Table 1

Main results of current evidence for the treatment of RA with glucocorticoids

Research questionRemarksSigns and symptomsFunctionRadiographic damage
 Gotzsche and Johansen11<15 mg GCs++Not reportedNot reported
1 month
 van der Veen and Bijlsma13Pulse GC++Not reportedNot reported
GC added to DMARD monotherapy
 Svensson et al14Low dose++++++
 Wassenberg et al15Low dose+Not reported++
 Hansen et al16Low-dose flexible++++±
 Capell et al17Low dose++
 Choy et al18Intramuscularly monthly++++++
GC added to DMARD combinations
 Boers et al1960 mg tapered in 6 weeks to 7.5 mg++++++
 Goekoop-Ruiterman et al2060 mg tapered in 7 weeks to 7.5 mg++ *+++
 Treatment arm 3
 Möttönen et al21Low dose++++
  • ++, Statistically significant effect; +, non-statistically significant trend; ±, doubtful effect; −, no effect.

  • * Results are difficult to interpret, since medication adjustments are based on DAS44 results every 3 months.

  • DMARD, disease-modifying antirheumatic drug; GC, glucocorticoid.