BACKGROUND: In psoriatic arthritis (PsA) there is a theoretical risk of increased disease activity related to strenuous physical activity, including exercise. We evaluated the effect of high intensity interval training (HIIT) on objective measures of inflammation in PsA assessed by ultrasound (US) of peripheral joints and entheses, and by bone marrow edema (BME) on MRI of the sacroiliac joints (SIJ) and spine.
METHODS: We randomly assigned 67 PsA patients to an intervention group that performed structured HIIT for 11 weeks, or to a control group instructed not to change their physical exercise habits. Outcome measures included US evaluation of the total cohort and MRI in a subgroup of 41; both assessed at 3 months. We calculated the proportions with an increased US B-mode and power-doppler (PD) signal of joints and entheses and Spondyloarthritis-Research-Consortium-of-Canada (SPARCC)-BME score of the SIJ and spine for both groups.
RESULTS: Proportions with an increased US B-mode score of the joints were 32% and 28% in HIIT and control groups, respectively. Corresponding proportions of PD scores of the joints were 7% and 10% and PD scores of entheses were 32% and 31%. The proportions with increased MRI BME of the SIJ were 6% in the HIIT group and 10% in the control group. Corresponding proportions were 6% and 5% for the MRI BME of the spine.
CONCLUSION: In PsA patients with a low to moderate disease activity, there was no clear evidence of objectively measured increased inflammation after HIIT, as evaluated by US and MRI.
TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02995460 (16/12/2016).