Table 1

Baseline patient and treatment characteristics

Disease characteristicsRTX (n=155)Alternative anti-TNF agent (n=163)p
Age (years), median (IQR)58 (47–66)56 (44–64)0.15
Male sex (%)25190.18
ACPA (%)*81740.30
RF (%)92820.01
Disease duration (years), mean (SEM)12 (0.8)11 (0.5)0.13
Disease activity (DAS28), mean (SEM)4.7 (0.14)4.2 (0.08)0.003
Radiographic erosion score
 Ratingen erosion score (0–190), mean (SEM)34.9 (3.2)32.5 (2.3)0.64
 ERO%, mean (SEM)18.1 (1.7)17.1 (1.2)0.64
Health Assessment Questionnaire (0-3), mean (SEM)1.27 (0.07)1.13 (0.04)0.07
Concomitant use of DMARDs (%)74790.30
 Methotrexate (%)34460.03
 Leflunomide (%)14200.15
 Other DMARDs (%)890.61
 Glucocorticoids (%)56480.16
Previous anti-TNF agents (n)
 Median (IQR)1 (1–2)1 (1–1)<0.001
 Mean (SD)1.43 (0.6)1.01 (0.12)<0.001
Time since the discontinuation of previous anti-TNF agent (months), median (IQR)1 (0.1–4.0)1.8 (0.5–13.6)0.004
  • Percentages indicate the use of each cotreatment at baseline. Patients could receive more than one DMARD cotreatment, explaining why the sum of individual DMARDs may exceed 100%.

  • * Available for only half of all patients.

  • Other DMARDs included synthetic DMARDs such as hydroxychloroquine, sulfasalazine and azathioprine.

  • ACPA, anti-citrullinated protein antibody; DAS28, Disease Activity Score based on 28 joints; DMARDs, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (including oral glucocorticoids); ERO %, Ratingen erosion score expressed in per cent maximum erosion score; RF, rheumatoid factor; RTX, rituximab; TNF, tumour necrosis factor; IQR, interquartile ranges; SEM, standard error of the mean.