Aims Corticosteroid-dependent and colchicine-resistant recurrent pericarditis (RP) is a challenging management problem, in which conventional anti-inflammatory therapy (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, colchicine, corticosteroids) is unable to control the disease. Recent data suggest a potential role for anti-interleukin-1 (IL-1) agents for this condition. This study was designed to assess the safety and efficacy of anti-IL-1 agents in this setting.
Methods We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials and observational studies assessing pericarditis recurrences and drug-related adverse events in patients receiving anti-IL-1 drugs for pericarditis.
Results The meta-analysis assessed 7 studies including 397 pooled patients with RP. The median age was 42 years, 60% were women and the aetiology was idiopathic in 87%. After a median follow-up of 14 months (IQR,12–39), patients receiving anti-IL-1 agents (anakinra or rilonacept) had a significantly reduction in pericarditis recurrences (incidence rate ratio 0.06, 95% CI 0.03 to 0.14), compared with placebo and/or standard medical therapy. Anti-IL-1 agents were associated with increased risk of adverse events compared with placebo (risk ratio (RR) 5.38, 95% CI 2.08 to 13.92): injection-site reactions occurred in 15/41 (36.6%) vs none (RR 14.98, 95% CI 2.09 to 107.09), infections occurred in 13/51 (25.5%) vs 3/41 (7.3%; RR 3.65, 95% CI 1.23 to 10.85). Anti-IL-1 agents were not associated with increased risk of severe adverse events.
Conclusions In patients with RP, anti-IL-1 agents (anakinra and rilonacept) are efficacious for prevention of recurrences, without severe adverse events.
Data availability statement
All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
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