Liver disease may be more common in patients on methotrexate
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Patients on methotrexate for psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis were more likely to develop liver complications than those taking it for rheumatoid arthritis, according to a study.

Patients with psoriatic disease may be more susceptible to methotrexate hepatotoxicity than those with rheumatoid arthritis (RA); however, direct evidence supporting this notion is lacking.

This study aimed to compare liver disease risk among patients with psoriasis (PsO), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), or RA receiving methotrexate.

In a population-based cohort study, Danish individuals with PsO, PsA, or RA receiving methotrexate were compared according to 4 disease outcomes: mild liver disease, moderate-to-severe liver disease, cirrhosis, and cirrhosis-related hospitalization.

-- Among 5687, 6520, and 28,030 patients with PsO, PsA, and RA, respectively, the incidence rate of any liver disease was greatest for PsO, followed by PsA, and lowest for RA.

-- Compared with patients with RA, patients with PsO were 1.6-3.4 times more likely to develop at least one of the liver disease outcomes, whereas those with PsA were 1.3-1.6 times more likely to develop mild liver disease and cirrhosis after adjusting for demographics, smoking, alcohol use, comorbidities, and methotrexate dose.

Conclusively, PsO, PsA, and RA differentially influence liver disease risk in the setting of methotrexate use independent of other major risk factors. More conservative monitoring should be considered in patients receiving methotrexate for psoriatic disease, particularly in PsO patients.