Similar biologic drug response regardless of radiographic status in axial spondyloarthritis: data from the BSRBR-AS registry

Xabier Michelena* (Corresponding Author), Sizheng Steven Zhao, Sayam Dubash, Linda E Dean, Gareth T Jones, Helena Marzo-Ortega

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVES: To describe the baseline characteristics, bDMARD response and drug survival of axSpA patients in the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register in Ankylosing Spondylitis (BSRBR-AS) according to radiographic status.

METHODS: BSRBR-AS is a national prospective cohort including axSpA participants classified according to the ASAS criteria. In this analysis, baseline data of patients starting bDMARDs were compared. Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Scores (ASDAS) for low disease status, clinically important improvement (CII) and major improvement (MI) at one year were used to assess treatment response. Cox proportional hazard analysis was performed after adjusting for clinically relevant cofounders.

RESULTS: 1,145 axSpA patients were included. Higher male prevalence, older age and longer disease duration was seen in the r-axSpA subgroup. Based on a complete case analysis (290 patients), two thirds of patients achieved ASDAS low disease state at one year regardless of radiographic status (nr-axSpA: 64.2% vs r-axSpA: 66.1). No statistically significant differences were seen between the subgroups in attaining ASDAS CII (nr-axSpA: 50.7% vs r-axSpA: 44.7%) or MI (nr-axSpA: 20% vs r-axSpA: 18.7%). Drug survival probability curves were similar for both subgroups and hazard ratio for nr-axSpA/axSpA was 0.94 (95% CI 0.69-1.28) when adjusted for sex, age, baseline ASDAS-CRP, smoking status, disease duration, HLA-B27 and prescribed biologic.

CONCLUSIONS: Although there appeared to be some differences in the baseline characteristics when exploring this cohort according to radiographic status which are likely related to the natural history of the disease, the level of biologic response and drug survival was comparable between nr-axSpA and r-axSpA.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberkeab070
Number of pages6
Early online date27 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27 Jan 2021


  • ankylosing spondylitis
  • epidemiology
  • biological therapy
  • drug survival
  • axial spondyloarthritis


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