Anti-TNF-α Rx Improves Sleep in Ankylosing Spondylitis

HealthDay News — Anti-tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) therapy improves sleep quality (SQ) in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) without any improvement in polysomnography (PSG) measures, according to a study published online May 29 in the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases.

Gulsah Karatas, from the Karabuk University Faculty of Medicine in Turkey, and colleagues examined the correlation between SQ and disease activity (DA) in 34 patients who met the modified New York classification criteria for ankylosing spondylitis. Fifteen patients had high DA and received anti-TNF-α therapy (Group I) and 19 patients were in remission (Group II). Disorders and patterns of sleep were assessed with the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and polysomnography (PSG), respectively, at baseline and at the third month of anti-TNF-α therapy in Group I.

The researchers found that 57.9% of all patients had impaired SQ in baseline evaluation. Obstructive apnea syndrome, snoring, and periodic leg movements were seen with PSG in 73.7%, 74.4%, and 26.3% of patients, respectively. Group I had significantly higher PSQI (P =.0001) and snoring score (P =.012). In Group I there was a significant reduction in PSQI scores at the third month of anti-TNF-α therapy (P =.005), but there was no change in PSG parameters (P >.05).

“Anti-TNF-α therapy has improved SQ without any improvement in PSG,” the authors wrote. “PSG parameters might be more associated with disease pathogenesis rather than DA in patients with AS.”

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Karatas G, Bal A, Yuceege M, et al. Evaluation of sleep quality in patients with ankylosing spondylitis and efficacy of anti-TNF-α therapy on sleep problems: a polisomnographic study [published online May 29, 2017]. Int J Rheum Dis. doi:10.1111/1756-185X.13102