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Raynaud's disease and phenomenon [keywords]
- Chilblains in Southern California: two case reports and a review of the literature. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Med Case Rep 2014 Nov 22; 8(1):381.
Chilblains or perniosis is an acrally located cutaneous eruption that occurs with exposure to cold. Chilblains can be classified into primary and secondary forms. The primary or idiopathic form is not associated with an underlying disease and is clinically indistinguishable from the secondary form. The secondary form is associated with an underlying condition such as connective tissue disease, monoclonal gammopathy, cryoglobulinemia, or chronic myelomonocytic leukemia. Histopathology cannot accurately help distinguish the primary from secondary forms of chilblains. This article will raise the awareness of chilblains by presenting two unusual case reports of chilblains in men from Southern California with discussion of the appropriate evaluation and treatment of this condition.Case presentations: Case 1A 56-year-old Caucasian man presented in January to a Southern California primary care clinic with a report of tingling and burning in both feet, followed by bluish discoloration and swelling as well as blistering. He had no unusual cold exposure prior to the onset of his symptoms. He had a history of "white attacks" in his hands consistent with Raynaud's phenomenon. His symptoms gradually resolved over a 3-week period.Case 2A 53-year-old Caucasian man also presented to a Southern California clinic in January with a 3-week history of painful tingling in his toes, and subsequent purplish-black discoloration of the toes in both feet. His symptoms occurred 1 week after a skiing trip. He had partial improvement with warming measures. His symptoms resolved 2 weeks after his initial presentation.Chilblains is a relatively uncommon entity in warmer climates but can present during the winter months. Primary care providers in warmer climates such as Southern California in the USA may be unfamiliar with its presentation. It can be diagnosed clinically by the appearance of typical lesions during the cold damp season. Through a thorough history, physical examination and selected laboratory evaluation, underlying connective tissue disease or a mimic such as vasculitis or cutaneous leukemia can be excluded.
- How should a District General Hospital immunology service screen for antinuclear antibodies? An "in the field" audit. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Clin Exp Immunol 2014 Nov 21.
Antinuclear antibody (ANA) testing assists in the diagnosis of several immune-mediated disorders. The gold standard method for detection of these antibodies is by indirect immunofluorescence testing on HEp-2 cells. However, many laboratories test for these antibodies using solid phase assays such as ELISA, which allows for higher throughput testing at reduced cost. In this study, we have audited the performance of a previously established ELISA assay to screen for ANA, making comparison with the gold standard HEp-2 immunofluorescence test. A prospective and unselected sample of 89 consecutive ANA test requests by consultant rheumatologists were evaluated in parallel over a period of 10 months using both tests. ELISA and HEp-2 screening assays yielded 40 (45%) and 72 (81%) positive test results respectively, demonstrating lack of concordance between test methods. Using standard and clinical samples, it was demonstrated that the ELISA method did not detect several ANA with nucleolar, homogeneous and speckled immunofluorescence pattern. None of these ELISA(NEG) HEp-2(POS) ANA were reactive with a panel of 6 extractable nuclear antigens or with double stranded DNA. Nonetheless, thirteen of these samples (15%) originated from patients with recognised ANA-associated disease (n=7) or Raynaud's phenomenon (n=6). We conclude that ELISA screening may fail to detect clinically relevant ANA that lack defined specificity for antigen.
- Microvascular abnormalities in patients with early systemic sclerosis: less severe morphological changes than in patients with definite disease. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Scand J Rheumatol 2014 Nov 7.:1-8.
Objectives: To evaluate the morphological and functional abnormalities of the microcirculation associated with markers of vascular injury in patients with early systemic sclerosis (SSc). Method: Forty-six patients with early SSc were compared with 80 patients with definite SSc, 40 patients with primary Raynaud's phenomenon (PRP), and 45 healthy subjects. Widefield nailfold capillaroscopy (NFC) (10-25 × magnification), videocapillaroscopy (200 × magnification), and laser Doppler imaging (LDI) assessment were performed in all participants. The number of capillaries/mm, enlarged, giant and ramified capillaries, microhaemorrhages, and the avascular score were determined by widefield NFC and videocapillaroscopy. Fingertip blood flow (FBF) was measured using LDI before and after cold stimulus (CS). Serum endothelin-1 (ET-1), von Willebrand factor (vWF), and transforming growth factor beta-1 (TGF-β1) were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Results: Upon both widefield NFC and videocapillaroscopy, patients with early SSc showed significantly higher numbers of capillaries/mm, lower enlarged and giant capillaries, and a lower avascular score than definite SSc patients (p < 0.001). They also had more enlarged capillaries, microhaemorrhages and a higher avascular score compared to PRP and controls (p < 0.001). FBF before and after CS were significantly higher in controls than in PRP, early SSc, and definite SSc patients (p < 0.001), with no difference between early and definite SSc. Serum levels of ET-1, vWF, and TGF-β1 were similar between early and definite SSc patients. Conclusions: Early SSc patients showed functional changes and vascular injury marker levels similar to patients with established disease. Nonetheless, the morphological changes were less severe in early SSc, thus providing an opportunity for further prevention of vasculopathy progression.
