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Rheumatology AND Mixed connective tissue disease [keywords]
- Renal manifestations of rheumatic diseases. A review. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Biomed Pap Med Fac Univ Palacky Olomouc Czech Repub 2013 Jun 7.
BACKGROUND:Renal manifestations of rheumatic diaseases are sometimes very discrete and mild. At others, they can present the leading symptomatology of a given disease. Systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic scleroderma, renal vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis, mixed connective tissue disease, Sjögren's syndrome and gout can all manifest in or be accompanied by renal impairment.
METHODS AND RESULTS:The authors reviewed the literature on renal manifestation of rheumatic diseases using the key words, lupus erythematosus, systemic autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis and gout. The review below is accompanied by their own histological findings.
CONCLUSION:Diagnosis requires proper interpretation of the clinical situation, laboratory results and image analysis methods plus close interdisciplinary collaboration between nephrologist and clinical pathologist/nephropathologist.
- Clinical Course, Prognosis, and Causes of Death in Mixed Connective Tissue Disease. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- J Rheumatol 2013 May 1.
OBJECTIVE:To study the survival rate and prognostic indicators of mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) in a Hungarian population.
METHODS:Two hundred eighty patients with MCTD diagnosed between 1979 and 2011 were followed prospectively. Clinical features, autoantibodies, and mortality data were assessed. Prognostic factors for survival were investigated and survival was calculated from the time of the diagnosis by Kaplan-Meier method.
RESULTS:A total of 22 of 280 patients died: the causes of death were pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in 9 patients, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura in 3, infections in 3, and cardiovascular events in 7. The 5, 10, and 15-year survival rates after the diagnosis was established were 98%, 96%, and 88%, respectively. The deceased patients were younger at the diagnosis of MCTD compared to patients who survived (35.5 ± 10.4 vs 41.8 ± 10.7 yrs; p < 0.03), while there was no difference in the duration of the disease (p = 0.835). Our cohort study showed that the presence of cardiovascular events (p < 0.0001), esophageal hypomotility (p = 0.04), serositis (p < 0.001), secondary antiphospholipid syndrome (p = 0.039), and malignancy (p < 0.001) was significantly higher in the deceased patients with MCTD. The presence of anticardiolipin (p = 0.019), anti-β2-glycoprotein I (p = 0.002), and antiendothelial cell antibodies (p = 0.002) increased the risk of mortality.
CONCLUSION:Overall, PAH remained the leading cause of death in patients with MCTD. The prevalence of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, malignancy, and thrombotic events increased during the disease course of MCTD. The presence of antiphospholipid antibodies raised the risk of mortality.
- Anti B-cell therapy against refractory thrombocytopenia in SLE and MCTD patients: long-term follow-up and review of the literature. [Journal Article]
- Lupus 2013; 22(7):664-74.
Objective The objective of this study was to retrospectively evaluate the clinical and immunological effects of anti-B cell treatment in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and mixed connective-tissue disease (MCTD) with autoimmune thrombocytopenia (AITP) refractory to conventional immunosuppressive treatment. Methods Rituximab (RTX) was added to the ongoing treatment of 16 patients (median age 36 years, range 17-84, all female) with treatment-resistant AITP. Thirteen patients had SLE and three had MCTD. RTX was given intravenously on four occasions during four consecutive weeks at a dose of 375 mg/m(2). Clinical and laboratory disease activity variables recorded at every follow-up visit were analyzed. Results The median disease duration before RTX treatment was nine years (range 0.2-27) and the median post-treatment follow-up time was 28 months (range 3 to 92). Ten patients (63%) were treated repeatedly with RTX during the follow-up period. Complete depletion of B cells was achieved in 94% of cases one month after RTX treatment. A significant increase (p = 0.0001) of platelet counts was seen already after one month (median 58 × 10(9)/ml vs 110 × 10(9)/ml) whereas within three months platelet counts normalized in 10 patients (median 223 × 10(9)/ml). Three patients did not respond to RTX treatment (median platelet count 69 × 10(9)/ml). High titers of anti-platelet antibodies were detected in seven patients before RTX treatment, and the autoantibody titers decreased significantly (p < 0.03) after RTX treatment in six of these patients who also achieved complete remission. A review of the literature revealed 24 articles including 18 case reports, one retrospective cohort study and five prospective studies documenting the outcomes of 65 RTX-treated patients with SLE- or MCTD-related thrombocytopenia with an overall treatment response rate of 80%. In conclusion, these findings indicate that RTX is an additional potent therapeutic treatment option for SLE patients with AITP refractory to conventional immunosuppressive treatment whereas best response may be expected in patients with high titers of anti-platelet antibodies at baseline.
