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INTRODUCTION: Biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) have revolutionised the treatment of inflammatory arthritis (IA). However, many people with IA still require planned orthopaedic surgery to reduce pain and improve function. Currently, bDMARDs are withheld during the perioperative period due to potential infection risk. However, this predisposes patients to IA flares and loss of disease control. The question of whether to stop or continue bDMARDs in the perioperative period has not been adequately addressed in a randomised controlled trial (RCT). METHODS AND ANALYSIS: PERISCOPE is a multicentre, superiority, pragmatic RCT investigating the stoppage or continuation of bDMARDs. Participants will be assigned 1:1 to either stop or continue their bDMARDs during the perioperative period. We aim to recruit 394 adult participants with IA. Potential participants will be identified in secondary care hospitals in the UK, screened by a delegated clinician. If eligible and consenting, baseline data will be collected and randomisation completed. The primary outcome will be the self-reported PROMIS-29 (Patient Reported Outcome Measurement Information System) over the first 12 weeks postsurgery. Secondary outcome measures are as follows: PROMIS - Health Assessment Questionnaire (PROMIS-HAQ), EQ-5D-5L, Disease activity: generic global Numeric Rating Scale (patient and clinician), Self-Administered Patient Satisfaction scale, Health care resource use and costs, Medication use, Surgical site infection, delayed wound healing, Adverse events (including systemic infections) and disease-specific outcomes (according to IA diagnosis). The costs associated with stopping and continuing bDMARDs will be assessed. A qualitative study will explore the patients' and clinicians' acceptability and experience of continuation/stoppage of bDMARDs in the perioperative period and the impact postoperatively. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: Ethical approval for this study was received from the West of Scotland Research Ethics Committee on 25 April 2023 (REC Ref: 23/WS/0049). The findings from PERISCOPE will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals and feed directly into practice guidelines for the use of bDMARDs in the perioperative period. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBER: ISRCTN17691638.

Original publication




Journal article


BMJ Open

Publication Date





orthopaedic & trauma surgery, randomized controlled trial, rheumatology, Humans, Orthopedic Procedures, United Kingdom, Antirheumatic Agents, Pragmatic Clinical Trials as Topic, Perioperative Care, Qualitative Research, Multicenter Studies as Topic, Pilot Projects, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Biological Products