Hong Kong Med J 2012;18:108–14 | Number 2, April 2012
Tight control early rheumatoid arthritis clinic in Hong Kong: a pilot study
Kitty Y Kwok, MH Leung
Department of Medicine, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, 30 Gascoigne Road, Kowloon, Hong Kong
OBJECTIVE. To evaluate disease activity in early rheumatoid arthritis patients in daily practice 1 year after applying a tight control treatment strategy aimed at lowering disease activity (Disease Activity Score 28, ≤3.2).
DESIGN. Single-arm open trial with historical controls.
SETTING. Regional hospital, Hong Kong.
PATIENTS. All new rheumatoid arthritis patients (onset
RESULTS. Twenty patients in the tight control early rheumatoid arthritis clinic were recruited. Their disease activities were brought into better control than historical control patients who were followed up every 12 weeks. At week 52, clinical variables showed greater improvements in the intensive care group; respective mean scores (based on the Disease Activity Score 28 system) were 2.7 versus 4.2 (P
CONCLUSIONS. Outcomes of patients attending our locally adapted tight control clinic were consistent with previous reports in the literature. The clinic reduced rheumatoid arthritis activity faster and better. It entailed more frequent follow-up and monitoring, however. To address this strategy more objectively, a randomised trial with parallel controls is necessary.
Key words: Antirheumatic agents; Arthritis, rheumatoid; Drug therapy, combination; Early diagnosis; Prognosis
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