- A case of catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome, which presented an acute interstitial pneumonia-like image on chest CT scan. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mod Rheumatol 2013 Apr 4.
We report the case of catastrophic antiphospholipid syndrome (CAPS) complicated with mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD). A female patient was diagnosed with acute interstitial pneumonia (AIP) with MCTD by chest CT scan. Corticosteroid therapy was refractory for lung involvement, and she died due to acute respiratory failure. The autopsy revealed that AIP was compatible with lung involvement of CAPS. We therefore suggest that chest CT might reveal AIP-like findings in CAPS patients whose condition is complicated with pulmonary manifestations.
- Immunogenicity of influenza H1N1 vaccination in mixed connective tissue disease: effect of disease and therapy. [Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't]
- Clinics (Sao Paulo) 2013; 68(2):129-34.
To assess the potential acute effects regarding the immunogenicity and safety of non-adjuvanted influenza A H1N1/2009 vaccine in patients with mixed connective tissue disease and healthy controls.Sixty-nine mixed connective tissue disease patients that were confirmed by Kasukawa's classification criteria and 69 age- and gender-matched controls participated in the study; the participants were vaccinated with the non-adjuvanted influenza A/California/7/2009 (H1N1) virus-like strain. The percentages of seroprotection, seroconversion, geometric mean titer and factor increase in the geometric mean titer were calculated. The patients were clinically evaluated, and blood samples were collected pre- and 21 days post-vaccination to evaluate C-reactive protein, muscle enzymes and autoantibodies. Anti-H1N1 titers were determined using an influenza hemagglutination inhibition assay. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01151644.Before vaccination, no difference was observed regarding the seroprotection rates (p = 1.0) and geometric mean titer (p = 0.83) between the patients and controls. After vaccination, seroprotection (75.4% vs. 71%, (p = 0.7), seroconversion (68.1% vs. 65.2%, (p = 1.00) and factor increase in the geometric mean titer (10.0 vs. 8.0, p = 0.40) were similar in the two groups. Further evaluation of seroconversion in patients with and without current or previous history of muscle disease (p = 0.20), skin ulcers (p = 0.48), lupus-like cutaneous disease (p = 0.74), secondary Sjogren syndrome (p = 0.78), scleroderma-pattern in the nailfold capillaroscopy (p = 1.0), lymphopenia #1000/mm³ on two or more occasions (p = 1.0), hypergammaglobulinemia $1.6 g/d (p = 0.60), pulmonary hypertension (p = 1.0) and pulmonary fibrosis (p = 0.80) revealed comparable rates. Seroconversion rates were also similar in patients with and without immunosuppressants. Disease parameters, such as C-reactive protein (p = 0.94), aldolase (p = 0.73), creatine phosphokinase (p = 0.40) and ribonucleoprotein antibody levels (p = 0.98), remained largely unchanged pre and post-vaccination. No severe side effects were reported.The non-adjuvanted influenza A/H1N1 vaccination immune response in mixed connective tissue disease patients is adequate and does not depend on the disease manifestations and therapy.
- Prevalence of pulmonary hypertension in an unselected, mixed connective tissue disease cohort: results of a nationwide, Norwegian cross-sectional multicentre study and review of current literature. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Rheumatology (Oxford) 2013 Feb 12.
Objectives.The aim of this study was to assess the overall prevalence of pulmonary hypertension (PH) in an unselected MCTD cohort and review the current knowledge with a systematic database search.Methods. A nationwide multicentre cohort of 147 adult MCTD patients were initially screened for PH by echocardiography, high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT), pulmonary function tests and N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and then followed up for a mean of 5.6 years. Right-sided heart catheterization was performed when estimated pulmonary artery systolic pressure was >40 mmHg on echocardiography. PH was diagnosed according to the 2009 European Society of Cardiology and European Respiratory Society guidelines.
Results.At inclusion, 2.0% (3/147) had established PH. Two additional PH patients were identified during follow-up, giving a total PH frequency in the cohort of 3.4% (5/147). All five had elevated serum NT-proBNP. Two had isolated pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and three PH associated with interstitial lung disease (PH-ILD). Three PH patients died during follow-up. Nine other patients in the cohort also died, but none of them had echocardiographic signs of PH prior to death.
