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Background. Methotrexate is an anchor drug in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the association between methotrexate and development of liver fibrosis remains a subject of controversy. Non-invasive methods to assess liver fibrosis, such as the FIB-4 score, have been developed. RA patients on methotrexate therapy should be monitored for any signs of liver fibrosis. This study aims to investigate the correlation between methotrexate cumulative dose and the FIB-4 score in rheumatoid arthritis patients who received methotrexate therapy to assess the hepatotoxic effects of methotrexate.
Methods. This cross-sectional study involved rheumatoid arthritis patients who received methotrexate therapy at Dr. Hasan Sadikin General Hospital Bandung from September 2022 to November 2022. Clinical data, laboratory tests (including platelet values and liver function test), and cumulative methotrexate doses were extracted from medical records. Data were analyzed using the Spearman correlation test.
Results. This study involved 100 subjects aged between 22-82 years, comprising 93% women and 7% men. The median FIB-4 score was 0.73 (0.24-6.80), while the median methotrexate cumulative dose was 2477.5 mg, with a range of 1005-10400 mg. The results showed that correlation coefficient between the FIB-4 score and methotrexate cumulative dose in rheumatoid arthritis patients was -0.089 (p=0.378).
Conclusion. There is no significant correlation between FIB-4 score and cumulative dose of methotrexate in rheumatoid arthritis patients. The use of methotrexate in RA patients over 4 years is relatively safe as it does not increase the risk of liver fibrosis.