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Low DAS at 4 months predicts sustained DMARD-free remission

Sustained disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD)-free remission (DFR), in this study defined as the absence of clinical arthritis for a minimum of 1 year after stopping DMARD(s), is increasingly achievable in anti-citrullinated protein/peptide antibody (ACPA)-negative and ACPA-positive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) [1,2].

Yet, the pathogenesis underlying sustained DFR-development is unclear; the presence of auto-antibodies, as well as patient characteristics at diagnosis are of importance, but do not exclusively explain sustained DFR [3]. This lack of understanding limits substantiated decisions to discontinue DMARD-treatment in clinical practice.

To gain more insight into sustained DFR in RA, Marloes Verstappen (Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands) and colleagues studied the course of disease activity scores (DAS) over time in relation to the development of sustained DFR, and investigated whether the time course of DAS may be helpf...

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