- Frequency and impact of disease symptoms experienced by patients with systemic sclerosis from five European countries. [Journal Article]
- Clin Exp Rheumatol 2014 Nov-Dec; 32 Suppl 86(6):88-93.
Knowledge about the nature and impact of symptoms faced by patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) is needed to identify targets for research and treatment. The aim of this study was to assess and compare the frequency and impact on everyday activities of SSc symptoms among patients from five European countries.European patients with SSc were invited through announcements by patient associations to complete an online survey. The survey included items assessing the frequency of 40 SSc symptoms and the impact on daily activities, if present. Chi-square tests were utilised to assess the differences in frequency and impact of symptoms across countries.In total, 537 patients were included from France (n=111), the Netherlands (n=229), Spain (n=61), Switzerland (n=50), and the United Kingdom (n=86). Symptoms experienced by ≥70% of patients in all countries were fatigue, Raynaud's phenomenon, joint pain, and muscle pain. Twenty symptoms were experienced by ≥50% of patients in all countries. Thirty symptoms had an impact on daily activities in ≥50% of patients who reported that the symptom was present in all countries. There were significant differences among countries in the prevalence of 17 out of 40 symptoms. Furthermore, in 24 out of 40 symptoms significant differences in the proportion of patients reporting impact of a specific symptom on everyday activities were observed.European patients with SSc experience a broad range of symptoms that have an impact on everyday activities. International research initiatives should target common SSc symptoms cooperatively. Further research is needed to better understand the differences in SSc symptoms among countries.
- Systemic sclerosis and silicone breast implant: a case report and review of the literature. [Journal Article]
- Case Rep Rheumatol 2014.:809629.
Environmentally induced systemic sclerosis is a well-recognized condition, which is correlated with exposure to various chemical compounds or drugs. However, development of scleroderma-like disease after exposure to silicone has always been a controversial issue and, over time, it has triggered spirited debate whether there is a certain association or not. Herein, we report the case of a 35-year-old female who developed Raynaud's phenomenon and, finally, systemic sclerosis shortly after silicone breast implantation surgery.
- Seronegative polyarthritis revealing antisynthetase syndrome: a multicentre study of 40 patients. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Rheumatology (Oxford) 2014 Oct 27.
The aim of this study was to determine the frequency and characteristics of antisynthetase syndrome (ASS) revealed by polyarthritis.First we conducted a retrospective single-centre study to assess the frequency of ASS patients who presented with polyarthritis without pulmonary and/or muscle symptoms. Secondly, we conducted a larger, multicentre study in order to describe the clinical characteristics of these patients. Exclusion criteria were the presence of RF, the presence of ACPA and overlap with another CTD.In the single-centre study, polyarthritis was the first manifestation in 12 of 45 ASS patients (27%). An additional 28 patients were collected for the multicentre study, resulting in a total population of 40 ASS patients who presented with polyarthritis. The mean delay from polyarthritis onset to ASS diagnosis was 27 months (s.d. 40). Pulmonary and muscle symptoms were uncommon at ASS diagnosis (40% and 32.5%, respectively) and were dramatically delayed [mean delay after polyarthritis onset of 41 months (s.d. 53) and 21 months (s.d. 14), respectively]. Mechanic's hands and cutaneous signs of DM occurred in 25% and 22.5%, respectively, with a mean delay of 10 months (s.d. 10) and 31 months (s.d. 21), respectively. When present (32%), RP was the earliest non-articular manifestation [mean delay 3 months (s.d. 23) after polyarthritis onset]. On HEp-2 cells, antinuclear and/or cytoplasmic fluorescence was found in 70% of cases, with specificity for various anti-aminoacyl tRNA synthetase (anti-ARS) antibodies.ASS may be revealed by polyarthritis. To decrease the delay in diagnosis of ASS, pulmonary and muscle symptoms and anti-ARS antibodies might usefully be searched for in seronegative polyarthritis patients, especially in those with RP.
- An automated system for detecting and measuring nailfold capillaries. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Med Image Comput Comput Assist Interv 2014; 17(Pt 1):658-65.
Nailfold capillaroscopy is an established qualitative technique in the assessment of patients displaying Raynaud's phenomenon. We describe a fully automated system for extracting quantitative biomarkers from capillaroscopy images, using a layered machine learning approach. On an unseen set of 455 images, the system detects and locates individual capillaries as well as human experts, and makes measurements of vessel morphology that reveal statistically significant differences between patients with (relatively benign) primary Raynaud's phenomenon, and those with potentially life-threatening systemic sclerosis.
- Nailfold capillaroscopic changes in dermatomyositis and polymyositis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Clin Rheumatol 2014 Oct 17.
