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.
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Contributors All authors contributed to the planning, conduct, drafting and reporting of the work. The manuscript was revised and approved by all authors. MI, AA and FP are responsible for the overall content as guarantors.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests MI, MG, ML, ALK and AB have been Advisory Board members for KINIKSA and SOBI.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement All data relevant to the study are included in the article or uploaded as supplementary information.
Author note Additional references w1–4 can be found in online supplemental file 2.
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