Extension study of participants from the trial of early aggressive therapy in juvenile idiopathic arthritis
OBJECTIVE: To follow children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) who had completed at least 6 months of the TRial of Early Aggressive Therapy (TREAT) clinical study for an additional 2 years, describing safety of early aggressive treatment, disease activity, function, and duration of clinical inactive disease (CID) during followup. METHODS: Children were treated as per provider's discretion. Physician, patient/parent, and laboratory measures of disease status as well as safety information were collected at clinic visits every 3 months for up to 2 years. RESULTS: Forty-eight children were followed for a mean of 28 months (range 12-42) beyond the end of the TREAT study. Half of patients were in CID for > 50% of their followup time. Overall, 88% of patients achieved CID at > 1 study visit and 54% achieved clinical remission while taking medication. Six patients were in CID for the duration of the study, and, of those, 2 achieved a full year of clinical remission while not taking medication. Active disease was mild: mean physician's global assessment 2.4, active joint count 3.5, parent global evaluation 2.4, Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire 0.32, erythrocyte sedimentation rate 19 mm/h, and morning stiffness 23 min. There were no serious adverse events or adverse events reported at grade 3 or higher of Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events. CONCLUSION: Early aggressive therapy in this cohort of patients with polyarticular JIA who had high initial disease activity was associated with prolonged periods of CID in the majority of patients during followup. Those not in CID had low levels of disease activity.
School of Medicine