Background Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a rheumatologic disease for which anti-TNF agents are effective. Tuberculosis (TBc) is one of the serious infectious complications of anti-TNF agents. However, clinical characteristics of anti-TNF agents-related TBc in AS are not well described.
Objectives To investigate the clinical characteristics of active TBc which develops in AS patients after taking anti-TNF agents.
Methods We enrolled all the patients with AS or rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who took anti-TNF agents at Seoul National University Hospital between Jan 2001 and Aug 2011. Medical records were reviewed for all the patients. TBc was defined as presence of M. tuberculosis in culture or typical radiographic findings and clinical response to anti-TBc medication. Clinical characteristics of AS patients who developed TBc were compared with those of RA.
Results Median follow-up duration (range) were 30.7 (1.9∼48.9) months for AS and 19.6 (8.6∼47.2) months for RA.
Conclusions When anti-TNF agents are prescribed in AS, TBc can develop as frequently as in RA. TBc developed later in AS than in RA after initiation of anti-TNF agents. Extrapulmonary tuberculosis was prevalent as in RA. Current prophylaxis method does not seem to adequately prevent tuberculosis in AS.
Disclosure of Interest None Declared