April 28, 2017
1 min read

Adalimumab did not provide significant relief of pain, synovitis in patients with hand OA

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LAS VEGAS — Patients with erosive hand osteoarthritis treated with adalimumab experienced no significant alleviation of pain, synovitis or bone marrow lesions compared with patients treated with placebo, according to results presented here.

“The results from our trial showed that adalimumab was no different to placebo to alleviate pain, synovitis or [bone marrow lesions] BMLs in patients with erosive hand osteoarthritis presenting with MRI-detected synovitis,” Dawn Aitken, PhD, said at the Osteoarthritis Research Society International World Congress.

Aitken and colleagues randomly assigned 43 patients (77% were women) with erosive hand osteoarthritis (OA) to receive either 40 mg of adalimumab every other week or placebo for 12 weeks. This was followed by an 8-week washout period and then a second treatment period in which patients received the converse treatment, according to Aitken. She noted primary outcome measure was change in VAS hand pain during the course of 12 weeks, while secondary outcomes were change in Australian/Canadian pain, function and stiffness at 4 weeks, 8 weeks and 12 weeks; change in VAS pain score at 4 weeks and 8 weeks; and change in MRI-detected synovitis and bone marrow lesions at 12 weeks according to the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology hand OA MRI score or the thumb base OA MRI score.

Results showed no differences in the change in VAS pain score between the adalimumab group and the placebo group.

“The adalimumab group had a decrease in VAS pain of 3 and the placebo [group] had a decrease of –0.7 with a mean treatment effect of –2.3, which was not clinically or statistically significant,” Aitken said.

She noted the study had no placebo effect and had small changes in the VAS pain score, irrespective of the order that patients received treatment.

“There was no clinically or statistically significant differences found for any of our secondary outcomes, including patient-reported outcomes and our MRI findings,” Aitken said. “There are small changes in synovitis and bone marrow lesion scores in both groups.” – by Casey Tingle


Aitken D, et al. Paper #3. Presented at: Osteoarthritis Research Society International World Congress; April 27-30, 2017; Las Vegas.

Disclosure: This study was supported by AbbVie.