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1.  An evaluation of the utility of routine laboratory monitoring of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) patients using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): a retrospective review 
No consensus evidence-based guidelines for the routine laboratory monitoring of children with JIA receiving non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) exist. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the clinical utility of routine laboratory monitoring of hemoglobin, transaminases, blood urea nitrogen, serum creatinine, and urinalysis in patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) receiving NSAIDs.
The medical records of 91 children with JIA followed between 1996 and 2006 were retrospectively reviewed for laboratory results and clinically significant adverse effects attributed to NSAID use. Laboratory abnormalities were documented, with potential adverse clinical sequelae, including if NSAID use was discontinued.
Abnormal laboratory results were recorded for 24 of 91 patients. Nearly all abnormalities were mild and not associated with adverse clinical sequelae. All patients but one continued to receive NSAID therapy after the abnormality was detected.
Although detection of abnormal laboratory values occurred while on NSAIDs, these abnormalities did not correlate with adverse clinical signs and symptoms. The routine monitoring of laboratory tests in asymptomatic children treated with NSAIDs is of questionable utility.
PMCID: PMC2860356  PMID: 20398286
2.  High density genotyping of STAT4 gene reveals multiple haplotypic associations with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in different racial groups 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2009;60(4):1085-1095.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the prototypic systemic autoimmune disorder with complex etiology and a strong genetic component. Recently, gene products involved in the interferon pathway have been under intense investigation in SLE pathogenesis. STAT1 and STAT4 are transcription factors that play key roles in the interferon and Th1 signaling pathways, making them attractive candidates for SLE susceptibility.
Fifty-six single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across STAT1 and STAT4 genes on chromosome 2 were genotyped using Illumina platform as a part of extensive association study in a large collection of 9923 lupus cases and controls from different racial groups. DNA from patients and controls was obtained from peripheral blood. Principal component analyses and population based case-control association analyses were performed and the p values, FDR q values and Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated.
We observed strong genetic associations with SLE and multiple SNPs located within the STAT4 gene in different ethnicities (Fisher combined p= 7.02×10−25). In addition to strong confirmation of the association in the 3rd intronic region of this gene reported previously, we identified additional haplotypic association across STAT4 gene and in particular a common risk haplotype that is found in multiple racial groups. In contrast, only a relatively weak suggestive association was observed with STAT1, probably due to the proximity to STAT4.
Our findings indicate that the STAT4 gene is likely to be a crucial component in SLE pathogenesis among multiple racial groups. The functional effects of this association, when revealed, might improve our understanding of the disease and provide new therapeutic targets.
PMCID: PMC2776081  PMID: 19333953

Results 1-2 (2)