The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2018 American College of Rheumatology and Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (ACR/ARHP) Annual Meeting in Chicago, Illinois. MPR’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in rheumatology. Check back for the latest news from ACR/ARHP 2018 .

CHICAGO — Patients receiving intra-articular steroid injections combined with tofacitinib treatment were more likely to achieve remission for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with rapid radiographic progression (RRP) compared with those receiving tofacitinib alone, according to study data presented at the 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting, October 19-24, in Chicago, Illinois.

According to a single-blind randomized controlled trial, patients with RRP RA (n=39) were randomly assigned to tofacitinib (T group) or tofacitinib plus intra-articular steroid injections (T plus I group). Study participants were in the early stages of RA (disease duration <6 months) and were each taking methotrexate at baseline. For patients receiving injections, palpate examinations of joints were performed every 4 weeks and injections were intensified at any observed swollen joints. Clinical remission and radiographic nonprogression were assessed at the 52-week end point.

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A greater proportion of patients in the T plus I group achieved remission at week 52 (29.2%) compared with the T group (21.3%; P <.05). Additionally, a greater proportion of the T plus I group achieved radiographic nonprogression (33.4%) compared with the T group (23.7%; P <.05). These results support combination therapy with intra-articular steroid injection and tofacitinib to achieve clinical and radiographic remission in patients with early RRP RA.

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Kume K, Amano K, Yamada S, Kanazawa T, Hatta K. Combination of intra-articular steroid injection and tofacitinib more effective than tofacitinib in rapid radiographic progression patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Presented at: ACR/ARHP 2018 Annual Meeting; October 19-24, 2018; Chicago, IL. Abstract 596.

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This article originally appeared on Rheumatology Advisor