Mediterr J Rheumatol 2018;29(3):170-2
Canakinumab for refractory RA: a case report
Authors Information

1. Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital of Linköping, Linköping, Sweden

2. Private Practice Rheumatologist, Athens, Greece

3. Rheumatology Outpatient Department, Henry Dunant Hospital Centre, Athens, Greece


Rheumatoid arthritis is a common autoimmune disease leading often to joint destruction and reduced quality of life. We report a case of a young woman with rheumatoid arthritis with fever and rapid, destructive joint involvement verified with magnetic resonance imaging. She had failed therapy with methotrexate and leflunomide, anti-TNF, IL-6 inhibitor, B cell depletion and IL-1RA. Her laboratory results remained insignificant despite the aggressiveness of her disease. In this case, the patient only partly responded to anakinra but developed side effects, and therefore was switched to Canakinumab that led to sustained remission.
There are no clear biomarkers or other clues in order to separate early in the beginning of the disease course if a polyarticular inflammatory spectrum can be IL-1β driven. The young age of the patient at onset of disease, its aggressive course, inflammatory fever without significant laboratory inflammatory markers but with polyarthritis affecting small joints, may raise the suspicion of an IL=1β-driven disease and alert the treating rheumatologist to the use of IL-1β inhibitors early in the disease course.