NEW YORK (Reuters Health)—Various organizations recommend dozens of screening and monitoring tests for patients with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis who are using systemic biologic agents, despite sparse evidence to support any of them.
“At a population level, these medications have proven to be very safe and the evidence does not support such extensive and frequent testing in all patients,” Dr. William W. Huang, from Wake Forest School of Medicine, Center for Dermatology Research, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, told Reuters Health by email. “However, every case must be looked at individually based on the patient’s own risk profile.”
Dr. Huang and colleagues reviewed 26 articles in their effort to assess the existing support for screening and monitoring with the use of currently available biologics.
Screening for tuberculosis, preferably using the interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) instead of tuberculin skin testing, was the only test with strong evidence to support it, and even its evidence was only grade B.