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1.  Patients with non-Jo-1 anti-tRNA-synthetase autoantibodies have worse survival than Jo-1 positive patients 
Annals of the rheumatic diseases  2013;73(1):227-232.
Objective
To compare the cumulative survival and event free survival in patients with Jo-1 versus non-Jo-1 anti-tRNA synthetase autoantibodies (anti-synAb).
Methods
Anti-synAb positive patients initially evaluated from 1985 to 2009 were included regardless of the connective tissue disease (CTD) diagnosis. Clinical data were extracted from a prospectively collected database and chart review. Survival between Jo-1 and non-Jo-1 was compared by log rank and Cox proportional hazards methods.
Results
202 patients possessed anti-synAb: 122 Jo-1 and 80 non-Jo-1 (35 PL-12; 25 PL-7; 9 EJ; 6 KS; 5 OJ). The diagnoses at first visit for Jo-1 and non-Jo-1 patients were myositis in 83% and 40.0%, overlap or undifferentiated CTD in 17% and 47.5%, and systemic sclerosis in 0% and 12.5%, respectively (p<0.001). The median delay in diagnosis was 0.4 years in Jo-1 patients versus 1.0 year in non-Jo-1 patients (p<0.001). The most common causes of death in the overall cohort were pulmonary fibrosis in 49% and pulmonary hypertension in 11%. The 5- and 10-year unadjusted cumulative survival was 90% and 70% for Jo-1 patients, and 75% and 47% for non-Jo-1 patients ( p<0.005). The hazard ratio (HR) of non-Jo-1 patients compared with Jo-1 patients was 1.9 (p=0.01) for cumulative and 1.9 (p=0.008) for event free survival from diagnosis. Age at first diagnosis and diagnosis delay but not gender, ethnicity and CTD diagnosis influenced survival.
Conclusions
Non-Jo-1 anti-synAb positive patients have decreased survival compared with Jo-1 patients. The difference in survival may be partly attributable to a delay in diagnosis in the non-Jo-1 patients.
doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-201800
PMCID: PMC4031026  PMID: 23422076
2.  Rituximab in the Treatment of Refractory Adult and Juvenile Dermatomyositis and Adult Polymyositis: A Randomized, Placebo-phase Trial 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2013;65(2):314-324.
Objective
To assess the safety and efficacy of rituximab in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-phase, trial of adult and pediatric myositis.
Methods
Adults with refractory polymyositis and adults and children with refractory dermatomyositis were enrolled. Entry criteria included muscle weakness and ≥2 additional abnormal core set measures (CSM) for adults. JDM patients required ≥ 3 abnormal CSM with or without muscle weakness. Patients were randomized to either ‘rituximab early’ or ‘rituximab late’ and glucocorticoid and immunosuppressive therapy were allowed at entry. The primary endpoint compared the time to achieve the preliminary International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies Group definition of improvement (DOI) between the 2 groups. The secondary endpoints were time to achieve ≥20% improvement in muscle strength, and the proportion of early and late rituximab patients achieving DOI at week 8.
Results
Among 200 randomized patients (76 PM/76 DM/48 JDM), 195 showed no difference in the time to DOI between the rituximab late (n=102) and rituximab early (n=93) groups (p=0.74, log rank) with a median time to DOI of 20.2 weeks and 20.0 weeks respectively. The secondary endpoints also did not significantly differ between the two treatment groups. However, 161 (83%) of randomized patients met the DOI and individual CSM improved in both groups throughout the 44-week trial.
