UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Micro-structural bone changes in early rheumatoid arthritis persist over 1-year despite use of disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug therapy Feehan, Lynne M; Li, Linda L; McKay, Heather A


Background: We used High Resolution – peripheral Quantitative CT (HR-pQCT) imaging to examine peri-articular bone quality in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and explore whether bone quality improved over 12-months in individuals receiving care consistent with practice guidelines. Methods: A 1-year longitudinal cohort study (Baseline and 12-months) evaluating individuals with early RA compared to age/sex-matched peers. Personal demographic and health and lifestyle information were collected for all. Whereas, active joint count (AJC28), functional limitation, and RA medications were also collected for RA participants. HR-pQCT imaging analyses quantified bone density and microstructure in the Metacarpal Head (MH) and Ultra-Ultra-Distal (UUD) radius at baseline and 12-months. Analyses included a General Linear Modelling repeated measures analyses examined main effects for disease, time, and interaction on bone quality. Results: Participants (n = 60, 30 RA/30 NRA); 80% female, mean age 53 (varying from 21 to 74 years). At baseline, RA participants were on average 7.7 months since diagnosis, presenting with few active joints (AJC28: 30% none, remaining 70% Median 4 active joints) and minimal self-reported functional limitation (mHAQ-DI0–3: 0.56). At baseline, 29 of 30 RA participants had received one or more non-biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARD);13 in combination with glucocorticoid and 1 in combination with a biologic medication. One participant only received glucocorticoid medication. Four RA participants withdrew leaving 26 pairs (n = 52) at 12-months; 23 pairs (n = 46) with UUD and 22 pairs (n = 44) with MH baseline and 12-month images to compare. Notable RA/NRA differences (p 

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