Drug retention and discontinuation reasons between seven biologics in patients with Takayasu arteritis

Corrado Campochiaro, Alessandro Tomelleri, Silvia Sartorelli, Giulio Cavalli, Giacomo De Luca, Elena Baldissera, Lorenzo Dagna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: We retrospectively investigated drug retention rate (DRR) and reasons for discontinuation of seven biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) in Takayasu's arteritis (TA) in a real-world setting. Methods: TA patients followed-up in our center fulfilling the 1990 ACR criteria and treated with ≥1 bDMARD were selected. Data about disease duration, number of bDMARDs, reasons for bDMARDs discontinuation, and concomitant conventional synthetic (cs)DMARDs were collected. Survival curves were examined by the Kaplan-Meier method and compared using a stratified log-rank test. 24-month DRR was calculated. Hazard ratio (HR) for concomitant csDMARDs and for previous bDMARDs was evaluated. A comparative sub-analysis between anti-TNFα drugs and tocilizumab was performed. Results: We identified 50 patients and 86 bDMARD-courses. No significant differences were observed in age and disease duration between the seven groups. Infliximab was the most frequent first-line bDMARD (78.6%). At bDMARDs initiation, all patients were prescribed prednisone (mean dose, 13.5 ± 10.3 mg/day) and 85.2% concomitant csDMARD therapy. 43% of treatment courses were stopped by 24 months. Golimumab had the highest DRR (71.4%), followed by infliximab (69%), adalimumab (56.3%), abatacept (50%), tocilizumab (41.1%), anakinra (0%) and rituximab (0%), p = 0.016. Concomitant csDMARDs therapy showed positive effects on DRR (HR=2.87, 95% CI=1.19–6.92, p = 0.019). Anti-TNFα drugs had significantly higher DRR compared to tocilizumab (67.2% vs 41.1%, p = 0.028). Even in these subgroups, csDMARDs showed positive effects on DRR (HR=3.79, 95% CI=1.49–9.6, p = 0.005). Conclusions: Anti-TNFα agents had the highest DRR overall and a higher DRR in a head-to-head comparison with tocilizumab. Concomitant csDMARDs had a significant positive effect on bDMARDs DRR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)509-514
Number of pages6
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Anti-TNF
  • Biologic agents
  • Retention rate
  • Takayasu arteritis
  • Tocilizumab
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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