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Effect of tumour necrosis factor blockers on radiographic progression of psoriatic arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials
  1. Radjiv Goulabchand1,
  2. Gaël Mouterde1,
  3. Thomas Barnetche2,
  4. Cédric Lukas1,
  5. Jacques Morel1,
  6. Bernard Combe1
  1. 1Rheumatology Department, Lapeyronie Hospital, Montpellier 1 University, Montpellier, France
  2. 2Rheumatology Department, Bordeaux University Hospital, Bordeaux, France
  1. Correspondence to Prof Bernard Combe, Département de Rhumatologie, Hôpital Lapeyronie, 34295 Montpellier Cedex 5, France; b-combe{at}


Objectives We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of psoriatic arthritis (PsA) to examine the effect of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) blockers on radiographic progression, and to determine whether treatment combining TNF blocker with methotrexate (MTX) was superior to TNF-blocker monotherapy.

Methods We systematically reviewed articles published up to December 2012 in Embase and Medline, and from the two last EUropean League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) and American College or Rheumatology (ACR) meetings. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients with no radiographic progression (non-progressors) at treatment week 24 (defined by change in modified total Sharp score (mTSS) ≤0.5). The Mantel–Haenszel method was used to estimate ORs and 95% CIs of the effect of TNF blockers (with or without MTX) versus placebo (with or without MTX). Statistical heterogeneity was assessed by χ² test.

Results The search retrieved 207 articles; 5 (1110 patients) met the meta-analysis criteria. For patients receiving TNF blockers, 494/584 (84.5%) were considered non-progressors at treatment week 24 vs 362/526 (68.8%) receiving placebo (OR 2.68 (95% CI 1.99 to 3.60) p<0.001), without significant heterogeneity (I2=3%; p=0.39). Only three RCTs provided data on potential additional efficacy of MTX: two did not find significant difference, one suggested a benefit of combined therapy.

Conclusions For patients with PsA, control of structural damage is better at week 24 with TNF blockers than placebo. Due to the limited data, we were unable to conclude on the potential additional effect of MTX on structural damages.

  • Psoriatic Arthritis
  • DMARDs (biologic)
  • TNF-alpha
  • Methotrexate

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