Conclusion.The data from the current unselected MCTD cohort suggest that the prevalence of PH is much lower than expected from previous studies but confirm the seriousness of the disease complication.
- Intravenous epoprostenol treatment of patients with connective tissue disease and pulmonary arterial hypertension at a single center. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Mod Rheumatol 2013 Jan 29.
OBJECTIVE:To assess the efficacy of epoprostenol treatment in Japanese patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) associated with connective tissue disease (CTD).
METHODS:Sixteen patients with PAH-CTD treated with continuous intravenous epoprostenol at a single center between 2000 and 2009 were enrolled. Baseline characteristics, short-term and long-term outcomes, predictors of mortality, and safety profiles were evaluated. For survival analysis, 16 controls were selected who matched the underlying CTD, World Health Organization functional class, and use of PAH drugs, except for epoprostenol.
RESULTS:Six patients had systemic lupus erythematosus, five had mixed CTD, four had systemic sclerosis, and one had primary Sjögren's syndrome. The mean pulmonary arterial pressure (mPAP), cardiac index (CI), pulmonary vascular resistance, and functional class were significantly improved during the first 6 months of epoprostenol treatment. Cumulative survival rates at 1, 2, and 3 years in epoprostenol-treated patients were 69, 69, and 55 %, respectively, and were significantly better than those of the controls. Functional class, CI at baseline, and reduction of mPAP at 6 months were identified as predictors of survival. Adverse events, including flushing and catheter-related infection, were frequent, but all patients tolerated the treatment.
CONCLUSION:Based on the improvements in both short-term and long-term outcomes among our patient cohort, epoprostenol is an effective treatment for CTD patients with advanced PAH.
- Pulmonary hypertension in rheumatic diseases: epidemiology and pathogenesis. [JOURNAL ARTICLE]
- Rheumatol Int 2013 Jan 19.
The focus of this review is to increase awareness of pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) in patients with rheumatic diseases. Epidemiology and pathogenesis of PAH in rheumatic diseases is reviewed, with recommendations for early screening and diagnosis and suggestion of possible role of immunosuppressive therapy in treatment for PAH in rheumatic diseases. A MEDLINE search for articles published between January 1970 and June 2012 was conducted using the following keywords: pulmonary hypertension, scleroderma, systemic sclerosis, pulmonary arterial hypertension, connective tissues disease, systemic lupus erythematosus, mixed connective tissue disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren's syndrome, vasculitis, sarcoidosis, inflammatory myopathies, dermatomyositis, ankylosing spondylitis, spondyloarthropathies, diagnosis and treatment. Pathogenesis and disease burden of PAH in rheumatic diseases was highlighted, with emphasis on early consideration and workup of PAH. Screening recommendations and treatment were touched upon. PAH is most commonly seen in systemic sclerosis and may be seen in isolation or in association with interstitial lung disease. Several pathophysiologic processes have been identified including an obliterative vasculopathy, veno-occlusive disease, formation of microthrombi and pulmonary fibrosis. PAH in systemic lupus erythematosus is associated with higher prevalence of antiphospholipid and anticardiolipin antibodies and the presence of Raynaud's phenomenon. Endothelial proliferation with vascular remodeling, abnormal coagulation with thrombus formation and immune-mediated vasculopathy are the postulated mechanisms. Improvement with immunosuppressive medications has been reported. Pulmonary fibrosis, extrinsic compression of pulmonary arteries and granulomatous vasculitis have been reported in patients with sarcoidosis. Intimal and medial hyperplasia with luminal narrowing has been observed in Sjogren's syndrome, mixed connective tissue disease and inflammatory myopathies. Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) associated with rheumatic diseases carries a particularly grim prognosis with faster progression of disease and poor response to therapy. Though largely associated with systemic sclerosis, it is being increasingly recognized in other rheumatic diseases. An underlying inflammatory component may explain the poor response to therapy in patients with rheumatic diseases and is a rationale for consideration of immunosuppressive therapy in conjunction with vasodilator therapy in treatment for PAH. Further studies identifying pathogenetic pathways and possible targets of therapy, especially the role of immunomodulatory medications, are warranted.
