Limited radiographic progression and sustained reductions in MRI inflammation in patients with axial spondyloarthritis: 4-year imaging outcomes from the RAPID-axSpA phase III randomised trial

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Abstract

Objectives

To report 4-year imaging outcomes in the RAPID-axSpA (NCT01087762) study of patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA), treated with certolizumab pegol (CZP).

Methods

This phase III, randomised trial was placebo-controlled and double-blind to week 24, dose-blind to week 48 and open-label to week 204. Patients fulfilling the Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society (ASAS) axSpA criteria with active disease were stratified (AS/nr-axSpA) according to the modified New York (mNY) criteria at randomisation. Spinal radiographs were assessed using the modified Stoke Ankylosing Spondylitis Spine Score (mSASSS). MRI inflammation used the Spondyloarthritis Research Consortium of Canada (SPARCC) score for sacroiliac joints (SIJ) and the Berlin spinal score (remission defined as SPARCC <2 and Berlin ≤2, respectively).

Results

MRI improvements from baseline (BL) to week 12 were maintained to week 204 (SPARCC BL: AS=8.5, nr-axSpA=7.5; SPARCC week 204: AS=1.3, nr-axSpA=2.4; Berlin BL: AS=7.4, nr-axSpA=4.4; Berlin week 204: AS=2.6, nr-axSpA=1.9). 66.7% of patients with AS and 69.6% of patients with nr-axSpA with BL SPARCC scores ≥2, and 65.4% of patients with AS and 57.3% of patients with nr-axSpA with BL Berlin score >2, achieved remission at week 204. Mean mSASSS change in AS from BL to week 204 was 0.98 (95% CI 0.34, 1.63); 0.67 (95% CI 0.21,1.13) from BL to week 96; and 0.31 (95% CI 0.02,0.60) from week 96 to week 204. Corresponding nr-axSpA changes were 0.06 (95% CI −0.17,0.28), –0.01 (95% CI −0.19,0.17) and 0.07 (95% CI −0.07,0.20). 4.5% of patients with nr-axSpA fulfilled the mNY criteria at week 204, while 4.3% of patients with AS no longer did so.

Conclusions

In patients with CZP-treated axSpA, rapid decreases in spinal and SIJ MRI inflammation were maintained to week 204. Overall, 4-year spinal progression was low, with less progression during years 2–4 than 0–2. Radiographic SIJ grading changes demonstrated limited progression.

Trial registration number

NCT01087762; Post-results.

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