A double-blind placebo-controlled trial of methylprednisolone pulse therapy in active rheumatoid disease

Lancet. 1982 Jul 31;2(8292):237-40. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(82)90323-3.


To confirm the findings of uncontrolled trials that methylprednisolone pulse therapy (MPPT) is a safe treatment for active rheumatoid disease, a double-blind trial was conducted in which 20 patients with active rheumatoid disease were randomly allocated to receive an infusion of either 1 g methylprednisolone or placebo. Methylprednisolone produced significant improvement in all clinical variables measured, a benefit which was sustained for at least 6 weeks. The placebo produced only transient improvement in some of the clinical variables measured. when the 10 placebo groups patients were later given an infusion of 1 g methylprednisolone, they too showed significant clinical benefit. The methylprednisolone also gave rise to improvements in some haematological and biochemical variables.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Parenteral / methods
  • Male
  • Methylprednisolone / analogs & derivatives*
  • Methylprednisolone Hemisuccinate / administration & dosage*
  • Methylprednisolone Hemisuccinate / therapeutic use
  • Middle Aged
  • Random Allocation


  • Methylprednisolone Hemisuccinate
  • Methylprednisolone