Predicting Remission Among Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis Starting Tocilizumab Monotherapy: Model Derivation and Remission Score Development


Objective Most patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) strive to consolidate their treatment from methotrexate combinations. The objective of this analysis was to identify patients with RA most likely to achieve remission with tocilizumab (TCZ) monotherapy by developing and validating a prediction model and associated remission score. Methods We identified four TCZ monotherapy randomized controlled trials in RA and chose two for derivation and two for internal validation. Remission was defined as a Clinical Disease Activity Index score less than 2.8 at 24 weeks post randomization. We used logistic regression to assess the association between each predictor and remission. After selecting variables and assessing model performance in the derivation data set, we assessed model performance in the validation data set. The cohorts were combined to calculate a remission prediction score. Results The variables selected included younger age, male sex, lower baseline Clinical Disease Activity Index score, shorter RA disease duration, region of the world (Europe and South America [increased odds of remission] versus Asia and North America), no previous exposure to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and/or methotrexate, lower baseline Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index score, and baseline hematocrit. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.739 in the derivation data set and 0.756 in the validation data set. Patients were categorized into three remission prediction categories based on the remission prediction score: 40% in the low (less than 10% probability of remission), 45% in the intermediate (10%-25% probability), and 15% in the moderate remission prediction category (greater than 25% probability). Conclusion We used easily accessible factors to develop a remission prediction score to predict RA remission at 24 weeks after initializing TCZ monotherapy. These results may provide guidance to clinicians tailoring treatment options based on clinical characteristics.

ACR Open Rheumatology
David Sontag
David Sontag
Professor of EECS

My research focuses on advancing machine learning and artificial intelligence, and using these to transform health care.