Portuguese recommendations for the use of biological therapies in patients with axial spondyloarthritis – December 2011 update
Objective: To develop recommendations for the treatment of axial spondyloarthritis with biological therapies, endorsed by the Portuguese Society of Rheumatology.
Methods: These treatment recommendations were formulated by Portuguese rheumatologists based on literature evidence and consensus opinion. A draft of the recommendations and supporting evidence was first circulated to all Portuguese rheumatologists and their suggestions were incorporated in the draft. Secondly, at a national meeting the recommendations were presented, discussed and revised. Finally, the document resulting from this meeting was again circulated to all Portuguese rheumatologists, who anonymously voted online on the level of agreement with the recommendations.
Results: A consensus was achieved regarding the initiation, assessment of response and switching biological therapies in patients with axial spondyloarthritis.
Conclusion: These recommendations may be used for guidance in deciding which patients with axial spondyloarthritis should be treated with biological therapies. They cover a rapidly evolving area of therapeutic intervention. As more evidence becomes available and more biological therapies are licensed, these recommendations will have to be updated.
Portugal; Axial spondyloarthritis; Ankylosing spondylitis; Biological therapies; Guidelines.