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1.  Lower vitamin D levels are associated with higher systemic lupus erythematosus activity, but not predictive of disease flare-up 
Lupus Science & Medicine  2014;1(1):e000027.
Objectives
Growing evidence suggests that vitamin D plays a key role in the pathogenesis and progression of autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Recent studies have found an association between lower serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) levels and higher SLE activity. We studied the relationship between 25(OH)D levels and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) score, and we assessed for the first time the role of vitamin D in predicting SLE flare-ups.
Methods
Serum 25(OH)D levels were measured in 170 patients with SLE who were prospectively followed up for 6 months (Plaquenil LUpus Systemic study, ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT00413361).
Results
The mean SLEDAI score was 2.03±2.43 and 12.3% patients had active disease (SLEDAI ≥6). The mean 25(OH)D level was 20.6±9.8 ng/mL. Deficiency (25(OH)D <10 ng/mL) was observed in 27 (15.9%), insufficiency (10≤25(OH)D<30) in 112 (65.9%) and optimal vitamin D status (25(OH)D≥30) in 31 (18.2%) patients. In multivariate analysis, female gender (p=0.018), absence of defined antiphospholipid syndrome (p=0.002) and higher creatinine clearance (p=0.004) were predictive of lower 25(OH)D levels. In multivariate analysis, lower 25(OH)D levels were associated with high SLE activity (p=0.02). Relapse-free survival rate was not statistically different according to the vitamin D status during the 6-month follow-up (p=0.22).
Conclusions
We found a low vitamin D status in the majority of patients with SLE, and a modest association between lower 25(OH)D levels and high disease activity. There was no association between baseline 25(OH)D levels and relapse-free survival rate.
doi:10.1136/lupus-2014-000027
PMCID: PMC4213833  PMID: 25379192
vitamin D; Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; Autoimmune Diseases; hydroxychloroquine
2.  A Web-Based Delphi Study for Eliciting Helpful Criteria in the Positive Diagnosis of Hemophagocytic Syndrome in Adult Patients 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94024.
The diagnosis of the reactive form of hemophagocytic syndrome in adults remains particularly difficult since none of the clinical or laboratory manifestations are specific. We undertook a study in order to elicit which features constitute helpful criteria for a positive diagnosis. In this Delphi study, the features investigated in the questionnaire and the experts invited to participate in the survey were issued from a bibliographic search. The questionnaire was iteratively proposed to experts via a web-based application with a feedback of the results observed at the preceding Delphi round. Experts were asked to label each investigated criterion in one of the following categories: absolutely required, important, of minor interest, or not assessable in the routine practice environment. A positive consensus was a priori defined as at least 75% answers observed in the categories absolutely required and important. The questionnaire investigated 26 criteria and 24 experts originating from 13 countries participated in the second and final Delphi round. A positive consensus was reached for the nine following criteria: unilineage cytopenia, bicytopenia, pancytopenia, presence of hemophagocytosis pictures on a bone marrow aspirate or on a tissue biopsy, high ferritin level, fever, organomegaly, presence of a predisposing underlying disease, and high level of lactate dehydrogenase. A negative consensus was reached for 13 criteria, and an absence of consensus was observed for 4 criteria. The study constitutes the first initiative to date for defining international guidelines devoted to the positive diagnosis of the reactive form of hemophagocytic syndrome.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0094024
PMCID: PMC3977971  PMID: 24710079
3.  Lupus enteritis: from clinical findings to therapeutic management 
Lupus enteritis is a rare and poorly understood cause of abdominal pain in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In this study, we report a series of 7 new patients with this rare condition who were referred to French tertiary care centers and perform a systematic literature review of SLE cases fulfilling the revised ACR criteria, with evidence for small bowel involvement, excluding those with infectious enteritis. We describe the characteristics of 143 previously published and 7 new cases. Clinical symptoms mostly included abdominal pain (97%), vomiting (42%), diarrhea (32%) and fever (20%). Laboratory features mostly reflected lupus activity: low complement levels (88%), anemia (52%), leukocytopenia or lymphocytopenia (40%) and thrombocytopenia (21%). Median CRP level was 2.0 mg/dL (range 0–8.2 mg/dL). Proteinuria was present in 47% of cases. Imaging studies revealed bowel wall edema (95%), ascites (78%), the characteristic target sign (71%), mesenteric abnormalities (71%) and bowel dilatation (24%). Only 9 patients (6%) had histologically confirmed vasculitis. All patients received corticosteroids as a first-line therapy, with additional immunosuppressants administered either from the initial episode or only in case of relapse (recurrence rate: 25%). Seven percent developed intestinal necrosis or perforation, yielding a mortality rate of 2.7%. Altogether, lupus enteritis is a poorly known cause of abdominal pain in SLE patients, with distinct clinical and therapeutic features. The disease may evolve to intestinal necrosis and perforation if untreated. Adding with this an excellent steroid responsiveness, timely diagnosis becomes primordial for the adequate management of this rare entity.
doi:10.1186/1750-1172-8-67
PMCID: PMC3651279  PMID: 23642042
Systemic lupus erythematosus; Abdominal pain; Lupus enteritis; Small bowel disease; Vasculitis
4.  Acute Kidney Injury in Patients with Newly Diagnosed High-Grade Hematological Malignancies: Impact on Remission and Survival 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e55870.
