The aim is To investigate whether abatacept (ABA) causes more adverse events (AE) than conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARD) after orthopedic surgery in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

A retrospective multicenter nested case–control study was performed in 18 institutions. Patients receiving ABA (ABA group) were matched individually with patients receiving csDMARD and/or steroids (control group). Postoperative AE included surgical site infection, delayed wound healing, deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, flare, and death. The incidence rates of the AE in both groups were compared with the Mantel-Haenszel test. Risk factors for AE were analyzed by logistic regression model. A total of 3358 cases were collected. After inclusion and exclusion, 2651 patients were selected for matching, and 194 patients in 97 pairs were chosen for subsequent comparative analyses between the ABA and control groups. No between-group differences were detected in the incidence rates of each AE or in the incidence rates of total AE (control vs ABA: 15.5% vs 20.7% in total, 5.2% vs 3.1% in death).

Hence we conclude that Compared with csDMARD and/or steroids without ABA, adding ABA to the treatment does not appear to increase the incidence rates of postoperative AE in patients with RA undergoing orthopedic surgery.

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