Rheumatic diseases cause significant morbidity within American Indian populations. Clinical disease presentations, as well as historically associated autoantibodies, are not always useful in making a rapid diagnosis or assessing prognosis. The purpose of this study is to identify autoantibody associations among Oklahoma tribal populations with rheumatic disease.
Oklahoma tribal members (110 rheumatic disease patients and 110 controls) were enrolled at tribal-based clinics. Rheumatic disease patients (suspected or confirmed diagnosis) were assessed by a rheumatologist for clinical features, disease criteria, and activity measures. Blood samples were collected and tested for common rheumatic disease autoantibodies (ANA, anti-CCP, anti-RF, anti-Ro, anti-La, anti-Sm, anti-nRNP, anti-Ribosomal P, anti-dsDNA, and anti-cardiolipins).
In patients with suspected systemic rheumatic diseases, 72% satisfied ACR classification: 40 (36%) rheumatoid arthritis, 16 (15%) systemic lupus erythematosus, 8 (7%) scleroderma, 8 (7%) osteoarthritis, 4 (4%) fibromyalgia, 2 (2%) seronegative spondyloarthropathy, 1 Sjogrens syndrome, and 1 sarcoidosis. When compared to controls, RA patient sera were more likely to contain anti-CCP (55% vs 2%, p<0.001) or anti-RF IgM antibodies (57% vs 10%, p<0.001); however, the difference was greater for anti-CCP. Anti-CCP positivity conferred higher disease activity scores (DAS28 5.6 vs 4.45, p=0.021) while anti-RF positivity did not (DAS28 5.36 vs 4.64, p=0.15). Anticardiolipin antibodies (25% or rheumatic disease paitents vs 10% of contros,; p=0.0022) and ANA (63% vs 21%, p<0.0001) were more common in rheumatic disease patients.
Anti-CCP may serve as a better RA biomarker in AI patients, while the clinical significance of increased frequency of aCLs needs further evaluation.
Autoimmune diseases; autoantibodies; American Indian; rheumatic disease
Psoriasis vulgaris (PsV) and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) are inter-related disorders, with PsA representing a disease within a disease. From an epidemiological perspective, the genetic contributions of PsV and PsA are now well documented. HLA-C is firmly established as a PsV/PsA gene, with HLA-Cw*0602 as a major risk allele. Fine mapping studies within the MHC region in PsV and PsA have identified novel loci that are independent of the HLA-Cw6 allele. Recent genome-wide association scans have led to a substantial increase in the number of candidate genes reaching genome-wide significance in PsV and PsA cohorts. Most of these genes can be grouped into an integrated pathogenic model of PsV/PsA comprised of distinct signaling networks affecting skin barrier function (LCE3, DEFB4, GJB2), innate immune responses involving NFkB and interferon signaling (TNFAIP3, TNIP1, NFKBIA, REL, FBXL19, TYK2, NOS2), and adaptive immune responses involving CD8 T-lymphocytes and IL-23/IL-17-mediated lymphocyte signaling (HLA-C, IL12B, IL23R, IL23A, TRAF3IP2, ERAP1). Further development of a global genetic risk score and inclusion of potential gene/gene and gene/environment interactions will likely enhance the predictive value of recently identified genetic variants.
psoriasis; psoriatic arthritis; genes; genome-wide association scans
To evaluate whether continuing rheumatology follow-up visits and immunosuppressive therapy after starting renal replacement were associated with increased survival in lupus patients with end stage renal failure.
We identified all lupus patients over 21 years old who started renal replacement therapy between 2005 and 2011 at an urban tertiary care center. Mortality data was obtained using in-hospital records and the Social Security Death Index database.
We identified 80 lupus patients on renal replacement therapy. Twenty two patients (28%) were followed in rheumatology clinics frequently (2 or more visits per year) after starting renal replacement therapy, and 58 patients (72%) were followed infrequently (fewer than 2 visits per year).
Survival rates were significantly higher in transplant patients compared with dialysis patients. However, SLE patients followed frequently after starting dialysis had significantly higher 4-year survival rates compared with patients followed infrequently after starting dialysis, log rank p = 0.03. Furthermore, in the Cox proportional hazards model, treatment with prednisone alone or with no medication was associated with a hazard ratio (HR) of death of 6.1, 95% CI (1.1, 34), p = 0.04, and HR 13, 95% CI (1.5, 106), p = 0.02, respectively, compared with patients treated with a combination of immunosuppressive therapy with or without prednisone, adjusted for age at SLE diagnosis, gender, transplant status and the frequency of rheumatology visits after the development of end stage renal failure.
Active disease in lupus patients on renal replacement therapy may be under-recognized and under-treated, leading to increased mortality.
