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Ann Rheum Dis. 2010 Jun;69(6):1158-61. doi: 10.1136/ard.2009.119222. Epub 2010 May 3.

Continued inhibition of structural damage over 2 years in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with rituximab in combination with methotrexate.

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  • 1Metroplex Clinical Research Center, Dallas, Texas, USA.

Erratum in

  • Ann Rheum Dis. 2011 Aug;70(8):1519.



Rituximab inhibited structural damage at 1 year in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who had had a previous inadequate response to tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors.


To assess structural damage progression through 2 years.


Intention-to-treat patients with one post-baseline radiograph (rituximab n=281; placebo n=187) received background methotrexate (MTX) and were randomised to rituximab (2 x 1000 mg infusions, 2 weeks apart) or placebo; patients were eligible for rituximab re-treatment every 6 months. By week 104, 82% of the placebo population had received > or = 1 dose of rituximab. Radiographic end points included the change in total Sharp score (TSS), erosion and joint space narrowing scores at week 104.


At week 104, significantly lower changes in TSS (1.14 vs 2.81; p<0.0001), erosion score (0.72 vs 1.80; p<0.0001) and joint space narrowing scores (0.42 vs 1.00; p<0.0009) were observed with rituximab plus MTX vs placebo plus MTX. Within the rituximab group, 87% who had no progression of joint damage at 1 year remained non-progressive at 2 years.


Rituximab plus MTX demonstrated significant and sustained effects on joint damage progression in patients with RA and a previously inadequate response to TNF inhibitors.

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