- The Japanese Society of Internal Medicine
- Internal Medicine (ISSN:09182918)
- vol.61, no.7, pp.997-1006, 2022-04-01 (Released:2022-04-01)
Objective To investigate the risk factors for the development of Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) undergoing methotrexate (MTX) therapy. Methods This single-center retrospective cohort study included consecutive patients with RA who received MTX for at least one year. The study population was divided into PCP and non-PCP groups, depending on the development of PCP, and their characteristics were compared. We excluded patients who received biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs), Janus kinase inhibitors, and anti-PCP drugs for prophylaxis. Results Thirteen patients developed PCP, and 333 did not develop PCP. At the initiation of MTX therapy, the PCP group had lower serum albumin levels, a higher frequency of pulmonary disease and administration of DMARDs, and received a higher dosage of prednisolone (PSL) than the non-PCP group. A multivariate Cox regression analysis revealed that the concomitant use of PSL [hazard ratio (HR) 5.50, p=0.003], other DMARDs (HR 5.98, p=0.002), and serum albumin <3.5 mg/dL (HR 4.30, p=0.01) were risk factors for the development of PCP during MTX therapy. Patients with these risk factors had a significantly higher cumulative probability of developing PCP than patients who lacked these risk factors. Conclusion Clinicians should pay close attention to patients with RA who possess risk factors for the development of PCP during MTX therapy.