Lupus Erythematosus; Systemic; Lupus nephritis; Kidney Failure; Chronic; Mortality
Antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL Abs) play an active role in the pathogenesis of the antiphospholipid syndrome (APLS). Primary prevention in APLS may be aimed at decreasing existing elevated aPL Ab levels, or preventing high aPL titers and/or lupus anticoagulant (LAC) from developing in the first place. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) has been shown to decrease aPL titers in laboratory studies, and to decrease thrombosis risk in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients in retrospective studies. We investigated an association between HCQ use and persistent aPL Abs and/or LAC in SLE.
We identified all patients over 21 years old with SLE, from an urban tertiary care center, who had aPL Abs and LAC measured on at least 2 occasions, at least 12 weeks apart. We defined the presence of persistent LAC+ and/or at least one aPL Ab ≥ 40 units (IgA, IgG or IgM) as the main outcome variable.
Among 90 patients included in the study, 17 (19%) had persistent LAC+ and/or at least one aPL Ab ≥ 40 units. HCQ use was associated with significantly lower odds of having persistent LAC+ and/or aPL Abs ≥ 40 U, OR 0.21 (95% CI 0.05, 0.79) p=0.02, adjusted for age, ethnicity, and gender.
This is the first study to show that HCQ use is associated with lower odds of having persistently positive LAC and/or aPL Abs. Data from this study provides a basis for the design of future prospective studies investigating the role of HCQ in primary and secondary prevention of APLS.
Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic; Antiphospholipid Antibodies; Lupus Anticoagulant; Hydroxychloroquine
To characterize disease modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) use for children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) in the United States and determine patient factors associated with medication use.
We analyzed cross-sectional baseline enrollment data from the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) Registry from May 2010 through May 2011 for children with JIA. Current and prior medication use was included. We used parsimonious backward stepwise logistic regression models to calculate odds ratios (OR) to estimate associations between clinical patient factors and medication use.
We identified 2,748 children with JIA with a median disease duration of 3.9 years from 51 U.S. clinical sites. Overall, 2,023 (74%) had ever received a non-biologic DMARD and 1,246 (45%) had ever received a biologic DMARD. Among children without systemic arthritis, methotrexate use was most strongly associated with uveitis (OR 5.2; 95% confidence interval [3.6–7.6]), cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies (4.5 [1.7–12]), and extended oligoarthritis (4.1 [2.5–6.6]). Among children without systemic arthritis, biologic DMARD use was most strongly associated with rheumatoid factor positive (RF+) polyarthritis (4.3 [2.9–6.6]), psoriatic arthritis (3.0 [2.0–4.4]), and uveitis (2.8 [2.1–3.7]). Among children with systemic arthritis, 160 (65%) ever received a biologic DMARD; TNF inhibitor use was associated with polyarthritis (2.5 [3.8–16]) while IL-1 inhibitor use was not.
Approximately three-quarters of all children with JIA in the CARRA Registry received non-biologic DMARDs. Nearly one-half received biologic DMARDs, and their use was strongly associated with rheumatoid factor positive polyarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, uveitis, and systemic arthritis.
Spondyloarthritis; squaring; vertebrae
To analyze the attainment of inactive disease following initiation of TNF-α inhibitors in a heterogeneous cohort of children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA)
We performed retrospective chart review of all children with JIA at one academic center who newly initiated TNF-α inhibitor therapy. We retrospectively determined inactive disease status according to the 2004 criteria of Wallace, et al. We evaluated inactive disease status at 1 year after initiation of TNF-α inhibitor and attainment of inactive disease any point during the study period. Predictors of inactive disease were determined using univariate analyses and multivariable logistic regression models.
125 patients initiated TNF -α inhibitors, and 88 patients had 1 year follow-up visit data available. Many patients (49%) initiated TNF-α inhibitors within 6 months of the diagnosis of JIA. Diverse JIA phenotypes were represented: at baseline 29%of all patients had active enthesitis and only 23 % had active polyarthritis. At 1 year follow -up, 36 of 88 (41%) patients had inactive disease. Overall 67 of 125 (54 %) patients ever attained inactive disease status during the study period. In multivariable models, enthesitis -related arthritis (ERA) and higher childhood health assessment questionnaire (CHAQ) scores at baseline were independently associated with failure to later attain inactive disease status.
Treatment with TNF-α inhibitors appears to be less effective at attaining inactive disease status in patients with ERA or higher baseline CHAQ scores. Further studies are needed regarding the clinical effectiveness of TNF-α inhibitor therapy and the optimal treatment of ERA.
To evaluate the effectiveness of a uniform single-center treatment protocol composed of high-dose methotrexate (MTX) and oral corticosteroids in a pediatric localized scleroderma (LS) cohort.
