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Archivos argentinos de pediatría

Print version ISSN 0325-0075On-line version ISSN 1668-3501


RUSSO, Ricardo A. G.  and  KATSICAS, María M.. Recaídas de la artritis crónica juvenil luego de la suspensión de etanercept. Arch. argent. pediatr. [online]. 2004, vol.102, n.1, pp.44-48. ISSN 0325-0075.

Introduction. Etanercept is a drug that blocks tumor necrosis factor-alpha, of proven efficacy and safety in the treatment of polyarticular juvenile chronic arthritis refractory to other treatments, such as methotrexate. However, disease activity after discontinuation in patients who respond to etanercept is unknown. Objective. To describe the clinical course of polyarticular course juvenile chronic arthritis in patients who responded to etanercept and subsequently discontinued the treatment. Population, materials and methods. Patients with polyarticular juvenile chronic arthritis refractory to methotrexate who received etanercept and experienced an improvement. Patients who had to discontinue treatment with etanercept for nonmedical reasons were included. Several clinical measures of activity and erythrocyte sedimentation rate were assessed in consecutive visits; definitions of improvement and relapse were provided. Comparisons of the values of these measures were done between visits recorded before and after etanercept withdrawal. Results. Of 20 patients with juvenile chronic arthritis (17 with systemic onset, 2 with polyarticular onset, and 1 with oligoarticular onset) who reached improvement with etanercept treatment, 7 (all with systemic arthritis) had to discontinue this treatment 5.5 months after its initiation. In all cases, interruption of treatment was due to social security termination of drug supply. These 7 patients showed a relapse within one month after etanercept withdrawal. In all cases, the relapse was especially characterized by an increase in the number of swollen joints, the number of joints with limitation in range of motion, and in the erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Reappearance of fever and cutaneous rash was observed in one patient. Of the 13 patients who did not suspend treatment with etanercept, 6 showed relapses (all had systemic onset arthritis). Conclusions. Withdrawal of etanercept treatment in patients with polyarticular juvenile chronic arthritis who responded to this treatment is associated with relapses in all cases. In view of the frequent cases of interruption of drug supply in Argentina nowadays, this phenomenon should be considered by physicians and patients alike.

Keywords : Juvenile chronic arthritis; Etanercept; Methotrexate; Relapses.

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