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  1. M. Torgutalp1,
  2. V. Rios Rodriguez1,
  3. A. Dilbaryan2,
  4. F. Proft1,
  5. M. Protopopov1,
  6. M. Verba1,
  7. J. Rademacher1,
  8. H. Haibel1,
  9. J. Sieper1,
  10. M. Rudwaleit3,
  11. D. Poddubnyy1
  1. 1Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin and Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Department of Gastroenterology, Infectious Diseases, and Rheumatology (including Nutrition Medicine), Berlin, Germany
  2. 2Moscow City Clinical Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, Moscow, Russian Federation
  3. 3University of Bielefeld, Department of Internal Medicine and Rheumatology, Bielefeld, Germany


Background There are conflicting data regarding effect of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) on radiographic spinal progression in axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA). The analysis of the first 2-year of the GErman SPondyloarthritis Inception Cohort (GESPIC) showed that higher NSAID intake may retard new bone formation in r-axSpA. It remained, however, unclear, whether cyclooxygenase-2 selective inhibitors (COX2i) might have a stronger effect than non-selective (NS) ones and if the effect could be observed also in nr-axSpA.

Objectives To investigate the effect of NSAIDs (COX2i and NS) intake on radiographic spinal progression in patients with r-axSpA and nr-axSpA.

Methods Based on availability of at least two sets of spinal radiographs during 10-year follow-up, 243 patients with early axSpA (130 and 113 nr- and r-axSpA, respectively) from GESPIC were included in this analysis. The patients contributed a total of 540 2-year radiographic intervals. Radiographs were scored by 3 trained and calibrated readers according to modified Stoke Ankylosing Spondylitis Spine Score (mSASSS). Final mSASSS was calculated as a mean of 3 readers, and progression was defined as absolute mSASSS change score over 2 years. NSAID type, daily dose, and frequency of intake were recorded at visits. The ASAS index of NSAID intake (0-100) counting both dose and duration of intake was calculated for intervals. The association between NSAID intake (NSAID type and NSAID score) and radiographic spinal progression over 2 years was analysed using longitudinal generalized estimated equations (GEE).

Results At baseline, 161 (66.3%) patients were treated with NSAIDs. While 289 (53.5%) and 128 (23.7%) 2-year radiographic intervals were covered by NS and COX-2i respectively, 123 (22.8%) intervals were not covered by NSAID. The significant association between higher NSAID intake and retardation of radiographic spinal progression was found in adjusted multivariable longitudinal GEE analysis. This effect was mostly attributable to patients with r-axSpA (Table 1). mSASSS progression was numerically lower in patients taking COX2i (irrespectively of dose) as compared to patients treated with NS-NSAIDs; in stratified analysis, however, there was no clear dose-dependency (as reflected by NSAID index) in both groups (Figure 1, Table 1).

Table 1.

The association between radiographic spinal progression (mSASSS change score) and NSAID intake in patients with axSpA in multivariable longitudinal GEE

Conclusion Higher NSAID intake is associated with lower radiographic spinal progression, particularly in r-axSpA patients. COX2i might possess a stronger inhibitory effect on radiographic progression as compared to NS-NSAIDs.

Disclosure of Interests Murat Torgutalp: None declared, Valeria Rios Rodriguez Consultant of: AbbVie, Grant/research support from: Falk e.V, Ani Dilbaryan: None declared, Fabian Proft Speakers bureau: Novartis, Lilly, UCB AbbVie, AMGEN, BMS, Hexal, MSD, Pfizer, Roche and Janssen, Grant/research support from: Novartis, Lilly and UCB, Mikhail Protopopov Consultant of: Novartis and UCB, Maryna Verba: None declared, Judith Rademacher Consultant of: Novartis and UCB, Hildrun Haibel Consultant of: Boehringer, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Sobi, Roche, Pfizer, AbbVie, and Sobi, Joachim Sieper Speakers bureau: Abbvie, Janssen, Lilly, Merck, Novartis, UCB, Consultant of: AbbVie, Lilly, Merck, Novartis, UCB, Martin Rudwaleit Speakers bureau: AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgen, Chugai, Eli Lilly, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, UCB., Consultant of: AbbVie, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgen, Chugai, Eli Lilly, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, UCB., Denis Poddubnyy Speakers bureau: AbbVie, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Eli Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, and UCB., Consultant of: AbbVie, Biocad, Eli Lilly, Gilead, GlaxoSmithKline, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Samsung Bioepis, and UCB, Grant/research support from: AbbVie, Eli Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer.

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