Conclusion
Although there were no significant differences in the two treatment arms for the primary and secondary endpoints, 83% of refractory adult and juvenile myositis patients met the DOI. The role of B cell depleting therapies in myositis warrants further study with consideration for a different trial design.
doi:10.1002/art.37754
PMCID: PMC3558563  PMID: 23124935
3.  Atretic parietal encephalocoele – An unusual diagnosis 
doi:10.1016/j.mjafi.2012.02.005
PMCID: PMC3862940  PMID: 24532943
Straight sinus; Encephalocoele; Flow void; Spinning top; Peaking
4.  Methods of Formal Consensus in Classification/Diagnostic Criteria and Guideline Development 
Guideline or diagnostic criteria in clinical practice assist physicians in their clinical decision-making and improve health outcomes for patients. Diagnostic and classification criteria are based on evidence from rigorously conducted controlled studies. Formal group consensus methods have been developed to organize subjective judgments and to synthesize them with the available evidence. This review discusses four types of formal consensus methods used in the health field and their applications in rheumatology: the Delphi method, nominal group technique, RAND/UCLA Appropriateness Method, and National Institutes of Health consensus development conference.
doi:10.1016/j.semarthrit.2010.12.001
PMCID: PMC3131416  PMID: 21420149
5.  The 2010 American College of Rheumatology/European League Against Rheumatism Classification Criteria for Rheumatoid Arthritis 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2010;62(9):2582-2591.
Objective
The American College of Rheumatology and the European League Against Rheumatism have developed new classification criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of Phase 2 of the development process was to achieve expert consensus on the clinical and laboratory variables that should contribute to the final criteria set.
Methods
Twenty-four expert RA clinicians (12 from Europe and 12 from North America) participated in Phase 2. A consensus-based decision analysis approach was used to identify factors (and their relative weights) that influence the probability of “developing RA,” complemented by data from the Phase 1 study. Patient case scenarios were used to identify and reach consensus on factors important in determining the probability of RA development. Decision analytic software was used to derive the relative weights for each of the factors and their categories, using choice-based conjoint analysis.
Results
The expert panel agreed that the new classification criteria should be applied to individuals with undifferentiated inflammatory arthritis in whom at least 1 joint is deemed by an expert assessor to be swollen, indicating definite synovitis. In this clinical setting, they identified 4 additional criteria as being important: number of joints involved and site of involvement, serologic abnormality, acute-phase response, and duration of symptoms in the involved joints. These criteria were consistent with those identified in the Phase 1 data-driven approach.
Conclusion
The consensus-based, decision analysis approach used in Phase 2 complemented the Phase 1 efforts. The 4 criteria and their relative weights form the basis of the final criteria set.
doi:10.1002/art.27580
PMCID: PMC3077961  PMID: 20872596
6.  Chemokines in multiple myeloma 
Experimental hematology  2006;34(10):1289-1295.
Objective
In this article we focus on the role that chemokines and chemokine receptors play in the pathogenesis of multiple myeloma and the associated bone destructive process, and consider their utility as novel therapeutic targets for treating this devastating disease.
Methods
Current research on the role that chemokine and chemokine receptors play in the pathogenesis of myeloma is reviewed.
Results
The chemokines, MIP-1α, MCP-1, IL-8, and SDF-1, and their receptors play important roles in homing of MM cells, tumor growth, and bone destruction in myeloma. They are attractive therapeutic targets for treating myeloma patients.
Conclusion
Addition of chemokine antagonists to current treatment regimens for myeloma should result in better therapeutic responses because of the loss of both the protective effect of the marrow microenvironment on the MM cells and the induction of osteoclast activity.
doi:10.1016/j.exphem.2006.06.017
PMCID: PMC3134145  PMID: 16982321
7.  The role of synovial fluid markers of catabolism and anabolism in osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and asymptomatic organ donors 
Introduction
The purpose of this study was to correlate the level of anabolic and catabolic biomarkers in synovial fluid (SF) from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), patients with osteoarthritis (OA) and asymptomatic organ donors.
Methods
SF was collected from the knees of 45 OA, 22 RA patients and 20 asymptomatic organ donors. Eight biomarkers were selected and analyzed by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay: interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, IL-8 and IL-11; leukemia-inhibitory factor (LIF); cartilage oligomeric protein (COMP); osteocalcin; and osteogenic protein 1 (OP-1). Data are expressed as medians (interquartile ranges). The effects of sex and disease activity were assessed on the basis of the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities index score for patients with OA and on the basis of white blood cell count, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and C-reactive protein level for patients with RA.
