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The adherence to ASAS classification criteria and to ASAS recommendations for the use of anti-TNH-alpha agents in axial spondyloarthritis


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CER6929
2014 Vol.32, N°4
PI 0465, PF 0470
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PMID: 24850468 [PubMed]

Received: 29/08/2013
Accepted : 20/11/2013
In Press: 21/05/2014
Published: 23/07/2014

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:
To determine the adherence of practicing rheumatologists, before and after an educational project, to Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) classification criteria and to ASAS recommendations for the use of anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha agents in patients with axial spondyloarthritis (SpA).
METHODS:
The project involved 53 rheumatologists attending 2 educational meetings on an update of SpA. Each meeting included interactive sessions on 1) clinical cases, 2) clinimetric evaluation, including ASAS core set for daily practice and 3) imaging. Diagnostic and therapeutic approach of each participant was tested using short clinical cases, obtained from real-life rheumatology settings, at the beginning and at the end of this educational project. Each case for diagnostic (n=10) or therapeutic purpose (n=10) had 10 possible choices. Each participant gave a score from 0 (total disagreement) to 10 (total agreement) for each choice.
RESULTS:
At baseline, the rheumatologists had an excellent agreement with ASAS classification criteria for axial SpA and anti-TNF-alpha treatment according to ASAS recommendations with a further significant improvement after the educational programme. In axial SpA cases with acute anterior uveitis (AU) or Crohn`s disease, anti-TNF-alpha treatment was indicated mainly as monoclonal anti-TNF antibody. In presence of elevated levels of CRP, anti-TNF option has been considered useful.
CONCLUSIONS:
Practicing rheumatologists had a satisfying adherence to ASAS classification criteria and to ASAS recommendations for the use of anti-TNF-alpha agents for patients with axial SpA. Extra-articular manifestations and other variables might play a role in the decision-process of the management of axial SpA.

Rheumatology Article