Characteristics of Difficult-to-Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis

Even when clinicians follow current European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) management recommendations, patients suffering from difficult-to-treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remain symptomatic. In a study published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, researchers aim to identify the characteristics of difficult-to-treat RA management, as well as management strategies that are not covered by current management recommendations. 

Researchers sent out an international study with multiple choice answers to rheumatologists. In the survey, rheumatologists were asked what the characteristics were of difficult-to-treat RA. Rheumatologists were also about to provide what they felt was missing in current management of difficult-to-treat RA. 

Results showed that 410 respondents completed the survey. According to the survey results, 50% selected disease activity score assessing 28 joints >3.2 OR presence of signs suggestive of active disease as characteristics of difficult-to-treat RA; 42% selected fatigue; 48% selected failure to ≥2 conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) AND ≥2 biological/targeted synthetic DMARDs. 

“There is wide variation in concepts of difficult-to-treat RA,” the researchers concluded. “Several important issues regarding these patients are not addressed by current EULAR recommendations.” 

Check out an article on researchers attempting to find an easy-to-measure biomarker for the IFN signature. 

 SOURCE: Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases