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Response to: ‘Inconsistency between supplement and article?’ by Babaoglu H
  1. Désirée van der Heijde1,
  2. Natasha de Peyrecave2,
  3. Tommi Nurminen3
  1. 1 Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2 UCB Celltech, Slough, UK
  3. 3 UCB Pharma, Monheim, Germany
  1. Correspondence to Professor Désirée van der Heijde, Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden RC 2300, The Netherlands; mail{at}

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We thank Dr Babaoglu for his question about our manuscript entitled ‘Limited Radiographic Progression and Sustained Reductions in MRI Inflammation in Patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis: Four-Year Imaging Outcomes from the RAPID-axSpA Phase 3 Randomised Trial.’1 2 In his response, he refers to an apparent discrepancy between information in the main manuscript and supplemental material. He is correct in his statement that 196 patients had ≥1 modified Stoke Ankylosing Spondylitis Score (mSASSS) assessment (online supplementary table 2) whereas 190 had an mSASSS assessment at baseline (table 1 and online supplementary table 1); that is, six patients who had ≥1 mSASSS assessment did not have an assessment at baseline. These tables are correct. Of these six patients without baseline assessments, three had mSASSS assessments at both week 12 and week 204, and three had mSASSS assessments at both week 96 and week 204.

For three of the six subjects without an available mSASSS assessment at baseline, radiographs and MRI were conducted at week 12. Since negligible or no changes in mSASSS are expected within 3 months, these data from week 12 were used in the mixed-model repeated measures (MMRM) analysis of mSASSS change and multiple imputation analysis of mSASSS progression (defined as a ≥2 point increase). In online supplementary table 2, which provides supporting information to these model-based analyses, we labelled these three patients as having available mSASSS assessments at baseline. However, these data were not used for any descriptive analyses involving baseline data. We acknowledge that the information currently provided is somewhat inconsistent and more details could have been given about these data, but the number of patients that were used for the various analyses is correct.



  • Handling editor Josef S Smolen

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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