Objective: To assess the effect of glucocorticoids (GC) on damage progression in placebo-biologic arms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) biologics trials.
Methods: Posthoc metaanalysis of 2 infliximab (IFX) trials (established and early RA) and 1 tocilizumab (TCZ) trial (established RA).
Results: The proportion of patients receiving GC was 38%-64%, baseline damage was 11-82 Sharp/van der Heijde points, and progression in the placebo groups was 0.5-4.8 points in 6 months. In the pooled IFX studies, GC cotreatment reduced 6-month progression by 2.6 points (95% CI 0.6-4.5). In the TCZ study (progression rate 0.5 Genant points), no such difference was seen.
Conclusion: GC cotreatment may affect results in RA trials.
Keywords: BIOLOGICS; GLUCOCORTICOIDS; JOINT DAMAGE; METAANALYSIS; RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS.