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JAK Inhibitors in Giant Cell Arteritis

Trials are underway evaluating the potential benefits of JAK inhibitors (JAKi) in giant cell arteritis (GCA) patients who are refractory to standards of care. An observational real-world analysis of a small worldwide cohort suggests the utility of JAKi in GCA. 

This retrospective analysis included 35 GCA patients from thirteen centers in Spain and one center in United States (2017-2022). Their mean age was 72 years and 86% were women.  Nearly two-thirds (63%) had received conventional synthetic immunosuppressants (e.g., methotrexate), and 30 (86%) biologics (e.g., tocilizumab). These 35 GCA patients were treated with standard doses of JAKi (baricitinib, n = 15; tofacitinib, n = 10; upadacitinib, n = 10). 

After a medianof 11 months follow-up, 20 (57%) achieved and maintained clinical remission, 16 (46%) patients achieved and maintained complete remission, and 15 (43%) patients discontinued the initial JAKi due to relapse (n = 11 [31%]) or serious adverse events (n = 4 [11%]). 

A review of the literature identified another 36 JAKi-treated GCA cases with clinical improvement reported for the majority.

This observational analysis suggest that JAKi may be effective in GCA.


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The author has no conflicts of interest to disclose related to this subject