The association between etanercept serum concentration and psoriasis disease severity is poorly investigated and currently etanercept serum concentration monitoring aiming to optimize psoriasis treatment lacks evidence. In this prospective study, we investigated the relation between etanercept exposure and disease severity via measuring etanercept concentrations at five consecutive time points in 56 psoriasis patients. Disease severity assessments included the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index (PASI), Body Surface Area (BSA) and Physician Global Assessment (PGA), and etanercept and anti-etanercept antibody concentrations were determined every three months for a period of one year. The present study demonstrated that the association between etanercept concentration and psoriasis severity is age-dependent: when patients were stratified into three groups, patients in the youngest age group (-50 years) showed a lower PASI at a higher etanercept concentration (β = -0.26), whereas patients in the oldest age group (+59 years) showed the opposite trend (β = 0.22). Similar age effects were observed in the relation of etanercept concentration with BSA (P = 0.02) and PGA (P = 0.02). The influence of age and length of time in therapy on the etanercept concentration-disease severity relation was unaffected by body mass index (BMI) or any other possible confounder. Incidence of anti-etanercept antibodies was low (2%). The age-dependent relation between etanercept serum concentrations is both unexpected and intriguing and needs further investigation.
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