Predictors of poor response to methotrexate in polyarticular-course juvenile idiopathic arthritis: analysis of the PRINTO methotrexate trial

Ann Rheum Dis. 2010 Aug;69(8):1479-83. doi: 10.1136/ard.2009.120840. Epub 2010 Jun 4.


Objectives: To determine whether baseline demographic, clinical, articular and laboratory variables predict methotrexate (MTX) poor response in polyarticular-course juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Methods: Patients newly treated for 6 months with MTX enrolled in the Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organization (PRINTO) MTX trial. Bivariate and logistic regression analyses were used to identify baseline predictors of poor response according to the American College of Rheumatology pediatric (ACR-ped) 30 and 70 criteria.

Results: In all, 405/563 (71.9%) of patients were women; median age at onset and disease duration were 4.3 and 1.4 years, respectively, with anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) detected in 259/537 (48.2%) patients. With multivariate logistic regression analysis, the most important determinants of ACR-ped 70 non-responders were: disease duration > 1.3 years (OR 1.93), ANA negativity (OR 1.77), Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ) disability index > 1.125 (OR 1.65) and the presence of right and left wrist activity (OR 1.55). Predictors of ACR-ped 30 non-responders were: ANA negativity (OR 1.92), CHAQ disability index > 1.14 (OR 2.18) and a parent's evaluation of child's overall well-being < or = 4.69 (OR 2.2).

Conclusion: The subgroup of patients with longer disease duration, ANA negativity, higher disability and presence of wrist activity were significantly associated with a poorer response to a 6-month MTX course.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Juvenile / immunology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Methotrexate / therapeutic use*
  • Prognosis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Methotrexate