OJRA  Vol.9 No.1 , February 2019
Perioperative Use of Methotrexate and Tumor Necrosis Factor α Inhibitors Combination Therapy Is Not Likely to Increase Post-Operative Infection Rate in the National Veterans Health Administration Administrative Databases
Objective: The aim of the study is to assess the risk of post-operative outcome in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients continuing versus stopping combination therapy of methotrexate (MTX) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) or tumor necrosis factor α inhibitors (TNF) prior to surgery. Methods: Using the United States Veterans Affairs (VA) databases, we identified surgical procedures in a 17-year cohort of RA patients. Among those patients, those on MTX + HCQ or MTX + TNF were identified. Post-operative outcome variables include infection, length of post-operative hospital stay and death. Results: We identified a total of 29,708 surgeries in RA patients. Among them, we identified the most recent elective surgeries without pre-operative infection in 16,174 patients. There were 783 and 550 patients on MTX + HCQ and MTX + TNF, respectively. The rates of post-op infection were 5% and 4% for the MTX + HCQ and MTX + TNF continuing medication groups, respectively, similar to the general RA population (5%). Sensitivity analyses at various time points of discontinuation combination therapies prior to surgery did not show significant change in terms of infection. Conclusions: The prevalence of adverse outcome is low. The proportion of post-operative infection in continuing and discontinuing medicine groups is similar for both MTX + HCQ and MTX + TNF. While we were unable to formally compare proportions of post-operative infection among the two groups, these preliminary findings do not support the hypothesis that continuing either MTX + TNF or MTX + HCQ combination during perioperative period increases post-operative infection compared with discontinuation prior to therapy.
Cite this paper
Juo, H. , Peck, A. , Monsell, S. and Ng, B. (2019) Perioperative Use of Methotrexate and Tumor Necrosis Factor α Inhibitors Combination Therapy Is Not Likely to Increase Post-Operative Infection Rate in the National Veterans Health Administration Administrative Databases. Open Journal of Rheumatology and Autoimmune Diseases, 9, 1-13. doi: 10.4236/ojra.2019.91001.
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