Survey of current practices in the management of anti-TNF failure in juvenile spondyloarthritis

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Clinical and experimental rheumatology




OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the current practices in management of patients with juvenile spondyloarthritis (JSpA) who failed anti-tumour necrosis factor agents (anti-TNF). METHODS: An online survey was distributed to Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) members of the JIA workgroup. Data collection included estimated number of JSpA patients who have failed anti-TNF therapy over two-year period, reasons for discontinuing anti-TNF therapy and other medications used afterward. The JSpA population was de ned as the following subtypes: enthesitis-related arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, undifferentiated spondyloarthritis, juvenile ankylosing spondylitis (AS) i.e. meeting modi ed NY criteria for AS before age 16, and reactive arthritis. Findings were summarised using descriptive statistics. RESULTS: The survey response rate was 36% (n= 60/169). The majority of participants were paediatric rheumatologists (93%). Many physicians have JSpA patients who failed anti-TNF therapy (63%). The most common reason for changing anti-TNF therapy was secondary non-response (72%). Sacroiliitis was the most important factor considered when assessing response to an anti-TNF agent and the most common reason for primary non-response (45%). When assessing anti-TNF failure for sacroiliitis, many (65%) felt imaging of the sacroiliac joints was the most important aspect in their decision making. The majority try a second anti-TNF agent after initial anti-TNF failure (87%) and switch to another medication class after 2 anti-TNF agents have failed (62%). CONCLUSIONS: More than half of paediatric rheumatologists surveyed have at least one JSpA patient who failed anti-TNF therapy. The majority failed because of secondary non-response. Sacroiliitis is an important but challenging aspect to manage for patients with JSpA.