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The efficacy of canakinumab in the treatment of a patient with familial Mediterranean fever and longstanding destructive arthritis
  1. Ioannis Mitroulis1,
  2. Panagiotis Skendros1,
  3. Anastasia Oikonomou2,
  4. Athanasios G Tzioufas3,
  5. Konstantinos Ritis1
  1. 1First Department of Internal Medicine, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece
  2. 2Department of Radiology, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece
  3. 3Department of Pathophysiology, Medical School, National University of Athens, Athens, Greece
  1. Correspondence to Dr Konstantinos Ritis, University Hospital of Alexandroupolis, Dragana, Alexandroupolis, Greece; kritis{at}

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Self-limited, non-destructive arthritis is a common clinical presentation of familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), while protracted, refractory to standard treatment arthritis is a rare manifestation of the disease, potentially resulting in severe damage and disability.1,,3

We report on a 25-year-old woman with FMF, homozygous for the MEFV gene M694V mutation, and with longstanding articular involvement affecting her hips and her left knee, effectively treated with canakinumab. She had been under treatment with colchicine since the age of 5. In 2005, she experienced long-lasting arthritis of her right hip and treatment with anakinra (100 mg/day) was added. Anakinra was discontinued shortly afterwards due to severe injection site reactions, precluding the evaluation of its efficacy. She was switched to treatment with etanercept (25 mg twice weekly) and low dose prednisone (5–7.5 mg/day). In 2008, she developed destructive arthritis of the right hip, which lead to total hip replacement, and chronic arthritis of her left knee. Methotrexate (10 mg/week) was added to the existent treatment. Long-term remission was not achieved, as indicated by the clinical findings and the elevated inflammatory …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval The administration of canakinumab was approved by the Scientific Council of University General Hospital of Alexandroupolis and the Greek National Organization for Medicines (EOF).

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.