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OP0015 The disease course of patients with rheumatoid arthritis in remission; a prospective 2 year follow-up study
  1. ET Molenaar1,
  2. AE Voskuyl1,
  3. HJ Dinant2,
  4. PD Bezemer3,
  5. BA Dijkmans1
  1. 1Department Rheumatology, Vrije Universiteit Medical Center
  2. 2Jan Van Breemen Instituut
  3. 3Department Medical Statistics, Vrije Universiteit Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


Objectives To assess the prevalence of persistent remission and factors associated with persistent remission in a large cohort of RA patients in remission.

Methods RA patients in remission according to the ACR/Pinals criteria were evaluated every 3 months for disease activity during 2 years. Factors measured at baseline and possibly associated with persistent remission were evaluated.

Results Of the 180 RA patients included 93 (52%) experienced persistent remission. Those patients had significantly (p < 0.05) less tender joints, lower Ritchie score, lower VAS score, lower serum IgM-RF and IgA-RF levels, lower HAQ score at baseline when compared to patients suffering an exacerbation. DMARD use was not associated with persistent remission. In a multivariate analysis, the following variables were independently associated with persistent remission: DAS < 1.6 (odds ratio with 95% CI: 3.7, 1.5–9.5) and VAS < 12 (1.1, 1.0–1.2). The area under the curve of the DAS < 1.6 in the first year was associated with remission in the second year (9.9, 4.1–24).

Conclusion Persistent remission occurs frequently and is associated with a low disease activity score (DAS), in particular with a low cumulative DAS. The use of a cumulative DAS may be a tool in taking therapeutic decisions.

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