Tofacitinib reduces ultrasound signs of inflammation in RA patients

The findings of an international multi-centre study published in Frontiers in Medicine reported that tofacitinib treatment showed early (2 weeks) and tenacious reduction of ultrasound (US) indications of inflammation at the tendon and joint levels, which is comparable to clinical improvement in RA patients.

The prospective study involved 52 RA patients who received tofacitinib treatment for 24 weeks between January 2020 and December 2021. A significant reduction (P < 0.001) in the US joint and tendon scores was noted in weeks 2, 4, 12, and 24 of the examination when compared to the baseline. Moreover, at the 24-week examination, a correlation was found between the improvement in joint US scores (GS, PD, and US-combined) and the reduction of serum CRP levels.

A previous study by Ceccarelli et al. verified the early efficacy of JAKi (baricitinib or tofacitinib) in RA patients by employing US evaluation. Germanò and co-researchers also observed complete US remission of tenosynovitis in >70% of patients after treatment with tofacitinib, and pain reduction is linked to both effective joint and tendon inflammation reduction and modification of the pain signal.

There are very few studies on US data in RA patients treated with JAK inhibitors. US has been well recognized as a valuable technique for monitoring joint changes and early synovitis detection. Further investigation into the relationship between US scores and clinical and laboratory data can help in determining clinical improvement in RA patients.



  1. Germanò G, Macchioni P, Maranini B, Ciancio G, Bonazza S, Govoni M, Salvarani C. Ultrasound response to tofacitinib in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: Data from a multicenter 24 weeks prospective study. Front Med (Lausanne). 2022 Sep 26;9:990317.
  2. Ceccarelli F, Spinelli FR, Garufi C, Mancuso S, Alessandri C, Di Franco M, Orefice V, Pacucci VA, Pirone C, Priori R, Riccieri V, Sili Scavalli A, Scrivo R, Truglia S, Conti F. The role of musculoskeletal ultrasound in predicting the response to JAK inhibitors: results from a monocentric cohort. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2022 May;40(5):921-927.