medwireNews: Serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) before the initiation of biologic therapy may help identify patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who are likely to stay in remission after tapering treatment, researchers report.
Biologic tapering “is widely used in clinical practice, but a significant proportion of patients experience relapse,” said lead author Takaaki Komiya (Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan) in a press release.
“It is important for rheumatologists to know the clinical characteristics of patients who might successfully maintain remission after down-titration,” he added.
In a retrospective cohort analysis, the researchers found that the 92 patients who underwent dose reduction were significantly younger at disease onset, had lower levels of CRP, and were more likely to be biologic-naïve at baseline than the 255 patients who continued to receive the standard dose.
However, only the presence of low CRP levels was significantly associated with the likelihood of successfully tapering treatment on multivariate analysis, with an odds ratio of 1.23.
This preliminary study “reflects the ‘real world’ experience,” said Komiya, and concluded that the results “may help rheumatologists to [identify] RA patients who would successfully down-titrate biologics.”
The results were reported in a poster presentation at the 2017 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, USA.
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