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Tendency towards erosive regression on magnetic resonance imaging at 12 months in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with rituximab
  1. U Møller Døhn1,2,
  2. M Østergaard1,2,3,
  3. P Bird4,
  4. A Boonen5,
  5. J S Johansen3,
  6. J M Møller6,
  7. M S Hansen3
  1. 1
    Department of Rheumatology, Copenhagen University Hospital at Hvidovre, Hvidovre, Denmark
  2. 2
    DANBIO Registry, Copenhagen University Hospital at Hvidovre, Hvidovre, Denmark
  3. 3
    Department of Rheumatology, Copenhagen University Hospital at Herlev, Herlev, Denmark
  4. 4
    Department of Medicine, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  5. 5
    Division of Rheumatology, Netherlands University Hospital, Maastricht, The Netherlands
  6. 6
    Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Copenhagen University Hospital at Herlev, Herlev, Denmark
  1. Dr U M Døhn, Copenhagen University Hospital at Hvidovre, Department of Rheumatology, Kettegaard Allé 30, 2650 Hvidovre, Denmark; umd{at}dadlnet.dk

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may provide a more complete and accurate assessment of the effect of new therapies on joint destruction and joint inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients than conventional methods. The primary aim of this pilot study was, by means of MRI and radiography, to evaluate changes in joint inflammation and/or destruction in rituximab-treated RA patients.

We included 10 adult RA patients, who, as part of routine clinical practice, were commencing their first treatment course with rituximab. Rituximab was the first biological treatment for six patients (four had a history with cancer and one had a benign neuroendocrine tumour), the remaining patients were previously treated with one to three tumour necrosis factor-alpha antagonists. Rituximab (1000 mg) was administered intravenously at days 0 and 14, preceded by 100 mg methylprednisolone intravenously. High-resolution MRI (voxel size 0.4 × 0.4 × 0.4 mm) of the dominant wrist and second to fifth metacarpophalangeal joints, and radiographs of hands, wrists and forefeet were acquired at baseline, 6 and 12 months. T1-weighted three-dimensional fast-field echo, contrast-enhanced fat-suppressed and short tau inversion …

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