The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2018 American College of Rheumatology and Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ACR/ARHP) Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. Rheumatology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in rheumatology. Check back for the latest news from ACR/ARHP 2018 .

CHICAGO — Patients receiving intra-articular steroid injections combined with tofacitinib treatment were more likely to achieve remission for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with rapid radiographic progression (RRP) compared with those receiving tofacitinib alone, according to study data presented at the 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting, October 19-24, in Chicago, Illinois.

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According to a single-blind randomized controlled trial, patients with RRP-RA (n=39) were randomly assigned to tofacitinib or tofacitinib plus intra-articular steroid injections. Study participants were in the early stages of RA (disease duration <6 months) and were each taking methotrexate at baseline. For patients receiving injections, palpate examinations of joints were performed every 4 weeks and injections were intensified at any observed swollen joints. Clinical remission and radiographic nonprogression were assessed at the 52-week end point.

A greater proportion of patients in the tofacitinib plus intra-articular steroid injections group achieved remission at week 52 (29.2%) compared with the tofacitinib group (21.3%; P <.05). Additionally, a greater proportion of the tofacitinib plus intra-articular steroid injections group achieved radiographic nonprogression (33.4%) compared with the tofacitinib group (23.7%; P <.05). These results support combination therapy with intra-articular steroid injection and tofacitinib to achieve clinical and radiographic remission in patients with early RRP-RA.

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Kume K, Amano K, Yamada S, Kanazawa T, Hatta K. Combination of intra-articular steroid injection and tofacitinib more effective than tofacitinib in rapid radiographic progression patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Presented at: ACR/ARHP 2018 Annual Meeting; October 19-24, 2018; Chicago, IL. Abstract 596.

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