Monotreatment With Conventional Antirheumatic Drugs or Glucocorticoids in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Network Meta-Analysis

Louise S Guski, Gesche Jürgens, Hugo Pedder, Niels K G Levinsen, Stig E Andersen, Nicky J Welton, Niels Graudal*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftReviewForskningpeer review


IMPORTANCE: This is the first network meta-analysis to assess outcomes associated with multiple conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and glucocorticoid.

OBJECTIVE: To analyze clinical outcomes after treatment with conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and glucocorticoid among patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

DATA SOURCES: With no time restraint, English language articles were searched in MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane Central,, and reference lists of relevant meta-analyses until September 15, 2022.

STUDY SELECTION: Four reviewers in pairs of 2 independently included controlled studies randomizing patients with rheumatoid arthritis to mono-conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, glucocorticoid, placebo, or nonactive treatment that recorded at least 1 outcome of tender joint count, swollen joint count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and C-reactive protein level. Of 1098 assessed articles, 130 articles (132 interventions) were included.

DATA EXTRACTION AND SYNTHESIS: The review followed the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses reporting guideline, and data quality was assessed by the Cochrane risk of bias tool RoB 2. Data were extracted by a single author and checked independently by 2 authors. Data were analyzed using a random effect model, and data analysis was conducted from June 2021 to February 2023.

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: A protocol with hypothesis and study plan was registered before data recording. The most complete of recorded outcomes (tender joint count) was used as primary outcome, with imputations based on other outcomes to obtain a full analysis of all studies. Absolute change adjusted for baseline disease activity was assessed.

RESULTS: A total of 29 interventions in 275 treatment groups among 132 randomized clinical trials (mean [range], 71.0% [27.0% to 100%] females in studies; mean [range] of ages in studies, 53 [36 to 70] years) were identified, which included 13 260 patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The mean (range) duration of RA was 79 (2 to 243) months, and the mean (range) disease activity score was 6.3 (4.0 to 8.8). Compared with placebo, oral methotrexate was associated with a reduced tender joint count by 5.18 joints (95% credible interval [CrI], 4.07 to 6.28 joints). Compared with methotrexate, glucocorticoid (-2.54 joints; 95% CrI, -5.16 to 0.08 joints) and remaining drugs except cyclophosphamide (6.08 joints; 95% CrI, 0.44 to 11.66 joints) were associated with similar or lower tender joint counts.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: This study's results support the present role of methotrexate as the primary reference conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug.

TidsskriftJAMA network open
Udgave nummer10
StatusUdgivet - 2 okt. 2023


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