Radiologic observation: repair of focal bone erosions after humanized antitumor necrosis factor antibody adalimumab therapy in a patient with rheumatoid arthritis

Clin Rheumatol. 2010 Feb;29(2):211-3. doi: 10.1007/s10067-009-1293-x. Epub 2009 Oct 7.


Erosions of the bone and cartilage are considered as a cardinal feature of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) leading to joint destruction and functional limitations. This report is a radiologic observation of distinguishable bone erosion repair with concomitant increase of radio-opacity of trabecular bones after 15 months of antitumor necrosis factor (TNF) antibody adalimumab therapy in a 26-year-old woman with RA resistant to conventional therapy. Although the introduction of anti-TNF antibodies has contributed to the slowing and arrest of RA progression, destruction itself has been generally acknowledged as an irreversible process with little hope (only 1.8% of erosions) in resolution. Our patient's dramatic structural retrieval is a discrepant, yet notable case pivoting the previous belief on the skeletal restoration capacity of anti-TNF antibody into a circulating cytokine-dependent manner.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adalimumab
  • Adult
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / diagnostic imaging*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy
  • Bone Resorption / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bone Resorption / drug therapy
  • Female
  • Finger Joint / diagnostic imaging*
  • Humans
  • Radiography
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Adalimumab