Article Text

other Versions

Concise report
Similar response rates in patients with ankylosing spondylitis and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis after 1 year of treatment with etanercept: results from the ESTHER trial
  1. In-Ho Song1,
  2. Anja Weiß2,
  3. Kay-Geert A Hermann3,
  4. Hildrun Haibel1,
  5. Christian E Althoff3,
  6. Denis Poddubnyy1,
  7. Joachim Listing2,
  8. Ekkehard Lange4,
  9. Bruce Freundlich5,
  10. Martin Rudwaleit1,6,
  11. Joachim Sieper1,2
  1. 1Department of Rheumatology, Charité Medical University, Berlin, Germany
  2. 2Epidemiology Unit, German Rheumatism Research Center, Berlin, Germany
  3. 3Department of Radiology, Charité Medical University, Berlin, Germany
  4. 4Pfizer Pharma GmbH, Berlin, Germany
  5. 5Division of Rheumatology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA
  6. 6Endokrinologikum, Berlin, Germany
  1. Corresponding author Professor Joachim Sieper, Charité, Department of Rheumatology, Campus Benjamin Franklin, Med. Clinic I, Hindenburgdamm 30, Berlin 12200, Germany; joachim.sieper{at}


Objective We assessed whether there is a difference to etanercept (ETA) treatment in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) compared with non-radiographic axial SpA (nr-axSpA) patients with a disease duration <5 years.

Method AS (n=20) and nr-axSpA (n=20) patients who were treated with ETA for 1 year were compared for differences in baseline data and treatment effect. Clinical, laboratory and MRI of sacroiliac joints (SI-joints) and spine were analysed.

Results At baseline, there were no significant differences between the 20 AS and the 20 nr-axSpA patients regarding age, disease duration, gender, HLA-B27 and clinical disease activity in terms of Bath AS Disease Activity Index (BASDAI), C-reactive protein and MRI SI-joint and spine scores in the AS compared with the nr-axSpA group. After 1 year of treatment with ETA the treatment effect was similarly good in AS and nr-axSpA (reduction of BASDAI by 3.3 (95% CI 2.2 to 3.8) vs 3.6 (95% CI 2.8 to 4.4) and reduction of AS Disease Activity Score by 1.8 (95% CI 1.5 to 2.2) vs 1.8 (95% CI 1.5 to 2.1), respectively.

Conclusions The response rate to TNF-blockers does not differ between AS and nr-axSpA if the baseline data regarding symptom duration and disease activity are similar for the two groups.

  • Ankylosing Spondylitis
  • Anti-TNF
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Spondyloarthritis

Statistics from

Request permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles