, Halifax HX3 0PW, UK
  3. 3Oslo City Department of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital, PO Box 23, Vinderen, Oslo N-0318, Norway
  4. 4Academic Unit of Medical Physics, The University of Leeds, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr H Marzo-Ortega;
  • Accepted 6 February 2003

New bone formation with spinal fusion is the hallmark of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and the related spondyloarthropathies (SpA), although concomitant osteoporosis is also a major problem both in early and established disease and correlates with disease activity.1 We have previously reported the efficacy of etanercept in patients with active and resistant spinal and peripheral SpA.2 Our aim in this study was to investigate whether suppression of inflammation with etanercept prevents bone loss in patients with AS and SpA.


Ten patients with active, resistant spinal and peripheral SpA were treated with a six month course of etanercept 25 mg subcutaneously twice weekly, as previously reported.2 Diagnoses in this group were: AS (n=7), Crohn’s spondylitis (n=2), and undifferentiated SpA (n=1). Results were compared with those for a second group of patients with equivalent disease activity, but shorter disease duration treated conventionally (table 1). The diagnoses of the second group were: undifferentiated SpA …