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1.  Impaired quality of life in patients with systemic sclerosis compared to the general population and chronic dermatoses 
BMC Research Notes  2014;7(1):594.
Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a rare and potentially life threatening autoimmune disorder. The burden of disease compared to other dermatoses is unknown. The purpose of this study was to assess both the quality of life in patients with SSc and the variables that are associated with poor quality of life. Forty-one patients with systemic sclerosis (29 limited, 2 diffuse, 10 undifferentiated forms) were assessed with respect to their health status and compared to published data for the normal population, SSc patients from other studies, and patients with chronic skin diseases.
For the most part, our SSc patients had better outcomes in all 8 dimensions of the SF-36 than SSc patients from other studies, and poorer scores than the healthy population and those with occupational contact dermatitis, ichthyosis, non-melanoma skin cancer, contact dermatitis, atopic eczema, chronic nail disease, vitiligo, health care workers with work-related disease, and those with other chronic skin diseases, but significantly better scores for mental health than those with nail disease, vitiligo, and health-care workers. Patients with atopic dermatitis, psoriasis and pemphigus had significantly poorer mean scores in social function and mental health than SSc patients. Patients with pemphigus were also significantly impaired in their physical and emotional roles. Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) had the significantly poorest mean scores for QoL in all 8 domains except bodily pain and emotional role.
Besides SLE, SSc is one of the most severe chronic dermatologic diseases in terms of reduced QoL. Since SSc cannot be cured, treatment strategies should include therapeutic interventions such as psychotherapy, social support, physiotherapy, and spiritual care. Their beneficial effects could be studied in future.
PMCID: PMC4175285  PMID: 25183055
Systemic sclerosis; Quality of life; Lupus erythematosus; Chronic skin disease; SF-36
2.  Guidelines and diagnostic algorithm for patients with suspected systemic mastocytosis: a proposal of the Austrian competence network (AUCNM) 
Systemic mastocytosis (SM) is a hematopoietic neoplasm characterized by pathologic expansion of tissue mast cells in one or more extracutaneous organs. In most children and most adult patients, skin involvement is found. Childhood patients frequently suffer from cutaneous mastocytosis without systemic involvement, whereas most adult patients are diagnosed as suffering from SM. In a smaller subset of patients, SM without skin lesions develops which is a diagnostic challenge. In the current article, a diagnostic algorithm for patients with suspected SM is proposed. In adult patients with skin lesions and histologically confirmed mastocytosis in the skin (MIS), a bone marrow biopsy is recommended regardless of the serum tryptase level. In adult patients without skin lesions who are suffering from typical mediator-related symptoms, the basal serum tryptase level is an important diagnostic parameter. In those with slightly elevated tryptase (15-30 ng/ml), additional non-invasive investigations, including a KIT mutation analysis of peripheral blood cells and sonographic analysis, is performed. In adult patients in whom i) KIT D816V is detected or/and ii) the basal serum tryptase level is clearly elevated (> 30 ng/ml) or/and iii) other clinical or laboratory features are suggesting the presence of occult mastocytosis, a bone marrow biopsy should be performed. In the absence of KIT D816V and other indications of mastocytosis, no bone marrow investigation is required, but the patient’s course and the serum tryptase levels are examined in the follow-up.
PMCID: PMC3649810  PMID: 23675567
Mastocytosis; tryptase; KIT D816V; diagnostic algorithm; staging
3.  Response to infliximab in SAPHO syndrome 
BMJ Case Reports  2009;2009:bcr10.2008.1145.
Infliximab has become increasingly important in the treatment of SAPHO (synovitis, acne, pustulosis, hyperostosis, and osteitis) syndrome. There is, however, little experience with this biological agent, and treatment protocols usually follow the regimens for spondylarthropathies. We report a patient with a highly unusual and severe clinical presentation of SAPHO syndrome including widespread bone and skin disease, and collagenous colitis. Infliximab treatment (5 mg/kg) given at weeks 0, 2 and 6 and every 8 weeks thereafter, induced rapid remission of the osteoarticular symptoms, although the skin lesions improved only partially, and after 10 months continuous therapy with infliximab a bone scan even uncovered new active bone lesions. Collagenous colitis is unresponsive to tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) blocking agents. This moderate response to infliximab may indicate that a more aggressive treatment protocol is mandatory. We further believe that remission of osteoarticular complaints should be routinely confirmed by scintigraphic findings to verify treatment response.
PMCID: PMC3029502  PMID: 21686446
5.  Rapid Typing of Borrelia burgdorferi Sensu Lato Species in Specimens from Patients with Different Manifestations of Lyme Borreliosis 
Journal of Clinical Microbiology  2001;39(3):1130-1133.
To further investigate the pathogenic potential of different Borrelia burgdorferi genospecies, specimens from 27 patients with different manifestations of Lyme borreliosis were analyzed by PCR and reverse line blotting (RLB). In samples from Lyme arthritis patients, B. burgdorferi sensu stricto was predominantly identified, while in patients with neuroborreliosis or acrodermatitis, Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii, respectively, were exclusively detected. The results demonstrate that PCR-RLB is a valuable tool for epidemiological and pathogenetic studies of Lyme borreliosis.
PMCID: PMC87886  PMID: 11230440

Results 1-5 (5)