Evaluation of clinical outcomes in systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis patients treated with biological agents in Turkey: the TURSIS study

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Sozeri B., Demir F., Barut K., Atalay E., PAÇ KISAARSLAN A., Ozdel S., ...More

CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RHEUMATOLOGY, vol.42, no.1, pp.194-201, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.55563/clinexprheumatol/j611kr
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.194-201
  • Erciyes University Affiliated: Yes


Objective Biological drugs are one of the most effective treatment methods for systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) and can significantly prevent morbidity and mortality. This study aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of biologics in patients with SJIA and provide real-life data that might help improve the outcomes. Methods TURSIS was a retrospective multicentre study carried out in patients with SJIA for whom a biological treatment had been initiated between 1st March 2013 and 30th December 2018. Data include patients' characteristics, laboratory-clinical results, outcomes, and safety-related variables. The 24-month follow-up data of the patients and the efficacy and safety of biological drugs were evaluated. Results 147 patients were enrolled. The clinical course of the disease was as follows; it was monocyclic in 38.1%, polycyclic in 49%, and persistent in 12.9% of patients. First-choice biologics were interleukin (IL)-1 blockers in the majority of patients (56.5%), followed by the anti-IL-6 (25.2%) and anti-TNF-alpha drugs (18.4%). Anakinra was the most preferred biologic agent in patients with macrophage activation syndrome (MAS), and tocilizumab was used more frequently in patients with persistent type (p=0.000 and p=0.003). The most frequent switch rate was seen in patients receiving anakinra (n=40/68, 58.8%), and it was most frequently switched to canakinumab (n=32/40, 80%). Better physician's global assessment scores were achieved in patients treated with anakinra in Month 3, compared to other treatments (p=0.04). Conclusion The results of our study support the efficacy of biological drugs in particular anti-IL-1 and anti-IL-6 drugs, in the treatment of SJIA. These treatments resulted in improvement in activity of disease and provide a considerable decrease in the frequency of MAS.