Background Early treatment with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) improves outcome in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Early arthritis clinic is a useful tool which allows early treatment initiation for high risk patients.
Objectives To evaluate baseline characteristics and first year treatment outcomes of patients with early RA reffered to the Prague Early Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinic (PERAC).
Methods Patients with symptom duration ≤6 months were reffered by their primary care physicians in accordance with published recommendations (1). Only patients with RA fulfilling the 2010 ACR/EULAR classification criteria (2) or undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis not classifiable as another disease entity at the time of presentation, were included in the early RA (ERA) cohort. Patients were treated by rheumatologists per current guidelines. Clinical and laboratory data were collected at pre-specified time points.
Results 427 patients were evaluated in the PERAC between 2008 and 2012. 131 of these were included in the ERA cohort, for baseline characteristics see Table 1.
Conclusions Our data confirm that early RA patients have a very good clinical response to initial DMARD choice. Side effects of methotrexate leading to treatment discontinuation were rare. ACR/EULAR RA classification and provisional remission criteria are feasible for use in clinical practice.
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Acknowledgements Supported by the project (Ministry of Health, Czech Republic) for conceptual development of research organization 00023728 (Institute of Rheumatology)
Disclosure of Interest None Declared