Tumour necrosis factor-blocking agents in persistent oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis: results from the Dutch Arthritis and Biologicals in Children Register

Janneke Anink*, Marieke H. Otten, Femke H. M. Prince, Esther P. A. H. Hoppenreijs, Nico M. Wulffraat, Joost F. Swart, Rebecca ten Cate, Marion A. J. van Rossum, J. Merlijn van den Berg, Koert M. Dolman, Yvonne Koopman-Keemink, Wineke Armbrust, Sylvia Kamphuis, Philomine A. van Pelt, Simone L. Gorter, Lisette W. A. van Suijlekom-Smit

*Corresponding author for this work

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14 Citations (Web of Science)


Objective. Because TNF inhibitors are not approved for persistent oligoarticular JIA (oJIA), although they are used off-label, we evaluated their effectiveness in patients in this category. Methods. Persistent oJIA patients were selected from the Dutch Arthritis and Biologicals in Children (ABC) register, an ongoing multicentre prospective study that aims to include all Dutch children with JIA using biologic agents. Response was assessed by the JIA core-set disease activity variables and modified Wallace criteria for inactive disease. Results. Until February 2011, 16 persistent oJIA patients (68.8% females) had been included in the register. Median age of onset was 8.4 years [interquartile range (IQR) 2.1-13.5 years]; history of uveitis in 18.8%; ANA-positive 56.3%. All had previously used MTX, and 81.3% had used IA CSs. Median follow-up after the introduction of biologic treatment was 13.7 months (IQR 8.3-16.7 months). Fourteen patients started etanercept and two patients who had active arthritis as well as uveitis started adalimumab. Although patients with persistent oJIA had few affected joints [median of two active joints at the start of biologic (IQR 1-3)], the patient/parent assessments of pain [median visual analogue score (VAS) 51 (IQR 1-64)] and well-being [median VAS 44 (IQR 6-66)] were high. Additionally, their physician evaluated the disease activity as moderately high [median VAS 36 (IQR 4-65)]. After 3 months this decreased to 0 (IQR 0-30) and 63% achieved inactive disease. After 15 months the disease was inactive in 9/10 observed patients. TNF inhibitors were tolerated well. Conclusion. TNF blocking agents seem an effective and justifiable option in persistent oJIA when treatment with IA CS injections and MTX has failed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)712-717
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2013


  • oligoarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • etanercept
  • adalimumab
  • response
  • anti-tumour necrosis factor
  • biologic therapy

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