Adherence to current recommendations on the use of methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis in Italy: Results from the MARI study

Maria Manara, Gerolamo Bianchi, Eleonora Bruschi, Valeria Azzolini, Nebiat Belai Beyene, Stefania Corbanese, Fabio De Gennaro, Luis S. Martin-Martin, Aldo B. Molica Colella, Maria Rosa Pozzi, Nicoletta Romeo, Tiziana Rossini, Adriana Severino, Luigi Sinigaglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The aim of this study was to assess how the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with methotrexate (MTX) in Italy is adherent to current national recommendations. Methods We performed a cross-sectional and retrospective analysis of data collected from the MARI study, a multicentre survey on Italian patients with RA on treatment with MTX for at least 12 months. Retrospective data included patient's clinical history, previous treatment with MTX, screening tests performed before MTX prescription. Cross-sectional data were collected about current treatment with MTX, concomitant medications, and disease activity. Each proposition of the 2013 Italian recommendations on the use of MTX in RA was reformulated in terms of audit criteria, and adherence to provided indications was evaluated for every patient. Results Among the 1336 included patients, less than 40% had started treatment with MTX within 3-6 months from the diagnosis and nearly 30% of them were prescribed with an initial dose of MTX between 12.5 and 15 mg/week. Screening for HBV and HCV infection as well as chest x-ray was performed in a proportion of patients around 60% and more than 90% of them underwent lab tests before MTX prescription and regularly throughout the treatment. Folic acid supplementation was given at recommended dosages in a high proportion of patients. Conclusion Our survey showed a good adherence of Italian rheumatologists to recommendations regarding safety issues with MTX in RA, but a suboptimal approach in terms of time and dosage of the treatment in the early phases of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-479
Number of pages7
JournalClinical and Experimental Rheumatology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016



  • Methotrexate
  • Recommendations
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

Manara, M., Bianchi, G., Bruschi, E., Azzolini, V., Beyene, N. B., Corbanese, S., Gennaro, F. D., Martin-Martin, L. S., Molica Colella, A. B., Pozzi, M. R., Romeo, N., Rossini, T., Severino, A., & Sinigaglia, L. (2016). Adherence to current recommendations on the use of methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis in Italy: Results from the MARI study. Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, 34(3), 473-479.