Thirty-six patients with LS were recruited. Patients with active disease, defined as erythematous lesions and/or new lesions, or expansion of existing lesions, were started on oral prednisone 2 mg/kg/day (maximum 60 mg/day) and subcutaneous (SC) MTX at 1 mg/kg/week (maximum 25 mg/week). Prednisone was tapered and kept at 0.25 mg/kg/day for 12 months. MTX SC was continued for 24 months, and then switched to oral administration to complete 36 months of therapy. Modified LS Skin Severity Index (mLoSSI) and the physician global assessment of disease activity (PGA-A) were used as outcome measures.
Twenty-five patients with LS were female with a median age at onset of 7.86 years [interquartile range (IQR) 4.63–11.91]. Median disease duration from onset until start of this treatment regimen was 19.2 months (IQR 8.96–35.35). Median duration of followup was 36.40 months (IQR 29.39–45.36). All patients demonstrated significant improvement in mLoSSI at median 1.77 months (IQR 0.76–2.37, 95% CI 1.54, 2.01). PGA-A followed the same trend. No significant adverse reactions or flares were observed during therapy.
This single-center LS treatment protocol was effective and well tolerated. Clinical outcome in LS is affected by dose and route of administration of immunosuppressive regimens. Daily tapering dose of corticosteroids and parenteral MTX were effective in controlling LS activity without significant adverse reaction. This regimen should be considered as one of the therapies for LS clinical trials.
LOCALIZED SYSTEMIC SCLEROSIS; METHOTREXATE; PEDIATRIC RHEUMATIC DISEASE; CORTICOSTEROIDS
Little is known about the genetic etiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) in individuals of African ancestry, despite its higher prevalence and greater disease severity. Overproduction of nitric oxide (NO) and reactive oxygen species are implicated in the pathogenesis and severity of SLE, making NO synthases and other reactive intermediate related genes biological candidates for disease susceptibility. This study analyzed variation in reactive intermediate genes for association with SLE in two populations with African ancestry.
A total of 244 SNPs from 53 regions were analyzed in non-Gullah African Americans (AA; 1432 cases and 1687 controls) and the genetically more homogeneous Gullah of the Sea Islands of South Carolina (133 cases and 112 controls) and. Single-marker, haplotype, and two-locus interaction tests were computed for these populations.
The glutathione reductase gene GSR (rs2253409, P=0.0014, OR [95% CI]=1.26 [1.09–1.44]) was the most significant single-SNP association in AA. In the Gullah, the NADH dehydrogenase NDUFS4 (rs381575, P=0.0065, OR [95%CI]=2.10 [1.23–3.59]) and nitric oxide synthase gene NOS1 (rs561712, P=0.0072, OR [95%CI]=0.62 [0.44–0.88]) were most strongly associated with SLE. When both populations were analyzed together, GSR remained the most significant effect (rs2253409, P=0.00072, OR [95%CI]=1.26 [1.10–1.44]). Haplotype and two-locus interaction analyses also uncovered different loci in each population.
These results suggest distinct patterns of association with SLE in African-derived populations; specific loci may be more strongly associated within select population groups.
systemic lupus erythematosus; African Americans; genetic association studies; oxygen compounds; single nucleotide polymorphism
To evaluate a multidimensional model testing disease activity, mood disturbance, and poor sleep quality as determinants of fatigue in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The data of 106 participants were drawn from baseline of a randomized comparative efficacy trial of psychosocial interventions for RA. Sets of reliable and valid measures were used to represent model constructs. Structural equation modeling was used to test the direct effects of disease activity, mood disturbance, and poor sleep quality on fatigue, as well as the indirect effects of disease activity as mediated by mood disturbance and poor sleep quality.
The final model fit the data well, and the specified predictors explained 62% of the variance in fatigue. Higher levels of disease activity, mood disturbance, and poor sleep quality had direct effects on fatigue. Further, disease activity was indirectly related to fatigue through its effects on mood disturbance, which, in turn, was related to poor sleep quality. Mood disturbance also indirectly influenced fatigue through poor sleep quality.
The findings from this study confirmed the importance of a multidimensional framework in evaluating the contribution of disease activity, mood disturbance, and sleep quality to fatigue in RA using a structural equation approach. Mood disturbance and poor sleep quality played major roles in explaining fatigue along with patient-reported disease activity.
Rheumatoid arthritis; Fatigue; Mood; Sleep disorders; Psychological factors
The ability of antiinflammatory strategies to alter cardiovascular risk has not been rigorously examined. Colchicine is an antiinflammatory agent that affects macrophages, neutrophils, and endothelial cells, all of which are implicated in the pathogenesis of cardiovascular disease. We examined whether colchicine use was associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction (MI) in patients with gout.
