High BMI is associated with lower TNF-α inhibitor serum trough levels and higher disease activity in patients with axial spondyloarthritis

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BACKGROUND: TNF-α inhibitor (TNFi) serum trough levels have previously been found to be related to disease activity in axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA). However, most research regarding serum trough levels has been conducted in patients who only recently started TNFi therapy. Therefore, our objective was to explore TNFi serum trough level measurements in relation to disease activity and BMI in the total axSpA population in daily clinical practice, also including patients on long-term TNFi therapy.

METHODS: Consecutive patients from the Groningen Leeuwarden Axial Spondyloarthritis (GLAS) cohort were approached for a TNFi serum trough level measurement during their regular outpatient visit at the UMCG. Spearman's correlation coefficient was used to analyse the relation of serum trough levels with disease activity and BMI. Logistic regression was performed to analyse the relation between therapeutic drug levels and disease activity, corrected for potential confounders, including BMI.

RESULTS: Thirty-four patients on adalimumab and 21 patients on etanercept were included. Mean age was 45 ± 12 years, 47% were male, median BMI was 26.4 (IQR 23.9-32.5) and median treatment duration was 41 months (range 2-126). According to definitions of Sanquin, 47% of patients had therapeutic serum trough levels. No significant correlations were found between TNFi levels and disease activity (ASDAS-CRP: adalimumab: ρ = -0.16, p = 0.39; etanercept: ρ = -0.29, p = 0.20). TNFi levels were moderately correlated with BMI (adalimumab: ρ = -0.48, p = 0.004; etanercept: ρ = -0.50, p = 0.021). Patients with active disease (ASDAS ≥ 2.1) showed higher BMI than patients with inactive disease (median 29.7 vs. 24.6, p = 0.015). In multivariable regression analyses, BMI was identified as the only confounder for the relationship between therapeutic drug levels and ASDAS.

CONCLUSION: In this cross-sectional, observational study of axSpA patients mainly on long-term treatment with TNFi, higher BMI was significantly associated with lower adalimumab and etanercept serum trough levels and higher disease activity.

Originele taal-2English
Aantal pagina's9
TijdschriftArthritis Research & Therapy
Nummer van het tijdschrift1
Vroegere onlinedatum17-okt.-2023
StatusPublished - 2023

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