A comparison of etanercept and methotrexate in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis

Joan M. Bathon, Richard W. Martin, Roy M. Fleischmann, John R. Tesser, Michael H. Schiff, Edward C. Keystone, Mark C. Genovese, Mary Chester Wasko, Larry W. Moreland, Arthur L. Weaver, Joseph Markenson, Barbara K. Finck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Etanercept, which blocks the action of tumor necrosis factor, reduces disease activity in patients with long-standing rheumatoid arthritis. Its efficacy in reducing disease activity and preventing joint damage in patients with active early rheumatoid arthritis is unknown. Methods: We treated 632 patients with early rheumatoid arthritis with either twice-weekly subcutaneous etanercept (10 or 25 mg) or weekly oral methotrexate (mean, 19 mg per week) for 12 months. Clinical response was defined as the percent improvement in disease activity according to the criteria of the American College of Rheumatology. Bone erosion and joint-space narrowing were measured radiographically and scored with use of the Sharp scale. On this scale, an increase of 1 point represents one new erosion or minimal narrowing. Results: As compared with patients who received methotrexate, patients who received the 25-mg dose of etanercept had a more rapid rate of improvement, with significantly more patients having 20 percent, 50 percent, and 70 percent improvement in disease activity during the first six months (P

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1586-1593
Number of pages8
JournalNew England Journal of Medicine
Volume343
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 30 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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