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Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2012 Nov-Dec;30(6):922-8. Epub 2012 Dec 17.

Long-term efficacy and improvement of health-related quality of life in patients with Takayasu's arteritis treated with infliximab.

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Clinic of Rheumatology, Department of Medical and Biological Sciences (DSMB), University of Udine, Italy.



To explore the efficacy in the long-term and the impact on Health Related Quality of Life (HRQOL) of infliximab in patients suffering from Takayasu's arteritis (TA).


Clinical data were retrospectively collected in 15 patients with TA. Evaluation of Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36) questionnaires was made at baseline and at the last follow-up in 10 patients continuing infliximab at the last follow-up.


Follow-up after initiation of infliximab was 71±44 months (range 10-162). Remission at the last follow-up was noted in 11/15 (73.3%). Significant reduction in BVAS score was noted at the last follow-up [from 4.0 (1-16) to 3.0 (0-9), p=0.003]. Significant steroid dose reduction was recorded [from 10 mg/day (0-50) to 2.5 mg/day (0-15), p=0.005)]. Steroid suspension occurred in 5/11 responder patients. Inflammatory markers were normalised in about two thirds of the patients. Radiological disease activity was assessed in 13/15 during infliximab therapy, with evidence of improvement in 2/13, stable disease activity in 9/13, and worsening in 2/13. No relevant side effects or severe infections were recorded during the whole follow-up under infliximab. One patient stopped infliximab at the third infusion for acute reaction. HRQOL in patients with TA was impaired, with major involvement of physical domains [(body pain (BP) and global health (GH)]. Infliximab significantly improved HRQOL, in particular BP (40.0±32.3 vs. 67.2±27.6, p=0.035), GH (31.2±21.5 vs. 54.9±21.1, p=0.007) and Vitality (VT) (47.0±28.7 vs. 67.0±20.3, p=0.01) domains.


Infliximab determined a sustained clinical improvement in the long-term in TA, with significant benefits on HRQOL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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