Background Similarities in risk factors, initial stages, progression and final stage of both atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (CVD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) allowed formulating a concept of cardiorenal continuum.1 CVD and CKD remain the main causes of mortality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.2,3
Objectives We aimed to evaluate the effects of rituximab biologic therapy on cardiorenal continuum of RA patients.
Methods Biologics-naïve RA patients (n=50; age 55.1±10.3) were followed up for 72 months after commencing and continuing rituximab therapy (1–10 standard courses) compared with 30 control RA patients (age 53.2±9.8).
Results At year 6, rituximab patients have fewer incidences of hypertension, anxiety/depression, atherosclerosis and diastolic dysfunction than control patients (Table).
There were no significant differences in frequencies of other risk factors, signs of asymptomatic multiorgan damage and cases of established heart, cerebrovascular and renal diseases/complications.
Conclusions Rituximab may be effective in delay of the movement of RA patients on cardiorenal continuum. The clinical implications of rituximab for cardiorenal correlations in RA patients need to be confirmed in large-scale clinical outcome trials.
Sarnak MJ, Levey AS. Cardiovascular disease and chronic renal disease: a new paradigm. Am J Kidney Dis 2000;35(4, Suppl. 1):117–31.
Avina-Zubieta JA, Choi HK, Sadatsafarvi M, et al. Risk of cardiovascular mortality in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a meta-analysis of observational studies. Arthritis Rheum 2008;59:1690–7.
Gullick NJ, Scott DL. Co-morbidities in established rheumatoid arthritis. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol 2011;25:469–83.
Disclosure of Interest None declared