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01.12.2017 | Short report | Ausgabe 1/2017 Open Access

Pediatric Rheumatology 1/2017

A comparison of three treatment strategies in recent onset non-systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: initial 3-months results of the BeSt for Kids-study

Pediatric Rheumatology > Ausgabe 1/2017
P. C. E. Hissink Muller, D. M. C. Brinkman, D. Schonenberg, Y. Koopman-Keemink, I. C. J. Brederije, W. P. Bekkering, T. W. Kuijpers, M. A. J. van Rossum, L. W. A. van Suijlekom-Smit, J. M. van den Berg, C. F. Allaart, R. ten Cate



Combination therapy with prednisone or etanercept may induce earlier and/or more improvement in disease activity in Disease Modifying Anti Rheumatic Drug (DMARD) naïve non-systemic Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA) patients. Here we present three months clinical outcome of initial treatments of the BeSt-for-Kids study.


Included patients were randomized to either: 1. initial DMARD-monotherapy (sulfasalazine (SSZ) or methotrexate (MTX)), 2. Initial MTX / prednisolone-bridging, 3. Initial combination MTX/etanercept. Percentage inactive disease, adjusted (a) ACR Pedi30, 50 and 70 and JADAS after 6 and 12 weeks of treatment (intention to treat analysis) and side effects are reported.


94 patients (67% girls, 32 (arm 1), 32 (arm 2) and 30 (arm 3) with median (InterQuartileRange) age of 9.1 (4.7-12.9) years were included. 38% were ANA positive, 10 had oligo-articular disease, 68 polyarticular JIA and 16 psoriatic arthritis. Baseline median (IQR) ACRpedi-scores: VAS physician 49 (40-58) mm, VAS patient 54 (37-70) mm, ESR 6.5 (2-14.8)mm/hr, active joint count 8 (5-12), limited joint count 3 (1-5), CHAQ score 0.88 (0.63-1.5). In arm 1, 17 started with MTX, 15 with SSZ.
After 3 months, aACR Pedi 50 was reached by 10/32 (31%), 12/32(38%) and 16/30 (53%) (p = 0.19) and aACR Pedi 70 was reached by 8/32 (25%), 6/32(19%) and 14/30(47%) in arms 1-3 (p = 0.04). Toxicity was similar. Few serious adverse events were reported.


After 3 months of treatment in a randomized trial, patients with recent-onset JIA achieved significantly more clinical improvement (aACRPedi70) on initial combination therapy with MTX / etanercept than on initial MTX or SSZ monotherapy.

Trial registration

NTR1574. Registered 3 December 2008.
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