Objectives To evaluate the efficacy and safety of adalimumab in patients with peripheral spondyloarthritis (SpA) not fulfilling the criteria for ankylosing spondylitis (AS) or psoriatic arthritis (PsA).
Methods 40 patients with active peripheral SpA fulfilling the European Spondyloarthropathy Study Group or Amor criteria but not the criteria for AS or PsA were included in a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Patients were treated 1 : 1 with adalimumab or placebo for 12 weeks, followed by an open label extension up to week 24. Safety and efficacy measurements were performed every 6 weeks, with the patient's global assessment of disease activity at week 12 as the primary endpoint.
Results At week 12, the patient's and physician's global assessment of disease activity, swollen joint count, Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate improved significantly in the adalimumab group compared with the baseline values and compared with placebo. A similar improvement was seen upon adalimumab treatment from weeks 12 to 24 in the patients originally randomised to placebo, whereas the clinical response was maintained or even augmented at week 24 in the patients who received adalimumab from the start. ASDAS inactive disease and BASDAI50 responses were met in 42% of the adalimumab group versus 0%–5% in the placebo group at week 12 (p=0.001 and p=0.008, respectively), and were further increased at week 24. The number of adverse events was not different between the adalimumab and placebo groups.
Conclusions Adalimumab appears to be effective and well tolerated in SpA patients with peripheral arthritis, also in those patients not fulfilling the AS or PsA criteria.