Efficacy of a tight-control and treat-to-target strategy in axial spondyloarthritis: results of the open-label, pragmatic, cluster-randomised TICOSPA trial.

To compare the benefits of a tight-control/treat-to-target strategy (TC/T2T) in axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) with those of usual care (UC).Pragmatic, prospective, cluster-randomised, controlled, open, 1-year trial (NCT03043846). 18 centres were randomised (1:1). Patients met Axial Spondylo Arthritis International Society (ASAS) criteria for axSpA, had an Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS) ≥2.1, received non-optimal treatment by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and were biologic-naive.(1) TC/T2T: visits every 4 weeks and prespecified strategy based on treatment intensification until achieving target (ie, ASDAS <2.1); (2) UC: visits every 12 weeks and treatment at the rheumatologist's discretion.Percentage of patients with a ≥30% improvement on the ASAS-Health Index (ASAS-HI). Other efficacy outcomes and adverse events were recorded. A health economic evaluation was performed.Two-level mixed models were used to estimate efficacy outcomes. Cost-effectiveness was assessed by the incremental cost per quality-adjusted life-year (QALY) gained for TC/T2T versus UC.160 patients were included (80/group). Mean (SD) age was 37.9 (11.0) years and disease duration was 3.7 (6.2) years; 51.2% were men. ASDAS at inclusion was 3.0 (0.7), and ASAS-HI was 8.6 (3.7). ASAS-HI improved by ≥30% in 47.3% of the TC/T2T arm and in 36.1% of those receiving UC (non-significant). All secondary efficacy outcomes were more frequent in the TC/T2T arm, although not all statistically significant. Safety was similar in both arms. From a societal perspective, TC/T2T resulted in an additional 0.04 QALY, and saved €472 compared with UC.TC/T2T was not significantly superior to UC for the primary outcome, while many secondary efficacy outcomes favoured it, had a similar safety profile and was favourable from a societal health economic perspective.NCT03043846.

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Authors: Anna Molto, Clementina López-Medina, Filip E Van den Bosch, Annelies Boonen, Casper Webers, Emanuelle Dernis, Floris A van Gaalen, Martin Soubrier, Pascal Claudepierre, Athan Baillet, Mirian Starmans-Kool, Anneke Spoorenberg, Peggy Jacques, Philippe Carron, Rik Joos, Jan Lenaerts, Laure Gossec, Sophie Pouplin, Adeline Ruyssen-Witrand, Laetitia Sparsa, Astrid van Tubergen, Désirée van der Heijde, Maxime Dougados