Background
Optimal chemotherapy with minimal toxicity is the main determinant of complete remission in patients with newly diagnosed hematological malignancies. Acute organ dysfunctions may impair the patient’s ability to receive optimal chemotherapy.
Design and Methods
To compare 6-month complete remission rates in patients with and without acute kidney injury (AKI), we collected prospective data on 200 patients with newly diagnosed high-grade malignancies (non-Hodgkin lymphoma, 53.5%; acute myeloid leukemia, 29%; acute lymphoblastic leukemia, 11.5%; and Hodgkin disease, 6%).
Results
According to RIFLE criteria, 137 (68.5%) patients had AKI. Five causes of AKI accounted for 91.4% of cases: hypoperfusion, tumor lysis syndrome, tubular necrosis, nephrotoxic agents, and hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis. Half of the AKI patients received renal replacement therapy and 14.6% received suboptimal chemotherapy. AKI was associated with a lower 6-month complete remission rate (39.4% vs. 68.3%, P<0.01) and a higher mortality rate (47.4% vs. 30.2%, P<0.01) than patients without AKI. By multivariate analysis, independent determinants of 6-month complete remission were older age, poor performance status, number of organ dysfunctions, and AKI.
Conclusion
AKI is common in patients with newly diagnosed high-grade malignancies and is associated with lower complete remission rates and higher mortality.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055870
PMCID: PMC3573047  PMID: 23457485
5.  B cell depletion in immune thrombocytopenia reveals splenic long-lived plasma cells 
Primary immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) is a disorder caused by autoantibody-mediated platelet destruction and decreased platelet production. Rituximab, a B cell–depleting agent, has become the first-line treatment for ITP; however, patients with refractory disease usually require splenectomy. We identified antibody-secreting cells as the major splenic B cell population that is resistant to rituximab. The phenotype, antibody specificity, and gene expression profile of these cells were characterized and compared to those of antibody-secreting cells from untreated ITP spleens and from healthy tissues. Antiplatelet-specific plasma cells (PC) were detected in the spleens of patients with ITP up to 6 months after rituximab treatment, and the PC population displayed a long-lived program similar to the one of bone marrow PC, thus explaining for most of these patients the absence of response to rituximab and the response to splenectomy. When analyzed by multiplex PCR at the single-cell level, normal splenic PC showed a markedly different gene expression profile, with an intermediate signature, including genes characteristic of both long-lived PC and proliferating plasmablasts. Surprisingly, long-lived PC were not detected in untreated ITP spleens. These results suggest that the milieu generated by B cell depletion promotes the differentiation and settlement of long-lived PC in the spleen.
doi:10.1172/JCI65689
PMCID: PMC3533302  PMID: 23241960
6.  Efficacy and safety of rituximab in common variable immunodeficiency-associated immune cytopenias: a retrospective multicentre study on 33 patients 
British journal of haematology  2011;155(4):498-508.
Summary
Patients with common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) are at high risk of developing immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) and/or autoimmune haemolytic anaemia (AHA). Given their underlying immunodeficiency, immunosuppressive treatment of these manifestations may increase the risk of infection. To assess efficacy and safety of rituximab in patients with CVID-associated ITP/AHA, a multicentre retrospective study was performed. Thirty-three patients, 29 adults and four children, were included. Patients received an average of 2·6 treatments prior to rituximab including steroids, intravenous immunoglobulin and splenectomy (21%). The median ITP/AHA duration at time of first rituximab administration was 12 months [range 1–324] and the indication for using rituximab was ITP (22 cases), AHA (n = 5) or both (n = 7); 1 patient was treated sequentially for ITP and then AHA. The overall initial response rate to rituximab was 85% including 74% complete responses. After a mean follow-up of 39 ± 30 months after rituximab first administration, 10 of the initial responders relapsed and re-treatment with rituximab was successful in 7/9. Severe infections occurred after rituximab in eight adults (24%), four of whom were not on immunoglobulin replacement therapy. In conclusion, rituximab appears to be highly effective and relatively safe for the management of CVID-associated severe immune cytopenias.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2141.2011.08880.x
PMCID: PMC3428031  PMID: 21981575
immune thrombocytopenia; autoimmune haemolytic anaemia; Evans’ syndrome; common variable immunodeficiency; rituximab
7.  Vasculitic emergencies in the intensive care unit: a special focus on cryoglobulinemic vasculitis 
Vasculitis is characterized by the infiltration of vessel walls by inflammatory leukocytes with reactive damage and subsequent loss of vessel integrity. The clinical course of systemic vasculitis may be punctuated by acute life-threatening manifestations that require intensive care unit (ICU) admission. Furthermore, the diagnosis may be established in the ICU after admission for a severe inaugural symptom, mostly acute respiratory failure. Among the systemic vasculitides, cryoglobulinemic vasculitis (CV) has been rarely studied in an ICU setting. Severe CV-related complications may involve the kidneys, lungs, heart, gut, and/or central nervous system. The diagnosis of CV in the ICU may be delayed or completely unrecognized. A high level of suspicion is critical to obtain a timely and accurate diagnosis and to initiate appropriate treatment. We describe severe acute manifestations of CV based on six selected patients admitted to our ICU. That all six patients survived suggests the benefit of prompt ICU admission of patients with severe CV.