Inflammatory myopathies (IM) are a group of muscle diseases occurring both in children and adults. Nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC) alterations are described in IM, but available data are discordant, including differences between polymyositis (PM) and dermatomyositis (DM). The aim of this study was to describe the capillaroscopic differences between PM and DM patients and possible correlation with clinical and serological features. We analyzed 52 unselected patients with IM in a cross-sectional study in a 6-month period. NVC findings of 29 DM and 23 PM patients were compared with those of 52 patients with primary Raynaud's phenomenon. Tortuosities, capillary loss, enlarged and giant capillaries, microhemorrhages, and ramified capillaries were scored by a semiquantitative rating; disorganization of the vascular array, avascular areas, and scleroderma pattern were scored as presence/absence. Sex, mean age, and mean disease duration were similar in both groups. Disorganization of the vascular array, enlarged and giant capillaries, capillary loss, and scleroderma-like pattern were observed almost only in IM patients. Significant differences were observed between PM and DM with higher frequency and mean score of NVC changes in DM. In DM patients with disease duration ≤6 months (14/29 patients), capillary density was significantly reduced (P = 0.039) and giant capillaries more frequent (P = 0.027), compared with patients with longer disease duration, while a scleroderma pattern tended to be more frequent in patients with a disease duration of less than 6 months. On the contrary, no differences were observed for ramified capillaries with regard to disease duration. Capillaroscopic alterations are identified only in DM patients as expression of diffuse microangiopathy; surprisingly, more severe changes were associated with shorter disease duration, while persistence of ramified capillaries with long-standing disease.
- Elevated plasma homocysteine level is possibly associated with skin sclerosis in a series of Japanese patients with systemic sclerosis. [Journal Article]
- J Dermatol 2014 Nov; 41(11):986-91.
Homocysteine is a sulfhydryl-containing amino acid that is derived from dietary methionine, and there has been increasing evidence that elevated plasma homocysteine levels are associated with increased risk of cardiovascular diseases, including carotid, coronary and peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The association of plasma homocysteine levels with peripheral vascular involvements, such as Raynaud phenomenon (RP), digital ulcers (DU) in systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients has not been well studied. The objective of this study was to examine plasma homocysteine levels and their clinical associations in patients with SSc. Plasma homocysteine levels in 151 Japanese patients with SSc and 20 healthy controls were examined. No significant differences were observed in plasma homocysteine levels between SSc patients and healthy individuals. Demographic and clinical features of the SSc patients revealed that severe skin sclerosis, anti-topoisomerase I antibody positivity, complications of DU, acro-osteolysis (AO) and interstitial lung disease (ILD) were significantly more prevalent among the patients with elevated plasma homocysteine levels. The plasma homocysteine levels were positively correlated with modified Rodnan total skin score. The plasma homocysteine levels in the SSc patients with DU, AO and ILD were significantly higher than those in the SSc without DU, AO and ILD, respectively. Plasma homocysteine levels did not correlate with either the mean or max intima-media thickness (IMT) or plaque score, suggesting that plasma homocysteine levels might not be associated with carotid artery atherosclerosis in SSc patients. The measurement of plasma homocysteine levels in SSc patients might be useful for the risk stratifications of severe skin sclerosis, DU and AO.
- Clinical differences between Thai systemic sclerosis patients with positive versus negative anti-topoisomerase I. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Int J Rheum Dis 2014 Oct 8.
Anti-topoisomerase I antibody (ATA) carries an increased risk of systemic sclerosis (SSc) internal organ involvement. There have been no published comparisons of the clinical characteristics of patients positive and negative for ATA in Thailand, where the positive rate for ATA is higher than among Caucasians.To define the clinical differences between SSc, positive versus negative, for ATA.A retrospective cohort study was performed among SSc patients over 18 at Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University, Thailand, during January 2006-December 2013. SSc-overlap syndrome was excluded.Two hundred and ninety-four SSc patients were included (female : male 2.5 : 1). The majority (68.6%) were the diffuse cutaneous SSc subset (dcSSc). ATA was positive in 252 patients (85.7%), among whom 71.7% had dcSSc and 28.2% limited cutaneous SSc (lcSSc). Using a multivariate analysis, hand deformity had a significantly positive association with ATA (odds ratio [OR] 7.01; 95% CI 1.02-48.69), whereas being anti-centromere (ACA) positive had a negative association (OR 0.17; 95% CI 0.03-0.92). After doing a subgroup analysis of the SSc subset, the median duration of disease at time of pulmonary fibrosis detection among ATA positive dcSSc was significantly shorter than the ATA negative group (1.05 vs. 6.77 years, P = 0.01). Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) at onset was significantly more frequent in lcSSc sufferers who were ATA negative than those who were ATA positive (90.5% vs. 56.9%, P = 0.005).A high prevalence of ATA positivity was found among Thai SSc patients and this was associated with a high frequency of hand deformity, ACA negativity, a short duration of pulmonary fibrosis in dcSSc and a lower frequency of RP in lcSSc.