Combo Therapy Slows Progression in Ankylosing Spondylitis
GHENT, Belgium — The progression of ankylosing spondylitis can be slowed when tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors are added to high-dose nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), possibly because of a synergistic effect between the two drugs, according to new research.
“This is the first study to show a relation between these drugs, and the first long-term longitudinal cohort study looking at drug effects on progression,” said investigator Lianne Gensler, MD, director of the Ankylosing Spondylitis Clinic at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center.
She presented the research here at the International Congress on Spondyloarthritides 2016.
All 527 patients had ankylosing spondylitis with at least 2 years of clinical and radiographic imaging follow-up. Mean follow-up was 3.67 years.
Disease progression was defined as an increase of at least 2 units on the modified Stoke Ankylosing Spondylitis Spine Score (mSASSS) over 24 months.
The propensity-score analysis was adjusted for factors such as disease duration, sex, race, education level, comorbidities, smoking, C-reactive protein levels, Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI) score, and baseline mSASSS.
Of the 42% of patients who used TNF inhibitors in the first interval of the study, 10% had a high NSAID-use index. Of the 58% of patients who did not use TNF inhibitors, 20% had a high NSAID-use index.