Objective To evaluate changes in structural damage and joint inflammation assessed by MRI following rituximab treatment in a Phase 3 study of patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) despite methotrexate (MTX) who were naive to biological therapy.
Methods Patients were randomised to receive two infusions of placebo (n=63), rituximab 500 mg (n=62), or rituximab 1000 mg (n=60) intravenously on days 1 and 15. MRI scans and radiographs of the most inflamed hand and wrist were acquired at baseline, weeks 12 (MRI only), 24 and 52. The primary end point was the change in MRI erosion score from baseline at week 24.
Results Patients treated with rituximab demonstrated significantly less progression in the mean MRI erosion score compared with those treated with placebo at weeks 24 (0.47, 0.18 and 1.60, respectively, p=0.003 and p=0.001 for the two rituximab doses vs placebo) and 52 (−0.30, 0.11 and 3.02, respectively; p<0.001 and p<0.001). Cartilage loss at 52 weeks was significantly reduced in the rituximab group compared with the placebo group. Other secondary end points of synovitis and osteitis improved significantly with rituximab compared with placebo as early as 12 weeks and improved further at weeks 24 and 52.
Conclusions This study demonstrated that rituximab significantly reduced erosion and cartilage loss at week 24 and week 52 in MTX-inadequate responder patients with active RA, suggesting that MRI is a valuable tool for assessing inflammatory and structural damage in patients with established RA receiving rituximab.
Trial registration number NCT00578305
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging
- DMARDs (biologic)
This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Statistics from Altmetric.com
This web only file has been produced by the BMJ Publishing Group from an electronic file supplied by the author(s) and has not been edited for content.
Files in this Data Supplement:
- Data supplement 1 - Online supplement
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.