Objective: Anticitrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs) are suggested to identify different subsets of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The authors compared the clinical and radiological responses to Disease Activity Score (DAS)-steered treatment in patients with RA positive or RA negative for ACPA. Methods: In the BehandelStrategieën (BeSt) study, 508 patients with recent-onset RA were randomised to four treatment strategies aimed at a DAS ≤2.4. Risks of damage progression and (drug-free) remission in 8 years were compared for ACPA-positive and ACPA-negative patients using logistic regression analysis. Functional ability and DAS components over time were compared using linear mixed models. Results: DAS reduction was achieved similarly in ACPApositive and ACPA-negative patients in all treatment strategy groups, with a similar need to adjust treatment because of inadequate response. Functional ability and remission rates were not different for ACPA-positive and ACPA-negative patients. ACPA-positive patients had more radiological damage progression, especially after initial monotherapy. They had a lower chance of achieving (persistent) drug-free remission. Conclusion: Clinical response to treatment was similar in ACPA-positive and ACPA-negative patients. However, more ACPA-positive patients, especially those treated with initial monotherapy, had significant radiological damage progression, indicating that methotrexate monotherapy and DAS- (≤2.4) steered treatment might be insufficient to adequately suppress joint damage progression in these patients.

doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-200379, hdl.handle.net/1765/87637
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases

Van Den Broek, M., Dirven, L., Klarenbeek, N., Molenaar, T. H. E., Han, H., Kerstens, P. J. S. M., … Allaart, C. (2012). The association of treatment response and joint damage with ACPA-status in recent-onset RA: A subanalysis of the 8-year follow-up of the BeSt study. Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, 71(2), 245–248. doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2011-200379