Does Periodontitis Affect the Treatment Response of Biologics in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis?

Masahiro Tachibana; Yukio Yonemoto; Koichi Okamura; Takahito Suto; Hideo Sakane; Tetsuya Kaneko; Trang Thuy Dam; Chisa Okura; Tsuyoshi Tajika; Yoshito Tsushima; Hirotaka Chikuda


Arthritis Res Ther. 2020;22(178) 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction


Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and periodontitis (PD) have been suggested to share many clinical and pathological features. However, few reports have investigated the relationship between the degree of PD and the treatment response to RA.

This study aimed to examine the relationship between the extent of PD and the treatment response to biologics in RA patients using FDG-PET/CT.

Methods: Sixty RA patients (male, n = 14; female, n = 46; average age, 58.3 years) treated with biologic agents were included in this study. FDG-PET/CT was performed at baseline and 6 months after the initiation of biological therapy. The maximum standardized uptake value (SUVmax) was used as a representative value for the assessment of the FDG uptake in periodontal tissue and joints including the bilateral shoulders, elbows, wrists, hip, knees, and ankle joints. The Disease Activity Score (DAS) 28-CRP and the following clinical parameters were assessed: C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (ACPA), rheumatoid factor (RF), and matrix metalloproteinase 3 (MMP-3). The relationship between the treatment response of RA and the baseline SUVmax of the periodontal tissue was evaluated.

Results: The baseline periodontal SUVmax was related to patient age (r = 0.302, p = 0.009) and the ACPA level (r = 0.265, p = 0.025). The DAS28-CRP, CRP, ESR, MMP-3, and joint SUVmax values were significantly decreased after 6 months of biological therapy. However, the mean periodontal SUVmax, ACPA, and RF showed no significant changes after treatment. There was a significantly negative correlation between the baseline periodontal SUVmax and the treatment response of DAS28-CRP (r = − 0.369, p = 0.004).

Conclusion: There was a negative correlation between the extent of PD at baseline and the treatment response of RA patients who received biological therapy. The evaluation of the periodontal condition is considered to be an essential part for the management of RA.