JOURNAL ARTICLE

Rates of serious infection, including site-specific and bacterial intracellular infection, in rheumatoid arthritis patients receiving anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy: results from the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register

W G Dixon, K Watson, M Lunt, K L Hyrich, A J Silman, D P M Symmons
Arthritis and Rheumatism 2006, 54 (8): 2368-76
16868999

OBJECTIVE: To determine whether the rate of serious infection is higher in anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF)-treated rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients compared with RA patients treated with traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

METHODS: This was a national prospective observational study of 7,664 anti-TNF-treated and 1,354 DMARD-treated patients with severe RA from the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register. All serious infections, stratified by site and organism, were included in the analysis.

RESULTS: Between December 2001 and September 2005, there were 525 serious infections in the anti-TNF-treated cohort and 56 in the comparison cohort (9,868 and 1,352 person-years of followup, respectively). The incidence rate ratio (IRR), adjusted for baseline risk, for the anti-TNF-treated cohort compared with the comparison cohort was 1.03 (95% confidence interval 0.68-1.57). However, the frequency of serious skin and soft tissue infections was increased in anti-TNF-treated patients, with an adjusted IRR of 4.28 (95% confidence interval 1.06-17.17). There was no difference in infection risk between the 3 main anti-TNF drugs. Nineteen serious bacterial intracellular infections occurred, exclusively in patients in the anti-TNF-treated cohort.

CONCLUSION: In patients with active RA, anti-TNF therapy was not associated with increased risk of overall serious infection compared with DMARD treatment, after adjustment for baseline risk. In contrast, the rate of serious skin and soft tissue infections was increased, suggesting an important physiologic role of TNF in host defense in the skin and soft tissues beyond that in other tissues.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article

Discussion

You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read
16868999
×

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.

×

Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"