The European ankylosing spondylitis infliximab cohort (EASIC): a European multicentre study of long term outcomes in patients with ankylosing spondylitis treated with infliximab

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2011 Jul-Aug;29(4):672-80. Epub 2011 Aug 31.


Objectives: To study the long-term efficacy and safety of treatment with infliximab in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) in a real life setting.

Methods: AS patients from 6 European countries who had finished the 2-year trial ASSERT were invited to participate in the open- label investigator-driven study EASIC. At baseline, 2 groups were formed: patients of group 1 had not been treated with infliximab after ASSERT, while those of group 2 had continuously received it. Patients of group 1 were further subdivided in group 1a: patients with a relapse and 1b: in remission. All patients of group 1a and 2 continuously received infliximab for 96 weeks, mean dose 5 mg/kg, intervals 6-8 weeks. Patients of group 1b were also treated in case of relapse.

Results: A total of 103/149 patients (69%) were included in EASIC, 1.3 ± 0.9 years after the end of ASSERT: 9 in group 1a, 5 in group 1b and 89 in group 2. Most patients were male (83%), mean age 44 years. Most patients of group 2 completed the trial (86%) vs. only 5 of group 1 (33%) - mostly due to allergic reactions after readministration of infliximab. In total, there were 22 drop-outs due to 6 adverse events, 4 lack of efficacy, 3 planned pregnancy. All standard assessments indicated beneficial values over time, at week 96 significantly better than at baseline of ASSERT.

Conclusions: The majority of patients were continuously and successfully treated with infliximab for 5 years, whereas discontinuation and reintroduction of therapy was less satisfactory due to the frequent occurrence of hypersensitivity reactions. Anti-TNF therapy with infliximab proved to be effective and safe on a long-term basis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / administration & dosage*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Drug Administration Schedule
  • Drug Hypersensitivity / etiology
  • Europe
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infliximab
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Dropouts
  • Pregnancy
  • Recurrence
  • Remission Induction
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / diagnosis
  • Spondylitis, Ankylosing / drug therapy*
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Infliximab