doi:10.1186/2110-5820-2-31
PMCID: PMC3488028  PMID: 22812447
Cryoglobulinemia; Cryoglobulinemic vasculitis; Acute respiratory failure; Acute kidney injury; Vasculitis; Systemic disease
8.  Predictive Features of Severe Acquired ADAMTS13 Deficiency in Idiopathic Thrombotic Microangiopathies: The French TMA Reference Center Experience 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(4):e10208.
Severe ADAMTS13 deficiency occurs in 13% to 75% of thrombotic microangiopathies (TMA). In this context, the early identification of a severe, antibody-mediated, ADAMTS13 deficiency may allow to start targeted therapies such as B-lymphocytes-depleting monoclonal antibodies. To date, assays exploring ADAMTS13 activity require skill and are limited to only some specialized reference laboratories, given the very low incidence of the disease. To identify clinical features which may allow to predict rapidly an acquired ADAMTS13 deficiency, we performed a cross-sectional analysis of our national registry from 2000 to 2007. The clinical presentation of 160 patients with TMA and acquired ADAMTS13 deficiency was compared with that of 54 patients with detectable ADAMTS13 activity. ADAMTS13 deficiency was associated with more relapses during treatment and with a good renal prognosis. Patients with acquired ADAMTS13 deficiency had platelet count <30×109/L (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 9.1, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.4–24.2, P<.001), serum creatinine level ≤200 µmol/L (OR 23.4, 95% CI 8.8–62.5, P<.001), and detectable antinuclear antibodies (OR 2.8, 95% CI 1.0–8.0, P<.05). When at least 1 criteria was met, patients with a severe acquired ADAMTS13 deficiency were identified with positive predictive value of 85%, negative predictive value of 93.3%, sensitivity of 98.8%, and specificity of 48.1%. Our criteria should be useful to identify rapidly newly diagnosed patients with an acquired ADAMTS13 deficiency to better tailor treatment for different pathophysiological groups.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010208
PMCID: PMC2859048  PMID: 20436664
9.  Intravascular lymphoma presenting as a specific pulmonary embolism and acute respiratory failure: a case report 
Introduction
The occurrence of an intravascular lymphoma with severe pulmonary involvement mimicking pulmonary embolism is described.
Case presentation
A 38-year-old man was referred to our intensive care unit with acute respiratory failure and long lasting fever. Appropriate investigations failed to demonstrate any bacterial, viral, parasitic or mycobacterial infection. A chest computed tomography scan ruled out any proximal or sub-segmental pulmonary embolism but the ventilation/perfusion lung scan concluded that there was a high probability of pulmonary embolism. The cutaneous biopsy pathology diagnosed intravascular lymphoma.
Conclusion
Intravascular lymphoma is a rare disease characterized by exclusive or predominant growth of neoplastic cells within the lumina of small blood vessels. Lung involvement seems to be common, but predominant lung presentation of this disease is rare. In our patient, urgent chemotherapy, along with adequate supportive care allowed complete recovery.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-3-7253
PMCID: PMC2726505  PMID: 19830149
10.  Tuberculosis associated thrombocytopenic purpura: effectiveness of antituberculous therapy 
Hematology Reviews  2009;1(1):e3.
Association of immune thrombocytopenic purpura and tuberculosis is a rare condition. In 5 patients presenting with this association, anti-tuberculous therapy was effective on both tuberculosis and thrombocytopenia suggesting a causal relationship between tuberculosis and immune thrombocytopenic purpura
doi:10.4081/hr.2009.e3
PMCID: PMC3222240
immune thrombocytopenic purpura; immune; peripheral; thrombocytopenia

Results 1-10 (10)