The effect of infliximab in patients with chronic low back pain and Modic changes (the BackToBasic study): study protocol of a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial
Gjefsen, Elisabeth; Bråten, Lars Christian Haugli; Goll, Guro Løvik; Wigemyr, Monica; Bolstad, Nils; Valberg, Morten; Schistad, Ellina Iordanova; Marchand, Gunn Hege; Granviken, Fredrik; Selmer, Kaja Kristine; Johanessen, Anne Froholdt; Haugen, Anne Julsrud; Dagestad, Magnhild Hammersland; Vetti, Nils; Bakland, Gunnstein; Lie, Benedicte Alexandra; Haavardsholm, Espen A.; Nilsen, Aksel Thuv; Holmgard, Thor Einar; Kadar, Thomas; Kvien, Tore Kristian; Skouen, Jan Sture; Grøvle, Lars; Brox, Jens Ivar; Espeland, Ansgar; Storheim, Kjersti; Zwart, John-Anker
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionBMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 2020, 21:698 10.1186/s12891-020-03720-5
Background Low back pain is common and a significant number of patients experience chronic low back pain. Current treatment options offer small to moderate effects. Patients with vertebral bone marrow lesions visualized as Modic changes on magnetic resonance imaging may represent a subgroup within the low back pain population. There is evidence for inflammatory mediators being involved in development of Modic changes; hence, suppression of inflammation could be a treatment strategy for these patients. This study examines the effect of anti-inflammatory treatment with the TNF-α inhibitor infliximab in patients with chronic low back pain and Modic changes. Methods/design The BackToBasic trial is a multicenter, double blind, randomized controlled trial conducted at six hospitals in Norway, comparing intravenous infusions with infliximab with placebo. One hundred twenty-six patients aged 18–65 with chronic low back pain and type 1 Modic changes will be recruited from secondary care outpatients’ clinics. The primary outcome is back pain-specific disability at day 154 (5 months). The study is designed to detect a difference in change of 10 (SD 18) in the Oswestry Disability Index at day 154/ 5 months. The study also aims to refine MRI-assessment, investigate safety and cost-effectiveness and explore the underlying biological mechanisms of Modic changes. Discussion Finding treatments that target underlying mechanisms could pose new treatment options for patients with low back pain. Suppression of inflammation could be a treatment strategy for patients with low back pain and Modic changes. This paper presents the design of the BackToBasic study, where we will assess the effect of an anti-inflammatory treatment versus placebo in patients with chronic low back pain and type 1 Modic changes.