This study has been performed To evaluate the development of radiological changes of the cervical spine in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in the NEO-RACo trial treated with an intensive, remission-targeted combination of conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARD) and additional infliximab (IFX) or placebo (PLA) for the first 6 months.

Ninety-nine patients with early, DMARD-naive RA were treated with a triple combination of csDMARD and prednisolone, and randomized to double-blindly receive either IFX (FIN-RACo+IFX) or PLA (FIN-RACo+PLA) infusions during the first 6 months. After 2 years the treatment strategies became unrestricted, but the treatment goal was strict NEO-RACo remission. At the 10-year visit, radiographs of the cervical spine were taken of 85 patients (38 in the FIN-RACo+IFX group and 47 in the FIN-RACo+PLA group). The study was registered at ClinicalTrials.There were 4/85 patients (4.7%) with cervical spine involvement (CSI) by 10 years. Atlantoaxial subluxation was found in 2/85 patients (2.4%), both in the FIN-RACo+IFX group, and none in the FIN-RACo+PLA group. Atlantoaxial impaction was found in 1/85 patients (1.2%) in the FIN-RACo+IFX group. Subaxial subluxation was found in 1/85 patients (1.2%).

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