Background: Children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) who achieve a drug free remission often experience a flare of their disease requiring either intraarticular steroids (IAS) or systemic treatment with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). IAS offer an opportunity to recapture disease control and avoid exposure to side effects from systemic immunosuppression. We examined a cohort of patients treated with IAS after drug free remission and report the probability of restarting systemic treatment within 12 months. Methods: We analyzed a cohort of patients from the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) Registry who received IAS for a flare after a period of drug free remission. Historical factors and clinical characteristics and of the patients including data obtained at the time of treatment were analyzed. Results: We identified 46 patients who met the inclusion criteria. Of those with follow up data available 49% had restarted systemic treatment 6 months after IAS injection and 70% had restarted systemic treatment at 12 months. The proportion of patients with prior use of a biologic DMARD was the only factor that differed between patients who restarted systemic treatment those who did not, both at 6 months (79% vs 35%, p < 0.01) and 12 months (81% vs 33%, p < 0.05). Conclusion: While IAS are an option for all patients who flare after drug free remission, it may not prevent the need to restart systemic treatment. Prior use of a biologic DMARD may predict lack of success for IAS. Those who previously received methotrexate only, on the other hand, are excellent candidates for IAS.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Immunology and Allergy