, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 206-213

The clinical application of etanercept in Chinese patients with rheumatic diseases

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Abstract

Over a 2-year period, to evaluate the efficacy and safety of biologic agents, etanercept (25 mg twice per week, s.c.) was used to treat 57 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, 9 ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients, 6 psoriatic arthritis (PSA) patients, and 4 juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) patients. In addition to inflammatory arthritis, I have used this tumor necrosis factor (TNF) blocker in other rheumatic diseases including idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), Behçet's disease with intractable oral ulcer, fibromyalgia syndrome, and systemic lupus erythematosis with intractable pleural effusion and acute lumbar disc herniation. For RA, after 6 months of etanercept treatment, all the parameters including number of swollen joints, number of tender joints, disease activity score, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, and global health status were rapidly improved (P < 0.001 or P < 0.0001). The anticyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibody and rheumatoid factor also significantly declined. For spondyloarthropathy, it also gave a similar effect as to RA. Both Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index and Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Functional Index also improved. One of the two cases with Behçet's disease with intractable oral ulcer had a long-term remission after etanercept. The other Behçet's disease patient with oral ulcer and another with ITP obtained a good response temporarily. The short-term use of etanercept (<3 months) did not bring a significant effect for cases of fibromyalgia syndrome, pleural effusion, and lumbar disc herniation. In conclusion, a dramatic and rapid clinical response in different kinds of arthritis patients can be achieved by etanercept. Moreover, the TNF-α inhibitor also can treat other severe rheumatic-related symptoms. In general, except for a few cases with infection and two cases with malignancy, etanercept was safe in our arthritis patients. We need to study a larger number of patients in order to better understand the efficacy and safety of etanercept.