Purpose of review: The introduction of the macromolecule tumor necrosis factor inhibitors etanercept, infliximab, and adalimumab has proven very successful for patients with spondyloarthropathies. The greatest experience has accrued in ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. This paper reviews data from clinical trials with tumor necrosis factor inhibitors in ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis.
Recent findings: Treatment with tumor necrosis factor inhibitors has not only resulted in substantial improvement in the signs and symptoms of arthritis but has also improved functional status and quality of life in ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis. Improvements in associated inflammatory features, such as enthesitis in psoriatic arthritis and uveitis in ankylosing spondylitis, have also been observed. Moreover, treatment has been shown to inhibit the progression of radiographic joint damage in psoriatic arthritis and to attenuate spinal inflammation in ankylosing spondylitis. The notable success of tumor necrosis factor inhibitors has not only changed the treatment paradigms for these conditions but has also stimulated studies aimed at improving diagnosis, prognostic stratification, and other aspects of clinical care.
Summary: The introduction of tumor necrosis factor inhibitors for patients with ankylosing spondylitis and psoriatic arthritis has had a tremendous impact on daily clinical care.