August 24/31, 2011

Association Between Biologic Therapies for Chronic Plaque Psoriasis and Cardiovascular EventsA Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Dermatology, Baylor Research Institute, Dallas, Texas (Drs Ryan and Menter); Department of Dermatology, St Louis University, Saint Louis, Missouri (Dr Leonardi); Laboratory for Investigative Dermatology, The Rockefeller University, New York, New York (Dr Krueger); Department of Dermatology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (Dr Kimball); Department of Dermatology, University of Connecticut, Farmington (Dr Strober); Division of Dermatology, University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois (Dr Gordon); Department of Dermatology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada (Dr Langley); Donald W. Reynolds Cardiovascular Research Center and Division of Cardiology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas (Dr de Lemos); Department of Research and Improvement Education, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas (Mr Daoud and Dr Blankenship); Department of Rheumatology, VA North Texas Health Care System, Dallas (Dr Kazi); Department of Dermatology, Center for Immunology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (Dr Kaplan); and Department of Cardiology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana (Dr Friedewald).

JAMA. 2011;306(8):864-871. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1211

Context Ustekinumab and briakinumab, monoclonal antibodies to the shared p40 subunit of interleukin (IL)-12 and IL-23, have shown efficacy in treating chronic plaque psoriasis (CPP). Preliminary reports of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACEs) in psoriasis patients receiving anti–IL-12/23 agents have prompted concern.

Objective To evaluate a possible association between biologic therapies for CPP and MACEs via meta-analysis.

Data Sources Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of anti–IL-12/23 (ustekinumab and briakinumab) agents and anti–tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) agents (adalimumab, etanercept, and infliximab) used in treating CPP were reviewed using the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials,, and Ovid MEDLINE from database inception to May 2011. The results of registered nonpublished completed studies were procured through abstract publications or poster presentations.

Study Selection Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, monotherapy studies (with safety outcome data for MACE) of IL-12/23 antibodies and anti–TNF-α agents in adults. Studies of psoriatic arthritis were excluded.

Data Extraction Two investigators independently searched data while 6 investigators reviewed the abstracted data.

Results A total of 22 RCTs comprising 10 183 patients met the predefined inclusion criteria. The primary outcome measure was MACE, a composite end point of myocardial infarction, cerebrovascular accident, or cardiovascular death during the placebo-controlled phase of treatment in patients receiving at least 1 dose of study agent or placebo. Absolute risk differences were used as an effect measure. There was no evidence of statistical heterogeneity across the studies using the I2 statistic (I2 = 0), allowing for combination of trial results using the Mantel-Haenszel fixed-effects method. During the placebo-controlled phases of the anti–IL-12/23 studies, 10 of 3179 patients receiving anti–IL-12/23 therapies experienced MACEs compared with zero events in 1474 patients receiving placebo (Mantel-Haenszel risk difference, 0.012 events/person-year; 95% confidence interval [CI], −0.001 to 0.026; P =.12). In the anti–TNF-α trials, only 1 of 3858 patients receiving anti–TNF-α agents experienced a MACE compared with 1 of 1812 patients receiving placebo (Mantel-Haenszel risk difference, −0.0005 events/person-year; 95% CI, −0.010 to 0.009; P = .94).

Conclusions Compared with placebo, there was no significant difference in the rate of MACEs observed in patients receiving anti–IL-12/IL-23 antibodies or anti–TNF-α treatments. This study may have been underpowered to identify a significant difference.