Comparative Effectiveness of a Second Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitor Versus a Non-Tumor Necrosis Factor Biologic in the Treatment of Patients With Polyarticular-Course Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2024 Mar 31. doi: 10.1002/acr.25339. Online ahead of print.


Objective: The objective of this study was to compare the effectiveness of a second tumor necrosis factor inhibitor (TNFi) versus a non-TNFi biologic following discontinuation of a TNFi for patients with polyarticular-course juvenile idiopathic arthritis (pJIA).

Methods: Using the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance Registry, patients with pJIA who started receiving a second biologic following a first TNFi were identified. Patients were required to have no active uveitis on the index date and a visit six months after the index date. Outcome measures included Clinical Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score with a maximum of 10 active joints (cJADAS10), cJADAS10 inactive disease (ID; ≤2.5) and cJADAS10 minimal disease activity (MiDA; ≤5). Multiple imputation was used to account for missing data. Adjusted odds ratios (aORs) were calculated using propensity score quintiles to compare outcomes at six months following second biologic initiation.

Results: There were 216 patients included, 84% initially received etanercept, and most patients stopped receiving it because of its ineffectiveness (74%). A total of 183 (85%) started receiving a second TNFi, and 33 (15%) started receiving a non-TNFi. Adalimumab was the most common second biologic received (71% overall, 84% of second TNFi), and tocilizumab was the most common non-TNFi second biologic received (9% overall, 58% of non-TNFi). There was no difference between receiving TNFi versus non-TNFi in cJADAS10 ID (29% vs 25%; aOR 1.23, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.47-3.20) or at least MiDA (43% vs 39%; aOR 1.11, 95% CI 0.47-2.62) at six months.

Conclusion: Most patients with pJIA started receiving TNFi rather than non-TNFi as their second biologic, and there were no differences in disease activity at six months.