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1.  Prediction of Methotrexate Intolerance in Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis: a prospective, observational cohort study 
Methotrexate (MTX) is an effective and safe drug in the treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Despite its safety, MTX-related gastrointestinal adverse effects before and after MTX administration, termed MTX intolerance, occur frequently, leading to non-compliance and potentially premature MTX termination. The aim of this study was to construct a risk model to predict MTX intolerance.
In a prospective JIA cohort, clinical variables and single nucleotide polymorphisms were determined at MTX start. The Methotrexate Intolerance Severity Score was employed to measure MTX intolerance in the first year of treatment. MTX intolerance was most prevalent at 6 or 12 months after MTX start, which was defined as the outcome for the prediction model. The model was developed in 152 patients using multivariable logistic regression analysis and subsequently internally validated using bootstrapping.
The prediction model included the following predictors: JIA category, antinuclear antibody, parent/patient assessment of pain, Juvenile Arthritis Disease Activity Score-27, thrombocytes, alanine aminotransferase and creatinine. The model classified 77.5% of patients correctly, and 66.7% of patients after internal validation by bootstrapping. The lowest predicted risk of MTX intolerance was 18.9% and the highest predicted risk was 85.9%. The prediction model was transformed into a risk score (range 0–17). At a cut-off of ≥6, sensitivity was 82.0%, specificity 56.1%, positive predictive value was 58.7% and negative predictive value 80.4%.
This clinical prediction model showed moderate predictive power to detect MTX intolerance. To develop into a clinically usable tool, it should be validated in an independent cohort and updated with new predictors. Such an easy-to-use tool could then assist clinicians in identifying patients at risk to develop MTX intolerance, and in turn to monitor them closely and intervene timely in order to prevent the development of MTX intolerance.
Trial registration
ISRCTN register,, ISRCTN13524271
PMCID: PMC4349799  PMID: 25745368
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis; Methotrexate; Adverse events; Methotrexate intolerance; Prediction model; Predictor
8.  Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in Children and Adolescents 
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease that can involve any organ system with a wide range of disease manifestations, and can lead to significant morbidity and even mortality. This article reviews the epidemiology, common clinical features, complications of disease, and briefly discusses the available treatment options. In addition, important medical and psychosocial issues relevant to the pediatrician caring for children and adolescents with SLE are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3348509  PMID: 22560574
pediatric; childhood; SLE; clinical features; neuropsychiatric; nephritis; diagnosis; treatment; damage; complications
9.  Heat shock protein 60 reactive T cells in juvenile idiopathic arthritis: what is new? 
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a disease characterized by chronic joint inflammation, caused by a deregulated immune response. In patients with JIA, heat shock proteins (HSPs) are highly expressed in the synovial lining tissues of inflamed joints. HSPs are endogenous proteins that are expressed upon cellular stress and are able to modulate immune responses. In this review, we concentrate on the role of HSPs, especially HSP60, in modulating immune responses in both experimental and human arthritis, with a focus on JIA. We will mainly discuss the tolerogenic immune responses induced by HSPs, which could have a beneficial effect in JIA. Overall, we will discuss the immune modulatory capacity of HSPs, and the underlying mechanisms of HSP60-mediated immune regulation in JIA, and how this can be translated into therapy.
PMCID: PMC2714101  PMID: 19519922
10.  Novel self-epitopes derived from aggrecan, fibrillin, and matrix metalloproteinase-3 drive distinct autoreactive T-cell responses in juvenile idiopathic arthritis and in health 
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a heterogeneous autoimmune disease characterized by chronic joint inflammation. Knowing which antigens drive the autoreactive T-cell response in JIA is crucial for the understanding of disease pathogenesis and additionally may provide targets for antigen-specific immune therapy. In this study, we tested 9 self-peptides derived from joint-related autoantigens for T-cell recognition (T-cell proliferative responses and cytokine production) in 36 JIA patients and 15 healthy controls. Positive T-cell proliferative responses (stimulation index ≥2) to one or more peptides were detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 69% of JIA patients irrespective of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genotype. The peptides derived from aggrecan, fibrillin, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3 yielded the highest frequency of T-cell proliferative responses in JIA patients. In both the oligoarticular and polyarticular subtypes of JIA, the aggrecan peptide induced T-cell proliferative responses that were inversely related with disease duration. The fibrillin peptide, to our knowledge, is the first identified autoantigen that is primarily recognized in polyarticular JIA patients. Finally, the epitope derived from MMP-3 elicited immune responses in both subtypes of JIA and in healthy controls. Cytokine production in short-term peptide-specific T-cell lines revealed production of interferon-γ (aggrecan/MMP-3) and interleukin (IL)-17 (aggrecan) and inhibition of IL-10 production (aggrecan). Here, we have identified a triplet of self-epitopes, each with distinct patterns of T-cell recognition in JIA patients. Additional experiments need to be performed to explore their qualities and role in disease pathogenesis in further detail.
PMCID: PMC1794523  PMID: 17129378

Results 1-10 (10)