Predictors of RA-Related Joint Surgery Analyzed

Researchers note that their data provide an argument for updating disease activity cut-off points.

Patients with moderate disease activity who are taking conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD)  have a similar risk of joint surgery as those with high disease activity, according to data presented at The European League Against Rheumatism 2015 Annual European Congress of Rheumatology.

Elena Nikiphorou, MD, of the Saint Albans City Hospital in the United Kingdom and colleagues analyzed data from 2,071 patients.  

Of these, 2,044 had at least two drug activity states (DAS) recorded between years one and five: 21% were in remission, 15% in low DAS, 26% in low-moderate DAS, 21% in high-moderate DAS, and 18% in high DAS categories. 

Patients with low-moderate DAS, high-moderate DAS, and high DAS categories were all predictive of an increased risk of major joint surgery (p<0.005). However, with respect to intermediate surgery, high-moderate DAS and high DAS predicted a higher risk than those patients with low-moderate DAS or low DAS (p=0.034 and p=0.001 respectively).

“Our data provide an argument for updating existing disease activity cut-off points to allow RA patients with moderate disease activity to receive a biological agent in addition to conventional DMARDs,” Nikiphorou said in a press release about the findings.


  1. Nikiphorou, E. Abstract OP0179. Presented at EULAR 2015. June 10-13, 2015. Rome, Italy.