Objectives To study the residual Power Doppler (PD) signals for assessing synovitis in CRP negative patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with biologics.
Methods Biologics treated RA patients who were maintained normal CRP for more than 6months (34 TNF inhibitors, 37 Tocilizumab, 23 Abatacept) were assessed by ultrasonography. Residual PD signals were assessed in MCP, PIP, and wrist joints with both hands. We assumed patients who had any PD signals in assessed joints were “residual PD signals”.
Results All treated patients with biologics maintained normal CRP for a half year (n=94). 35.1% of patients treated with biologics had positive PD signals. The remission rates of DAS28-ESR, CDAI, and Boolean were 68.7%, 62.8%, and 48.9% respectively. 28.1% of patients who achieved DAS28-ESR remission had residual PD signals, 22.0% in CDAI, and 21.7% in Boolean. 23.8% of patients treated by TNF inhibitors who achieved DAS28-ESR remission had residual PD signals, 34.6% in Tocilizumab, and 20.0% in Abatacept. In case of setting the DAS28-ESR remission less than 3.0, 30.2% of patients who achieved DAS28-ESR remission had residual PD signals, 29.0% in less than 2.0, and 12.5% in less than 1.5. The patients who have no tender or swollen joints and the excellent patient oriented global health assessment (VAS score was zero) had fewer residual PD signals (23.4% vs 58.6% in tender joints, 26.7% vs 66.7% in swollen joints, and 13.3% vs 44.4% in patient VAS).
Conclusions The patients who achieved clinical remission had residual PD signals. Patients with Tocilizumab induced remission had more residual PD signals compared with TNF inhibitor or Abatacept induced remission. More strict criteria of clinical remission may reduce residual PD signals in patients treated by Tocilizumab.
Disclosure of Interest None declared