Sustained Pericarditis Recurrence Risk Reduction With Long-Term Rilonacept

RHAPSODY Investigators

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Rilonacept, a once-weekly interleukin-1 alpha and beta cytokine trap, reduced pericarditis recurrence in the phase 3 study, RHAPSODY (Rilonacept Inhibition of Interleukin-1 Alpha and Beta for Recurrent Pericarditis: A Pivotal Symptomatology and Outcomes Study). The RHAPSODY long-term extension further explored recurrent pericarditis natural history and treatment duration decision-making during 24 additional months of open-label rilonacept treatment. METHODS AND RESULTS: Seventy-four patients commenced the long-term extension, with a median (maximum) total rilonacept duration of 22 (35) months. Individually, 18 months after the most proximal pericarditis recurrence, investigators decided to continue rilonacept on study, suspend rilonacept for off-treatment observation (rescue allowed), or discontinue the study. The annualized incidence of pericarditis recurrence on rilonacept up to the 18-month decision milestone was 0.04 events/patient-year versus 4.4 events/patient-year prestudy while on oral therapies. At the 18-month decision milestone, 64% (33/52) continued rilonacept, 15% (8/52) suspended rilonacept for observation, and 21% (11/52) discontinued the study. Among the 33 patients (1/33; 3.0%) continuing rilonacept (median time to recurrence could not be estimated due to too few events), a single recurrence occurred 4 weeks after a treatment interruption. Among patients suspending rilonacept, 75% (6/8) experienced recurrence (median time to recurrence, 11.8 weeks [95% CI, 3.7 weeks to not estimable]). There was a 98% reduction in risk of pericarditis recurrence among patients continuing rilonacept treatment after the 18-month decision milestone versus those suspending treatment for observation (hazard ratio, 0.02; P<0.0001). CONCLUSIONS: In the RHAPSODY long-term extension, continued rilonacept treatment resulted in continued response; treatment suspension at the 18-month decision milestone was associated with pericarditis recurrence. REGISTRATION: URL:; Unique identifier: NCT03737110.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e032516
JournalJournal of the American Heart Association
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 19 2024


  • autoinflammatory disease
  • interleukin‐1
  • recurrent pericarditis
  • rilonacept

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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