Efficacy of methylprednisolone pulse therapy versus infliximab in the treatment of severe flares of chronic polyarthritis

Scand J Rheumatol. 2001;30(6):335-9. doi: 10.1080/030097401317148525.


Background: To compare short term efficacy of pulse intravenous (iv) Methylprednisolone (MP) versus Infiximab in flares of polyarthritis.

Patients-methods: Observational study of consecutive patients admitted with flares of chronic polyarthritis. Treatment consisted of three iv doses of MP 1000mg on alternate days (MP-group, n = 10) or of Infliximab will be 3 mg/kg at baseline, two, and six weeks later (I-group, n=9). DMARD therapy was initiated/continued in all patients. Disease parameters at baseline (t=0), two weeks (t=1) and twelve weeks (t=2) were compared by non-parametric testing.

Results: Reductions in disease parameters at both t=1 and t=2, the occurrence of side effects and the proportion of patients reaching ACR 20, 50 or 70% response criteria were similar in both groups.

Conclusion: Pulse MP resulted in a symptomatic response similar to Infliximab in our patients. The benefit of MP was observed for up to 3 months.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Arthritis / diagnosis
  • Arthritis / drug therapy*
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Chronic Disease
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infliximab
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / administration & dosage*
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Probability
  • Prospective Studies
  • Pulse Therapy, Drug
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Infliximab
  • Methylprednisolone