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OP0322 Are we treating with biological therapies women patients with real non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis?
  1. R.E. Nieto1,
  2. C. Plasencia2,
  3. D. Peiteado2,
  4. A. Villalba2,
  5. A. Balsa2,
  6. V. Navarro-Compán2
  1. 1Hospital Provincial de Rosario, Rosario, Argentina
  2. 2University Hospital La Paz, IdiPaz, Madrid, Spain


Background As a result of the development of the ASAS criteria for axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), a new entity (non-radiographic axSpA –nr-axSpA) was created. In some countries major concerns have been raised with regard to this entity because this could imply administrating TNF inhibitors (TNFi) to non-SpA patients. Especially the possibility of treating women with fibromyalgia has been mentioned.

Objectives To evaluate if the gender distribution and the pattern of patients have changed in clinical practice since TNFi were approved for nr-axSpA.

Methods Dataset from a prospective cohort including all patients with axSpA treated with biological therapy (BT) since 2000 till August-2017 in a tertiary hospital was analysed. Patients’ and disease’ characteristics and disease activity parameters were collected at baseline. Based on the starting date for the first BT, patients were classified in two groups: i) before 2013 and ii) during or after 2013, since the nr-axSpA approval-date for TNFi in the country was July 2012. Gender distribution and other characteristics were compared between both groups using Chi-square and Student-t tests.

Results In total, 385 axSpA patients initiated BT. Out of these, 266 initiated BT in period i) and 119 in period ii). The characteristics of patients in both groups are depicted in table 1. Importantly, no differences between period i) and ii) were observed regarding gender distribution (38% and 39% of women; p=0.8, respectively). Additionally, during period ii), the percentage of patients with nr-axSpA was similar for both genders and out of all patients with nr-axSpA, the majority (60%) were men. Overall, disease duration was shorter in period ii for both genders. Women in period ii) had significantly higher ASDAS, BASMI and CRP than women in period i) and higher ASDAS, BASDAI and BASFI than men in period ii).

Abstract OP0322 – Table 1

Patients characteristics stratified for starting first TNFi period and gender

Conclusions In clinical practice, the frequency of women initiating BT have not increased since its approval for nr-axSpA. Additionally, women treated nowadays with BT have more objective parameters of disease activity than they used to do. This supports that when treating axSpA women (including nr-axSpA) with BT, we are currently treating axSpA -and not fibromyalgia- patients.

Disclosure of Interest None declared

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