- Rituximab: rescue therapy in life-threatening complications or refractory autoimmune diseases: a single center experience. [Journal Article]
- Rheumatol Int 2013 Jun; 33(6):1495-504.
Rituximab (RTX) is a chimeric anti-CD20 antibody, approved for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients who failed anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor therapy. It has been used occasionally for life-threatening autoimmune diseases (AID). We report our center experience in the use of RTX in life-threatening complications or refractory AID. Clinical charts of patients treated with RTX at our center were reviewed, cases treated for life-threatening complications or refractory AID were analyzed. Acute damage to vital organs such as lung, heart, kidney, nervous system with severe functional impairment were defined as life-threatening complications; treatment failure with high-dose corticosteroids, cyclophosphamide, IVIG, plasmapheresis was defined as refractory autoimmune disease. During the years 2003-2009, 117 patients were treated with RTX, most of them for RA. Nine patients (6 females, mean age 51.5 years, mean disease duration 6.3 years) answered the criteria. The indications were as follows: pulmonary hemorrhage (1 patient with cryoglobulinemic vasculitis, 1 with systemic sclerosis, 1 with ANCA-associated vasculitis), catastrophic anti-phospholipid syndrome (2 SLE patients), non-bacterial endocarditis and pulmonary hypertension (1 patient with mixed connective tissue disease), vasculitis and feet necrosis (1 patient with systemic lupus erythematosus), severe lupus demyelinative neuropathy and acute renal failure (1patient), and severe rheumatoid lung disease with recurrent empyema and pneumothorax (1patient). B cell depletion was achieved in all patients. The median time since starting of complications to RTX administration was 3 weeks (range 2-15 weeks). Complete remission (suppression of the hazardous situation and return to previous stable state) was seen in 7 out of 9 patients. Partial remission (significant improvement) was achieved in the remained. The median time to response was 3 weeks (range 1-8 weeks), mean follow-up 47.2 months (range 6-60 months). A rapid tapering off of steroids was achieved in all patients. Two patients relapsed and were successfully retreated with RTX: the patient with severe RA lung relapsed after 3 years, one of the patients with ANCA-associated pulmonary alveolar hemorrhage relapsed after 10 months. There were no side effects during RTX infusion. Two episodes of serious infections were registered: fatal Gram-negative sepsis 6 months after RTX treatment, and septic discitis 4 months after receiving RTX. RTX serves as a safe, efficient, and prompt rescue therapy in certain life-threatening conditions and resistant to aggressive immunosuppression AID. RTX when administrated at an earlier stage, prevented irreversible vital organ damage, and allowed rapid steroid tapering off in already severe immunodepressed patients.
- Evaluation and management of polymyositis. [Journal Article]
- Indian J Dermatol 2012 Sep; 57(5):371-4.
Polymyositis (PM) is one of the inflammatory myopathies, disorders characterized pathologically by the presence of inflammatory infiltrates in striated muscle. The principal clinical manifestation of PM is proximal muscle weakness. The cause of PM is unknown, but current evidence suggests that it is an autoimmune disorder. PM can affect people of any age, but most commonly presents between the ages of 50 to 70. PM is rarely seen in people younger than 18 years of age, and is twice as common among females than males. PM is more common in blacks than in whites. The overall prevalence of PM is 1 per 100,000. Muscle weakness may develop suddenly or more insidiously over a period of weeks to months. The classic symptom of PM is proximal weakness, which may manifest as difficulty holding the arms over the head, climbing stairs, or rising from a chair. Weakness of the striated muscle of the upper esophagus may result in dysphagia, dysphonia, and aspiration. The chest wall muscles may be affected, leading to ventilatory compromises. Involvement of cardiac muscle may lead to arrhythmias and congestive heart failure. Dermatomyositis (DM) is closely related to PM, and both are distinguished primarily by the occurrence of characteristic skin abnormalities in the former. PM and DM may be associated with a variety of malignancies. PM may also occur as part of the spectrum of other rheumatic diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus and mixed connective tissue disease. Moreover, inflammatory myopathy may be caused by some drugs (procainamide, D-penicillamine), and viruses, most notably the retroviruses. Corticosteroids and immunosuppressive agents are the mainstays of therapy for PM. The principal goals of therapy are to improve strength and improve physical functioning. Many patients require treatment for several years. The 5-year survival rate for treated patients is in the order of 95%. Up to one-third of PM patients may be left with some degree of residual muscle weakness.