Progression of radiologic damage in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in clinical remission.
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0.001). Clinically relevant progression of damage was more frequent in patients with exacerbation (23%) than in those with persistent remission (7%) (P = 0.001). However, in 15% of patients with persistent remission, an erosion developed in a previously unaffected joint. In the logistic regression analysis, the area under the curve of the Disease Activity Score, a continuous measure, was related to the chance of radiologic progression, regardless of the absolute disease activity level. Results were similar when other definitions of remission were used. CONCLUSION: Although rare, clinically relevant progression of joint damage does occur in patients with RA in prolonged remission. This suggests the need for markers that predict progression during periods of low disease activity and for drugs that prevent damage that is independent of disease activity.