Background Juvenile idiopathic arthritis is one of the most prevalent chronic inflammatory diseases in children. Evidence suggests that early effective treatment minimises the burden of disease during childhood and in further life. We hypothesise that a guided treat-to-target (T2T) approach is superior to routine care in polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA) in terms of reaching a clinical remission after 12 months of treatment.
Methods Patients with early and active pJIA were enrolled. Targets for treatment were the following: Recognisable Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score (JADAS) improvement after 3 months, acceptable disease at 6 months, minimal disease activity at 9 months and as primary endpoint remission after 12 months. Initially, patients received methotrexate. Failure to meet a defined target required treatment modification at the specified intervals. The choice of biologics was not influenced by the protocol. Finally, T2T patients were compared with a cohort of matched controls of patients with pJIA with unguided therapy documented by BIKER.
Results Sixty-three patients were enrolled. Treatment targets after 3/6/9 and 12 months were reached by 73%/75%/77% and 48% of patients. Fifty-four patients completed the protocol. Compared with matched controls, on T2T guidance significantly more patients reached JADAS remission (48% vs 32%; OR 1.96 (1.1–3.7); p=0.033) and JADAS minimal disease activity (JADAS-MDA) (76% vs 59%; OR 2.2 (1.1–4.4); p=0.028). Patients from the T2T cohort received a biologic significantly more frequent (50% vs 9% after 12 months; OR 9.8 (4.6–20.8); p<0.0001).
Conclusion The T2T concept was feasible and superior to unguided treatment. High rates of patients reached JADAS-MDA and JADA remission after 12 months. Approximately half of the patients achieved their therapy goals without a biologic.
- disease activity
- juvenile idiopathic arthritis
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