Radiography of rheumatoid arthritis in the time of increasing drug effectiveness
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- Wolfe, F. & Strand, V. Curr Rheumatol Rep (2001) 3: 46. doi:10.1007/s11926-001-0050-1
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Recent clinical development programs for new therapeutic agents in rheumatoid arthritis have included assessment of radiographic progression comparing changes with treatment to placebo and active controls. Studies now use reliable methods of assessment and sufficient study length to detect radiographic changes. Although patient populations and characteristics differ, and radiographic scoring methods vary, the direction of a series of studies appears to indicate that leflunomide (LEF), methotrexate (MTX), sulfasalazine (SSZ), etanercept, infliximab, and IL-1ra are all effective in retarding radiographic progression, as measured by erosions and joint space narrowing. Interpretation of radiograph data in future trials will be aided by utilization of common reading methods and by continuing comparison across differing rheumatoid arthritis protocol populations.