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Practice Guideline
. 2018 Jan;77(1):3-17.
doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2017-211734. Epub 2017 Jul 6.

Treating Axial Spondyloarthritis and Peripheral Spondyloarthritis, Especially Psoriatic Arthritis, to Target: 2017 Update of Recommendations by an International Task Force

Free PMC article
Practice Guideline

Treating Axial Spondyloarthritis and Peripheral Spondyloarthritis, Especially Psoriatic Arthritis, to Target: 2017 Update of Recommendations by an International Task Force

Josef S Smolen et al. Ann Rheum Dis. .
Free PMC article

Erratum in


Therapeutic targets have been defined for axial and peripheral spondyloarthritis (SpA) in 2012, but the evidence for these recommendations was only of indirect nature. These recommendations were re-evaluated in light of new insights. Based on the results of a systematic literature review and expert opinion, a task force of rheumatologists, dermatologists, patients and a health professional developed an update of the 2012 recommendations. These underwent intensive discussions, on site voting and subsequent anonymous electronic voting on levels of agreement with each item. A set of 5 overarching principles and 11 recommendations were developed and voted on. Some items were present in the previous recommendations, while others were significantly changed or newly formulated. The 2017 task force arrived at a single set of recommendations for axial and peripheral SpA, including psoriatic arthritis (PsA). The most exhaustive discussions related to whether PsA should be assessed using unidimensional composite scores for its different domains or multidimensional scores that comprise multiple domains. This question was not resolved and constitutes an important research agenda. There was broad agreement, now better supported by data than in 2012, that remission/inactive disease and, alternatively, low/minimal disease activity are the principal targets for the treatment of PsA. As instruments to assess the patients on the path to the target, the Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS) for axial SpA and the Disease Activity index for PSoriatic Arthritis (DAPSA) and Minimal Disease Activity (MDA) for PsA were recommended, although not supported by all. Shared decision-making between the clinician and the patient was seen as pivotal to the process. The task force defined the treatment target for SpA as remission or low disease activity and developed a large research agenda to further advance the field.

Keywords: Ankylosing Spondylitis; Outcomes Research; Psoriatic Arthritis; Spondyloarthritis; Treatment.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: DA served as a consultant and/or speaker for Abbvie, Astra-Zeneca, BMS, Janssen, Medac, MSD, Pfizer, Roche, UCB and received grant support from BMS. XB has served as consultant and/or speaker for Abbvie, BMS, Celgene, Chugai, Janssen, Novartis, Pfizer, UCB. NB has received consultancy fees for work commissioned by Grünenthal, Lilly, Janssen, PfizerLaura Coates has received research funding from Abbvie and Janssen and honoraria from Abbvie, Amgen, BMS, Celgene, Janssen, Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Sun Pharma, UCBMaxime Dougados has participated as a speaker in symposia or as an advisor in boards organized by Pfizer, Abbvie, Ucb, Merck, Amgen, Novartis, Lilly, Bms, Roche and his department has received research grants from Pfizer, Abbvie, Ucb, Merck, Amgen, Novartis, Lilly, Bms, Roche. Laure Gossec has received honoraria or research funding from Abbvie, BMS, Celgene, Janseen, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche and UCB. PE has undertaken clinical trials and provided expert advice to Pfizer, MSD, Abbvie, BMS, UCB, Roche, Novartis, Samsung, Sandoz and Lilly. OF reports grants and personal fees from Novartis, personal fees from Pfizer, personal fees from Lilly, personal fees from Cellgene, grants and personal fees from Abbvie, personal fees from Janssen, personal fees from UCB, outside the submitted work. AK has served as consultant and/or performed clinical research for Abbvie, Amgen, Celgene, Janssen, Novartis, UCB. PMM has received consultancy/speaker’s fees from AbbVie, Centocor, Janssen, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer and UCB. AM has received honoraria from Abbvie, MSD and UCBDP has received Grant/research support from: AbbVie, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, has honoraria/speaker fees from AbbVie, BMS, Boehringer, Janssen, Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, and UCB. MR has received honoraria/ consultancies from Abbvie, BMS, Celgene, Chugai/Roche, Janssen, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer, UCB. JS has received grant support from and/or provided expert advice to Abbvie, Amgen, Astra-Zeneca, BMS, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Celgene, Celltrion, Gilead, Glaxo, Iltoo, Janssen, Lilly, Pfizer, MSD, Roche, Samsung, Novartis-Sandoz, UCB. TS has received honoraria from Abbvie, Janssen, MSD, Novartis and Roche and grant support from Abbvie. FVB has received speaker and/or consultancy fees from AbbVie, Celgene, Janssen,Lilly, MSD, Novartis, Pfizer and UCB. DH has received consulting fees Afrom bbVie, Amgen, Astellas, AstraZeneca, BMS, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, Daiichi, Eli-Lilly, Galapagos, Gilead, Glaxo-Smith-Kline, Janssen, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Regeneron, Roche, Sanofi, Takeda, UCB, and is Director of Imaging Rheumatology bv. MW has received consulting fees for lectures or advisory board meetings from Abbvie, BMS, Celgene, Eli Lilly, Novartis and Roche.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Relationships between inflammation, damage and disability. Inflammation, by virtue of pain and stiffness, elicits disability which is reversible on reversal of disease activity. Inflammation also induces damage which is usually irreversible. Damage also induces disability; due to its irreversible nature, damage-induced disability is irreversible, meaning that with increasing damage the floor of physical functioning that can be reached on reversal of disease activity rises.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Algorithm based on the 2017 update of the treat-to-target recommendations for spondyloarthritis. axSpA, axial SpA; CRP, C-reactive protein; DAPSA, Disease Activity index for PSoriatic Arthritis; MDA, Minimal Disease Activity; PsA, psoriatic arthritis; SpA, spondyloarthritis.

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