Long-term efficacy and improvement of health-related quality of life in patients with Takayasu's arteritis treated with infliximab

Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2012 Nov-Dec;30(6):922-8. Epub 2012 Dec 17.


Objectives: To explore the efficacy in the long-term and the impact on Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) of infliximab in patients suffering from Takayasu's arteritis (TA).

Methods: Clinical data were retrospectively collected in 15 patients with TA. Evaluation of Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaires was made at baseline and at the last follow-up in 10 patients continuing infliximab at the last follow-up.

Results: Follow-up after initiation of infliximab was 71±44 months (range 10-162). Remission at the last follow-up was noted in 11/15 (73.3%). Significant reduction in BVAS score was noted at the last follow-up [from 4.0 (1-16) to 3.0 (0-9), p=0.003]. Significant steroid dose reduction was recorded [from 10 mg/day (0-50) to 2.5 mg/day (0-15), p=0.005)]. Steroid suspension occurred in 5/11 responder patients. Inflammatory markers were normalised in about two thirds of the patients. Radiological disease activity was assessed in 13/15 during infliximab therapy, with evidence of improvement in 2/13, stable disease activity in 9/13, and worsening in 2/13. No relevant side effects or severe infections were recorded during the whole follow-up under infliximab. One patient stopped infliximab at the third infusion for acute reaction. HRQOL in patients with TA was impaired, with major involvement of physical domains [(body pain (BP) and global health (GH)]. Infliximab significantly improved HRQOL, in particular BP (40.0±32.3 vs. 67.2±27.6, p=0.035), GH (31.2±21.5 vs. 54.9±21.1, p=0.007) and Vitality (VT) (47.0±28.7 vs. 67.0±20.3, p=0.01) domains.

Conclusions: Infliximab determined a sustained clinical improvement in the long-term in TA, with significant benefits on HRQOL.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / adverse effects
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / adverse effects
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Disease Progression
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood
  • Infliximab
  • Quality of Life*
  • Remission Induction
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Steroids / administration & dosage
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Takayasu Arteritis / blood
  • Takayasu Arteritis / diagnosis
  • Takayasu Arteritis / drug therapy*
  • Takayasu Arteritis / immunology
  • Takayasu Arteritis / psychology
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Biomarkers
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Steroids
  • Infliximab