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Acta Médica Costarricense

On-line version ISSN 0001-6002Print version ISSN 0001-6012


SANCHEZ-BENAVIDES, Marvin; PACHECO-SALAZAR, Adolfo  and  MONGE-ZELEDON, Pablo. Serious infections in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with tumour necrosis factor alpha antagonist therapySerious infections in patients with rheumatoid arthritis treated with tumor necrosis factor alpha antagonist therapy. Acta méd. costarric [online]. 2017, vol.59, n.1, pp.15-21. ISSN 0001-6002.

Aim and objetives:

The use of tumour necrosis factor alpha therapy antagonist leads to an increased risk of serious infections in rheumatoid arthritis, with a high morbi-mortality in clinical practice. There are no published data in our country. This study pretends to provide knowledge about the local epidemiology of serious infections and to identify associated risk factors.


An observational and retrospective study, included 50 patients treated at least for one year between 2006-2012. Demographic characteristics, clinical and epidemiological characteristics of serious infections and risk factors associated with serious infections were described.


A predominant female population in middle age was detected. Just one serious infection was described, corresponding to serious skin and soft tissue infection that resolved with intravenous antibiotics. Risk factors were described including inmunosuppresive therapy with steroids and prior surgery.


Demographic profile of analized population and their clinic profile of serious infectios are similar to others populations. Low incidence of serious infections in this cohort could be related with less comorbilities than others populations, although, this topic needs further investigations to corroborate or discard this observation.

Keywords : rheumatoid arthritis; antiTNF therapy; serious infections; epidemiology; disease-modifying anti rheumatic drugs; prevalence.

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