From the University of Helsinki, Helsinki; Helsinki University Central Hospital, Helsinki; Rheumatism Foundation Hospital, Heinola; Päijät-Häme Central Hospital, Lahti; Tampere University Central Hospital, Tampere; Loimaa Regional Hospital, Loimaa; Rauma Regional Hospital, Rauma; Lapland Central Hospital, Rovaniemi; Kanta-Häme Central Hospital, Hämeenlinna; Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio; ORTON Orthopaedic Hospital of the Invalid Foundation, Helsinki; and COXA Hospital for Joint Replacement, Tampere, Finland.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the performance of biological drugs in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in a routine care setting, using the Finnish national register of biological treatment (ROB-FIN). METHODS: Patients with PsA who started therapy with infliximab or etanercept between June 2000 and February 2006 (n = 127) were followed for up to 24 months. Response was evaluated using American College of Rheumatology response criteria including individual measures. RESULTS: Significantly diminished values for swollen and tender joints, patient's global and pain assessments, doctor's global assessment of disease activity, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, C-reactive protein, and Health Assessment Questionnaire score were observed within 3 months after commencement of both infliximab and etanercept. Values remained significantly lower throughout the 24 months of followup. ACR20 response at 3 months was 79% (n = 22/28) for infliximab and 76% (n = 34/45) for etanercept. The first biological drug was discontinued in 16% due to lack of effectiveness and in 6% due to adverse events. CONCLUSION: Anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha therapy, often combined with conventional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, appeared to have limited toxicity and persistent effectiveness for up to 2 years in a cohort of Finnish patients with severe peripheral PsA.