A growing body of evidence suggests the usability of biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) in treating adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD). In a multicentre "real-life" cohort, the physicians' prescribing motivations and patients' predictive characteristics of being treated with bDMARDs were assessed. Patients with AOSD, who were included in GIRRCS (Gruppo Italiano di Ricerca in Reumatologia Clinica e Sperimentale) cohort and treated with bDMARDs, were retrospectively assessed. Relevant data were collected by a review of clinical charts. Forty-four patients treated with bDMARDs were analysed, with slight male preponderance (52.3%) and a mean age of 39.3 ± 15.2 years. All patients were treated with corticosteroids (CCSs) (38.6% with low dosage) and 93.2% were treated with synthetic DMARDs (sDMARDs). Regarding the effectiveness of the first-line bDMARD, 65.6% of patients experienced a complete remission, defined as complete disappearance of both systemic and joint symptoms and normalisation of laboratory evidence of disease. The physicians' prescribing motivations for bDMARDs were inadequate response to CCSs and/or sDMARDs, CCS-sparing effect and occurrence of macrophage activation syndrome (MAS). Analysing patients' characteristics, chronic disease course (OR 3.09; 95%CI 1.22-7.80, p = 0.017), defined as disease with persistent symptoms, was predictive of being treated with bDMARDs, whereas age (OR 0.97, 95%CI 0.93-0.99, p = 0.048) was negatively associated, suggesting younger age as a further predictive factor. Patients with AOSD were treated with bDMARDs for inadequate response to CCSs and/or sDMARDs, CCS-sparing effect and MAS occurrence. Younger age and chronic disease course were patients' predictive characteristics of being treated with bDMARDs.
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