Table 2 Characteristic of included studies
StudySample sizeStudy duration (months)Strategy*MTX (mg/week)DMARDQuality rating† (0–11)
MonoCombo
Haagsma, 19971610512DMARD-N157.5SSZ 3 g/day10
Dougados, 1999620912DMARD-NUp to 15Up to 15SSZ 3 g/day7
Marchesoni, 200346112DMARD-N11.29.5CSA 2.5 mg/kg/day8
Tascioglu, 200357012DMARD-N7.57.5SSZ 2 g/day5
Hetland, 20061716012DMARD-N1512.5CSA 2.5 mg/kg/day9
O’Dell, 2006186624DMARD-N7.5–17.57.5–17.5DOXY 20 or 100 mg twice/day7
Tugwell, 1995191486MTX-IR1515CSA 2.5–5 mg/kg/day7
Kremer, 2002202636MTX-IR16.116.8LEF 20 mg/day10
Lehman, 2005216512MTX-IR1818IM gold 50 mg/week8
Jarrett, 200522396MTX-IR11.914Zolendronic acid 5 mg IV twice7
Ogrendik, 200723766MTX-IR17.515LEV 500 mg/day8
Willkens, 1992,24 1995252126Non-MTX-IR5–155–15AZA 50–150 mg/day8
Ferraz, 199426826Non-MTX-IR7.57.5CQ 250 mg/day9
Haagsma, 199427406Non-MTX-IR8.37.9SSZ 2 g/day7
O’Dell, 1996281026Non-MTX-IRUp to 17.5Up to 17.5SSZ 1 g/day HCQ 400 mg/day9
Hanyu, 1999293760Non-MTX-IR7.55Previous DMARD (penicillamine, BUC, IM gold)3
Ichikawa, 2005307124Non-MTX-IR88BUC 200 mg/day7
Capell, 20073116512Non-MTX-IR1512.5SSZ 2 g/day8
Islam, 200032546Not clear7.5–15SSZ 2 g/day3
  • Our analysis included data only from patients in the MTX±placebo and MTX+other DMARDS arms (n = 158). *DMARD-N, disease-modifying antirheumatic drug naïve patients; MTX-IR, methotrexate inadequate response patients; non-MTX-IR, non-MTX DMARDs inadequate response patients; †Van Tulder’s scale.

  • AZA, azathioprine; BUC, bucillamine; CQ, chloroquine; CSA, ciclosporin; DOXY, doxycycline; HCQ, hydroxychloroquine; IM gold, intramuscular gold; LEF, leflunomide; LEV, levofloxacin; SSZ, sulfasalazine.