Results
The mean ages (± SD) of the patients were as follows: 53 ± 9 years for patients with OA, 54 ± 11 years for patients with RA and 52 ± 7 years for asymptomatic organ donors. No effect of participants' sex was identified. In the SF of patients with RA, four of five cytokines were higher than those in the SF of patients with OA and those of asymptomatic organ donors. The most significant differences were found for IL-6 and IL-8, where IL-6 concentration in SF of patients with RA was almost threefold higher than that in patients with OA and fourfold higher than that in asymptomatic donor controls: 354.7 pg/ml (1,851.6) vs. 119.4 pg/ml (193.2) vs. 86.97 pg/ml (82.0) (P < 0.05 and P < 0.05, respectively). IL-8 concentrations were higher in SF of patients with RA than that in patients with OA as well as that in asymptomatic donor controls: 583.6 pg/ml (1,086.4) vs. 429 pg/ml (87.3) vs. 451 pg/ml (170.1) (P < 0.05 and P < 0.05, respectively). No differences were found for IL-11 in the SF of patients with RA and that of patients with OA, while a 1.4-fold difference was detected in the SF of patients with OA and that of asymptomatic donor controls: 296.2 pg/ml (257.2) vs. 211.6 pg/ml (40.8) (P < 0.05). IL-1 concentrations were the highest in the SF of RA patients (9.26 pg/ml (11.1)); in the SF of asymptomatic donors, it was significantly higher than that in patients with OA (9.083 pg/ml (1.6) vs. 7.76 pg/ml (2.6); P < 0.05). Conversely, asymptomatic donor control samples had the highest LIF concentrations: 228.5 pg/ml (131.6) vs. 128.4 pg/ml (222.7) in the SF of patients with RA vs. 107.5 pg/ml (136.9) in the SF of patients with OA (P < 0.05). OP-1 concentrations were twofold higher in the SF of patients with RA than those in patients with OA and threefold higher than those in asymptomatic donor control samples (167.1 ng/ml (194.8) vs. 81.79 ng/ml (116.0) vs. 54.49 ng/ml (29.3), respectively; P < 0.05). The differences in COMP and osteocalcin were indistinguishable between the groups, as were the differences between active and inactive OA and RA.
Conclusions
Activation of selected biomarkers corresponds to the mechanisms that drive each disease. IL-11, LIF and OP-1 may be viewed as a cluster of biomarkers significant for OA; while profiling of IL-1, IL-6, IL-8, LIF and OP-1 may be more significant in RA. Larger, better-defined patient cohorts are necessary to develop a biomarker algorithm for prognostic use.
doi:10.1186/ar3293
PMCID: PMC3132039  PMID: 21435227
8.  Anti-Citrullinated Peptide Antibody (ACPA) Assays and their Role in the Diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2009;61(11):1472-1483.
Increasingly, assays for the detection of anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPA) are used in RA diagnosis. This review summarizes the biologic basis and development of ACPA assays, available ACPA assays and their performance characteristics, and diagnostic properties of ACPA alone and compared to rheumatoid factor (RF) in early RA. We also review correlations, precision, costs and cost-effectiveness, availability, stability and reproducibility of the available assays. Taken together, data indicate that ACPA has a higher specificity than RF for early RA, good predictive validity, high sensitivity, apparent cost-effectiveness and good stability and reproducibility. Given its superior performance characteristics and increasing availability, ACPA is emerging as the most useful single assay for the diagnosis of RA.
doi:10.1002/art.24827
PMCID: PMC2859449  PMID: 19877103
anti-citrullinated peptide antibody; rheumatoid factor; anti-CCP; ACPA; RF; diagnosis; rheumatoid arthritis; early arthritis

Results 1-8 (8)