Predictors for remission in rheumatoid arthritis patients: A systematic review

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2010 Aug;62(8):1128-43. doi: 10.1002/acr.20188.


Objective: To summarize the potential predictors of remission in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: We performed a systematic review of prognostic studies that identified the predictors of remission in RA patients. Studies were identified in Medline, EMBase, and the Cochrane Registry, and by hand search. We included only studies performing multivariate analysis.

Results: A total of 18 studies from 2,062 citations were included. The following variables were found to be the independent predictors of RA remission: male sex; young age; late-onset RA; short disease duration; nonsmoker; low baseline disease activity; mild functional impairment; low baseline radiographic damage; absence of rheumatoid factor and anti-citrullinated peptide; low serum level of acute-phase reactant, interleukin-2, and RANKL at baseline; MTHFR 677T alleles and 1298C alleles in the methotrexate (MTX)-treated patients; magnetization transfer ratio 2756A allele +/- either the SLC 19A180A allele or the TYMS 3R-del6 haplotype in the MTX plus sulfasalazine combination-treated patients; early treatment with nonbiologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) combinations; the use of anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF); the concurrent use of DMARDs in anti-TNF-treated patients; and moderate or good response to treatments at the first 6 months. The magnitude of the association in the individual predictor was diverse among the studies depending on the patient characteristics, the study characteristics, and the variables used to adjust for in the models.

Conclusion: A number of independent predictors of remission, i.e., baseline clinical and laboratory characteristics and genetic markers, were summarized. The predictive value of prognostic factors recently identified needs to be confirmed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / genetics
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / physiopathology
  • Haplotypes
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / genetics
  • Interleukin-2 / therapeutic use
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use
  • Patient Selection
  • Prognosis
  • Registries
  • Rheumatoid Factor / genetics
  • Sulfasalazine / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / genetics
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / therapeutic use


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Interleukin-2
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Rheumatoid Factor
  • Methotrexate