Serum urate as surrogate endpoint for flares in people with gout: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis

Lisa K Stamp, Melanie Birger Morillon, William J Taylor, Nicola Dalbeth, Jasvinder A Singh, Marissa Lassere, Robin Christensen

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OBJECTIVES: The primary efficacy outcome in trials of urate lowering therapy (ULT) for gout is serum urate (SU). The aim of this study was to examine the strength of the relationship between SU and patient-important outcomes to determine whether SU is an adequate surrogate endpoint for clinical trials.

METHODS: Multiple databases through October 2017 were searched. Randomized controlled trials comparing any ULT in people with gout with any control or placebo, ≥three months duration were included. Open label extension (OLE) trial data were included in secondary analyses. Standardized data elements were extracted independently by two reviewers.

RESULTS: Ten RCTs and 3 OLE studies were identified. From the RCTs (maximum duration 24 months) meta-regression did not reveal an association between the relative risk of a gout flare and the difference in proportions of individuals with SU < 6mg/dL (P = 0.47; R 2 = 8%). In a post hoc analysis, the ratio of the time in months at which the proportion of individuals having a flare was reported/time in months at which the proportion of individuals with SU < 6mg/dL was reported was calculated and studies where the ratio was <2 were excluded. Using the remaining 6 studies there was an association between proportion of individuals achieving SU < 6mg/dL and gout flares (over patient years). Duration of ULT was inversely associated with the proportion of patients experiencing a flare. Study duration and variability in reporting of outcomes limited the analysis. Observational studies supported the trend of fewer flares in those with lower SU.

CONCLUSIONS: Based on aggregate clinical trial-level data an association between SU and gout flare could not be confirmed. However, based on observational ecological study design data-including longer duration extension studies-SU < 6mg/dL was associated with reduced gout flares.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSeminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)293-301
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Biomarker
  • Gout
  • Gout flares
  • Serum urate
  • Gout/blood
  • Gout Suppressants/therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Uric Acid/blood
  • Biomarkers/blood
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Clinical Trials as Topic


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