Evaluation of small bowel injury in patients with rheumatoid arthritis by capsule endoscopy: effects of anti-rheumatoid arthritis drugs.
The medical treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), low-dose corticosteroids, and disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). We evaluated the incidence of small bowel injury in RA patients who were taking anti-RA drugs with or without concomitant NSAIDs by capsule endoscopy.
A total of 28 RA patients who took low-dose corticosteroids and/or DMARDs for more than 1 year were enrolled.
The incidence of red spots did not differ between the 2 groups: 14 of 16 patients (87.5%) in the NSAID group and 11 of 12 patients (91.7%) in the non-NSAID group. In contrast, the incidence of mucosal breaks was significantly higher in the NSAID group than in the non-NSAID group: mucosal breaks were detected in 13 of 16 patients (81.3%) and 4 of 12 patients (33.3%) in the NSAID and non-NSAID groups, respectively. In the NSAID group, mucosal breaks developed in users of preferential cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitors at a frequency similar to that in users of traditional NSAIDs.
Patients taking anti-RA drugs may have an increased frequency of small bowel injury regardless of NSAID use, and NSAID use may be associated with an increased incidence of severe small bowel injury.
Digestion. 2008;78(4):208-13. doi: 10.1159/000190403. Epub 2009 Jan 13.