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Analysis of efficacy and safety of abatacept for rheumatoid arthritis: systematic review and meta-analysis

1, 2


  1. Division of Rheumatology and Nephrology, Children’s Medical Center, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.
  2. Division of Rheumatology and Nephrology, Children’s Medical Center, The Second Xiangya Hospital, Central South University, Changsha, China.

2023 Vol.41, N°9
PI 1882, PF 1900
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PMID: 36912326 [PubMed]

Received: 04/10/2022
Accepted : 03/02/2023
In Press: 07/03/2023
Published: 14/03/2023


Abatacept (Orencia) is a drug used to treat patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The agent improves patients’ pain and joint inflammation through modulation of a co-stimulatory signal necessary for T cell activation. We aimed to analyse the efficacy and safety of abatacept in the management of rheumatoid arthritis using the Cochrane systematic review.
We conducted a systematic search among PubMed, Cochrane central register of controlled trials, Web of Science, and Embase databases from the establishment of these databases to April 2022. The effectiveness and safety of abatacept in treating rheumatoid arthritis were assessed in terms of American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 20/50/70/90 responses, Disease Activity Score-28 for Rheumatoid Arthritis with C-reactive protein (DAS-28-CRP), and adverse events. The Relative Risks (RRs) of relative safety and efficacy and their corresponding 95 confidence intervals (CIs) were used to compute the pooled assessments of the outcomes. We used the review manager software version 5.4 to analyse our data, and the PRISMA checklist 2020 was used to ensure that our work conforms with the specification of meta-analysis.
Our study included 13 randomised control trials with a total of 5978 adult patients from different geographic regions and races. Following the combined analysis of these enrolled studies, the RRs for ACR 20/50/70/90 responses were 1.57 [95%CI 1.27, 1.93], 1.84 [95%CI 1.38, 2.44], 2.36 [95%CI 1.60, 3.47], and 2.95 [95%CI 1.88, 4.63], respectively. Such findings suggest that abatacept-treated patients were 1.57, 1.84, 2.36, and 2.95 times more likely to achieve ACR 20/50/70/90 responses, respectively, than those treated with placebo, conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, and or other biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. An exclusive comparison of abatacept and other biologic/targeted synthetic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (b/tsDMARDs) indicated that participants who were treated with abatacept could achieve better ACR responses than those treated with other b/tsDMARDs. Adverse events were less seen in abatacept-treated patients than in those who were given other b/tsDMARDs.
This meta-analysis concludes that in adult with rheumatoid arthritis, abatacept can achieve better health outcomes than other biologic drugs.


Rheumatology Article