Table 1

Baseline characteristics of the ESPOIR patients who received methotrexate or its equivalent as a first-line biologic agent for rheumatoid arthritis.

SD-treated patients

(number = 370)

All ESPOIR patients

(number = 813)


Age, years

49.4 ± 11.4 (51.5)

48.1 ± 12.5 (50.1)

Female sex

271 (73.2%)

624 (76.7%)

Disease duration, weeks

15.2 ± 15.4 (57.7)

31.6 ± 37.1 (21.3)

Swollen joint count in 28 joints

7.9 ± 5.4 (7)

7.2 ± 5.4 (6)

Tender joint count in 28 joints

8.7 ± 6.9 (7)

8.4 ± 7 (6)

ESR, mm/1st hour

32.7 ± 25 (26)

29.4 ± 24.6 (22)

CRP, mg/L

24.8 ± 37.7 (11)

20.3 ± 32.4 (9)

    DAS28(ESR)-4v

5.4 ± 1.2 (5.2)

5.1 ± 1.3 (5.1)

IgM RF positivity

204 (55.1%)

376 (45.8%)

ACPA positivity

185 (50%)

315 (38.8%)

Typical erosion on radiographs

66 (17.8%)

100 (13.6%)

vSHS score

6.02 ± 9.7 [54]

3.71 ± 5.71 [54]

ACR/EULAR 2010 criteria

316 (85.4%)

582 (79.1%)

HAQ score

1.03 ± 0.7 (1)

0.979 ± 0.684

First-line agent:

- No DMARDs

n.a.

207 (25.5%)

- DMARDs without structural effect

n.a.

117 (14.4%)

- Methotrexate or leflunomide

370 (100%)

396 (48.7%)

- Other DMARDs with structural effect

n.a.

56 (6.9%)

- Tumor necrosis factor blockers alone or in combination

n.a.

37 (4.6%)


Data are mean ± SD (median) or number (%); n.a.; not available. Baseline CRP level (normally < 10 mg/l), IgM and IgA RF (ELISA, Menarini, France; positive > 9 UI/ml) and anti-CCP2 antibodies (ACPA; ELISA, DiaSorin, France; positive > 50 U/ml) were detected in all patients with the same technique in a central lab (Paris-Bichat). ACPA, anti-citrullinated protein antibody; ACR/EULAR, American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism; CRP, C-reactive protein;

    DAS28(ESR)-4v
, Disease Activity Score in 28 joints-4 variables, using erythrocyte sedimentation rate; DMARD, disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs; ESR, erythrocyte sedimentation rate; HAQ, Health Assessment Questionnaire; IgM, immunoglobulin M; RF, rheumatoid factor; SD, synthetic DMARD; vSHS, van der Heijde-modified Sharp score.

Fautrel et al. Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012 14:R249   doi:10.1186/ar4092

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