Prevalence of vertebral deformities and symptomatic vertebral fractures in corticosteroid treated patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
SourceRheumatology, 40, 12, (2001), pp. 1375-1383
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectChronic arthritis: Pathogenesis and treatment; Chronische arthritis: Pathogenese en behandeling
OBJECTIVE: This study was designed to determine whether the prevalence of vertebral deformities in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treated with corticosteroids (Cs) is higher than in RA patients not receiving Cs therapy. PATIENTS AND METHODS: This multicentre cross-sectional study included 205 patients with RA who were receiving Cs orally on a daily basis and 205 patients with RA who did not receive Cs, matched for sex and age. Vertebral deformities were scored according to the Kleerekoper method. RESULTS: Vertebral deformities were found in 52 (25%) patients on Cs and in 26 (13%) patients not on Cs. Sixteen (8%) patients in the group on Cs had experienced clinical manifestations of an acute vertebral fracture in the past vs only three patients (1.5%) among those not on Cs. The use of Cs tended to increase the risk of developing a vertebral deformity [adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.56, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.81-2.99] and symptomatic vertebral fracture (adjusted OR 1.42, 95% CI 0.24-8.32). Each 1-mg increase in the current daily Cs dose increased the risk of a vertebral deformity (adjusted OR 1.05, 95% CI 0.98-1.13) and of a symptomatic vertebral fracture (adjusted OR 1.05, 95% CI 0.89-1.24). CONCLUSION: There is a higher prevalence of vertebral deformities and clinical manifestations of vertebral fractures in patients on Cs than in those not on Cs. Our data indicate that the use of Cs and each 1-mg increase in the current daily Cs dose may increase the risk of development of a vertebral deformity and symptomatic vertebral fracture in patients with RA.
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