Etanercept in the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis: a meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials, and the comparison of the Caucasian and Chinese population

Original Article


Background and purpose

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a kind of rheumatic disease, leading to pain, fatigue, stiffness, and functional impairment, which seriously affects the quality of life. Etanercept, a fully human recombinant protein, has been applied for the treatment of AS. However, there has not been a systematic analysis for its efficacy and safety.


This meta-analysis of fourteen randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials with 1,570 participants was performed to investigate the efficacy and safety of etanercept, by means of calculating the overall relative risk, and to compare the different responses between the Caucasian population and the Chinese population.


Generally, there was sufficient evidence to prove that etanercept has its advantages in both disease activity controlling and symptoms relieving, especially for axial joints compared with peripheric joints, without higher incidence of serious adverse events.


Our preliminary analysis provided that the Caucasian population has better response to etanercept treatment, with more treatment-emergent adverse events. Further specially designed clinical trials need to be performed to investigate the different responses between axial and peripheric joints, also between different races.


Ankylosing spondylitis Etanercept Meta-analysis 


Conflict of interest



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhi-han Li
    • 1
  • Yang Zhang
    • 1
  • Jian Wang
    • 1
  • Zhan-jun Shi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryNanfang HospitalGuangzhouChina

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