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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2007 Nov-Dec;25(6):810-6.

A multicenter study of leukocytapheresis in rheumatoid arthritis.

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1
Rheumatic and Collagen Disease Center, Sasebo Chuo Hospital, The University of Tokyo, Sasebo, Japan. u-yuki@hakujyujikai@or.jp

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the efficacy and safety of leukocytapheresis (LCAP) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) that is refractory to disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), we conducted a prospective, multicenter, open-label clinical trial.

METHODS:

We enrolled 38 active RA patients, including 32 patients who showed an inadequate response to > or = 2 DMARDs and 6 patients with rapidly progressive RA. All patients continued drug therapy and were treated with 5 LCAP sessions conducted at 1-week intervals. The clinical response was evaluated at baseline before starting LCAP and at 4 weeks after the completion of all the LCAP sessions using the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria and the 28-joint disease activity score (DAS28) of the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR).

RESULTS:

Of the 35 patients who fulfilled the study's eligibility criteria, 24 (69%), 10 (29%), and 23 (66%) patients achieved 20% (ACR20), 50% (ACR50), and DAS28-C-reactive protein (CRP) EULAR improvement, respectively. The mean DAS28-CRP score of the 35 patients decreased significantly from 5.99 +/- 0.92 at baseline to 4.54 +/- 1.39 after treatment. Comparison analysis of the ACR20 responders and non-responders to LCAP revealed that 22 of 24 responders (92%) concomitantly received methotrexate, whereas significantly fewer, that is, 6 of 11 non-responders (55%) received methotrexate. Less frequent and transient mild-to-moderate adverse events, including nausea and headache, were seen in 12 of 189 LCAP sessions (6.3%).

CONCLUSION:

These results demonstrate the usefulness of LCAP in combination with DMARDs, particularly methotrexate, as an effective and safe treatment for refractory RA.

PMID:
18173913
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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