Print version ISSN 0121-5256
LONDONO P., JOHN et al. CHANGES IN THE FUNCTIONAL CAPACITY, QUALITY OF LIFE AND ACTIVITY OF THE DISEASE IN A GROUP OF COLOMBIAN PATIENTS WITH RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS REFRACTORY TO THE CONVENTIONAL TREATMENTS, WHO WERE TREATED WITH INFLIXIMAB AS RESCUE THERAPY. rev.fac.med [online]. 2009, vol.17, n.1, pp. 40-49. ISSN 0121-5256.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory process that effects mostly the joints leading to destruction of the joint, deformity, incapacity and deterioration of the quality of life. As a result of technologic advances and the better knowledge of the pathophisiology of the disease, there are new therapeutic options with biologic agents. There are no reports from Colombia about the experience with Infliximab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The objective of this study was to quantify the changes in quality of life, functional capacity, signs and symptoms related to the inflammatory activity and the therapeutic efficacy, in a group of Colombian patients with long term rheumatoid arthritis (13±10 years) refractory to conventional treatments. A total of 31 patients, 22 women and 9 men, aged 51±12 years and an average evolution of disease of 13.2±10.4 years, who had active disease in spite of having received Methrotexate or Leflunomide in combination with other agents, such as low doses of glucocorticoids, analgesics and antiinflammatories, received infusions of Infliximab at doses of 3mg/kg during weeks 0, 2, 6, 14, and 22, following the guidelines of the Colombian Rheumatology Association. It was determined that the median functional capacity measured by HAQ-DI went from 1,2±0,54 to 0,29±0.28, that the quality of life measured by Spanish-AIMS improved globally from 48,4±14.4 to 29,4±8.2 in each of its eight components. There was also improvement in the components of SF-12 since the physical health went from 39,9±13,7 to 55,5±24,1 and mental health from 57,0±24,2 to 74,6±17,0. Although 71% of the patients had some type of side effect, they were minor and the medication was not stopped. These findings agree with the international reports that the administration on Infliximab induces a significative improvement in those patients with refractory rheumatoid arthritis. Taking into account the potential side effects and the real risk of tuberculosis in our country, the administration of Infliximab must be carried out in specialized units with well trained personnel and under the strict supervision of a rheumatologist.
Keywords : rheumatoid arthritis; quality of life; infliximab.