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Erosive hand osteoarthritis (OA) of the interphalangeal (IP) joints is characterised by a more pronounced inflammatory burden of disease.1 Whether it is a subset of hand OA or just a radiographic phase remains a matter of debate. The pathogenesis of erosive OA is not yet understood, but articular cartilage degeneration and subchondral bone resorption are some of the major characteristics. In general, several cytokine-driven pathways such as receptor activator of nuclear factor κB, interleukin-1 and tumour necrosis factor (TNF) alpha are involved at the level of the subchondral bone-inducing dynamic morphological changes.2–4 In post hoc analyses in two recent placebo-controlled pilot studies in erosive OA, it was shown that adalimumab and etanercept were able to diminish structural progression after 1 year of treatment in a subgroup of patients who showed soft tissue swelling at baseline.5 ,6
We hypothesised …
Contributors Study design: RW, PC, BL, GV, FVdB, DE. Data collection: RW, PM, BL. Data analysis: RW. Data interpretation: RW, BL, PC, FVdB, DE. Writing of the report: RW. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.
Funding This work concerns an investigator-initiated study supported by UCB Pharma.
Competing interests None.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval Ethics Committee of Ghent University Hospital, Belgium.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.