Treatment before patients develop rheumatism provides lastin
A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, proof-of-concept trial. Adults aged 18 years or older with arthralgia clinically suspected of progressing to rheumatoid arthritis and MRI-detected subclinical joint inflammation were eligible for enrolment across 13 rheumatology outpatient clinics (1:1) to a single intramuscular glucocorticoid injection (120 mg) and a 1-year course of oral methotrexate (up to 25 mg/week), or placebo (single injection and tablets for 1 year). A total of 236 were enrolled and randomly assigned to active treatment (n=119) or placebo (n=117). At 2 years, the frequency of the primary endpoint was similar between the groups (23 [19%] of 119 participants in the treatment group vs 21 [18%] of 117 in the placebo group; hazard ratio 0·81, 95% CI 0·45 to 1·48). Physical functioning improved more in the treatment group during the first 4 months and remained better than in the placebo group. Similarly, pain, morning stiffness of joints, presenteeism, and MRI-detected joint inflammation showed a sustained improvement in the treatment group compared with the placebo group.