Table 1 Baseline characteristics of patients who achieved low disease activity (LoA group; 44-joint Disease Activity Score (DAS44)<2.4) after rituximab treatment, or did not (high activity (HiA) group: DAS44⩾2.4)
LoA group (n = 11)HiA group (n = 13)p Value
Demographic characteristics:
Age (years)55 (34 to 82)49 (39 to 65)0.17
Female sex (%)4 (36%)2 (15%)0.14
Disease duration (years)14 (3 to 53)9 (1 to 32)0.40
Clinical characteristics:
DAS44 score3.33 (2.84 to 4.23)3.73 (3.03 to 5.23)0.022
Tender joints9 (6 to 14)11 (6 to 21)0.38
Swollen joints3 (1 to 6)8 (3 to 20)0.002
CRP (mg/litre)27 (2 to 94)29 (2 to 97)0.82
BSE (mm/h)32 (18 to 109)50 (4 to 114)0.09
VAS well-being*52 (24 to 91)49 (16 to 85)0.90
Flow cytometry peripheral blood:
CD19+ (%)†5.30 (1.93 to 14.9)9.27 (2.03 to 18.4)0.22
    (cells/litre)‡146 (20 to 494)269 (33 to 657)0.55
CD19+IgD+ (%)†4.15 (0.60 to 8.28)4.57 (1.52 to 15.4)0.39
    (cells/litre) ‡97 (6 to 379)165 (27 to 339)0.69
CD19+CD27+ (%)†2.20 (0.71 to 4.55)2.36 (0.33 to 6.13)0.35
    (cells/litre)‡53 (7 to 245)64 (5 to 302)0.74
Flow cytometry bone marrow:
CD19+ (%)†7.80 (2.90 to 13.5)7.33 (2.03 to 24.9)0.86
CD19+IgD+ (%)†5.77 (0.61 to 10.9)5.09 (0.70 to 21.2)0.78
CD19+CD27+ (%)†2.09 (0.88 to 3.67)2.11 (0.61 to 5.57)0.83
Histology synovium:
CD20+0 (0 to 3)2.5 (0 to 4)0.005
CD79a+0.67 (0 to 2)2.5 (0.33 to 4)0.004
CD138+0 (0 to 2)2.5 (0 to 4)0.011
CD68+2.5 (1 to 4)4 (1 to 4)0.065
CD3+1 (0 to 4)3.5 (1 to 4)0.029
Ki-67+0 (0 to 3)3 (0 to 4)0.016
Lining hyperplasia1.9 (1 to 3)1.9 (1 to 3)0.65
Overall inflammation6.7 (1 to 15)16.6 (4 to 22)0.036
  • Values depicted are median (range). Bold type indicates significant result.

  • *VAS for well-being subjectively scored by the patient; †percentages are analysed within the lymphocyte gate; ‡to allow comparison of results between all compartments, the percentages of circulating B cells are shown.

  • BSE, blood sedimentation; CRP, C-reactive protein; VAS, visual analogue scale.