We conducted a retrospective, cross-sectional study of all patients with an International Classification of Diseases, 9th ed, code for gout in the electronic medical record (EMR) of the New York Harbor Healthcare System Veterans Affairs network and ≥ 1 hospital visit between August 2007 and August 2008. Hospital pharmacy data were used to identify patients who had filled at least 1 colchicine prescription versus those who had not. Demographics and CV comorbidities were collected by EMR review. The primary outcome was diagnosis of MI. Secondary outcomes included all-cause mortality and C-reactive protein (CRP) level.
In total, 1288 gout patients were identified. Colchicine (n = 576) and no colchicine (n = 712) groups had similar baseline demographics and serum urate levels. Prevalence of MI was 1.2% in the colchicine versus 2.6% in the no-colchicine group (p = 0.03). Colchicine users also had fewer deaths and lower CRP levels, although these did not achieve statistical significance. Colchicine effects persisted when allopurinol users were excluded from the analysis.
In this hypothesis-generating study, gout patients who took colchicine had a significantly lower prevalence of MI and exhibited trends toward reduced all-cause mortality and lower CRP level versus those who did not take colchicine.
GOUT; COLCHICINE; MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION; MORTALITY; C-REACTIVE PROTEIN
To assess the utility of the vascular physical examination to detect arteriographic lesions in patients with established large vessel vasculitis (LVV), including Takayasu’s arteritis (TAK) and giant cell arteritis (GCA).
In total, 100 patients (TAK = 68, GCA = 32) underwent standardized physical examination and angiography of the carotid, subclavian, and axillary arteries. Sensitivity and specificity were calculated for the association between findings on physical examination focusing on the vascular system (absent pulse, bruit, and blood pressure difference) and arteriographic lesions defined as stenosis, occlusion, or aneurysm.
We found 67% of patients had at least 1 abnormality on physical examination (74% TAK, 53% GCA). Arteriographic lesions were seen in 76% of patients (82% TAK, 63% GCA). Individual physical examination findings had poor sensitivity (range 14%–50%) and good-excellent specificity (range 71%–98%) to detect arteriographic lesions. Even when considering physical examination findings in combination, at least 30% of arteriographic lesions were missed. Specificity improved (range 88%–100%) if individual physical examination findings were compared to a broader region of vessels rather than specific anatomically correlated vessels and if ≥ 1 physical examination findings were combined.
In patients with established LVV, physical examination alone is worthwhile to detect arterial disease but does not always localize or reveal the full extent of arteriographic lesions. Abnormal vascular system findings on physical examination are highly associated with the presence of arterial lesions, but normal findings on physical examination do not exclude the possibility of arterial disease. Serial angiographic assessment is advisable to monitor arterial disease in patients with established LVV.
VASCULITIS; TAKAYASU’S ARTERITIS; GIANT CELL ARTERITIS; ANGIOGRAM; PHYSICAL EXAMINATION
To examine trends in annual medical expenditures from 1997 to 2005 among adults with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions (denoted Arthritis group).
We analyzed annual medical expenditures (2005 US dollars) among adults with Arthritis using the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a nationally representative survey of the US civilian, noninstitutionalized population. Expenditures were stratified by Arthritis and comorbidity status.
The Arthritis population increased by 22% (36.8 to 44.9 million) during this period, attributable entirely to the subpopulation with at least one comorbid condition (31.8 to 40.3 million). The overall, inflation-adjusted annual mean medical expenditures for adults with Arthritis increased from $6,848 in 1997 to $7,854 in 2005. In 1997, inpatient care was the most expensive component of overall expenditures (mean $2,702), but beginning in 2001, mean inpatient and ambulatory expenditures were almost identical. Mean prescription expenditures increased nearly every year, almost doubling from $970 in 1997 to $1,811 in 2005. Aggregate total expenditures for the Arthritis population increased markedly during this period, from $252.0 to $353.0 billion (+40%). Most of this increase was attributable to the population increase in the Arthritis and comorbid condition subgroup.
Mean annual ambulatory and prescription expenditures for adults with Arthritis increased far above the rate of medical inflation, offsetting a relative decline in inpatient expenditures. Increases in overall mean and aggregate total expenditures are attributable to the increasing number of adults with Arthritis and at least one comorbid chronic condition. Projected increases in this population suggest that these expenditures will continue to rise.
ECONOMICS; COMORBIDITY; ARTHRITIS; COST; EXPENDITURES
To assess the incidence and mortality impact of upper and lower gastrointestinal (GI) events in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared to non-RA subjects.
We identified incident upper and lower GI events and estimated their incidence rates using person-year methods in a population-based incident RA cohort of residents of Olmsted County, Minnesota, USA (1987 American College of Rheumatology criteria first fulfilled between January 1, 1980, and January 1, 2008) and non-RA subjects from the same population.
The study included 813 patients with RA and 813 non-RA subjects (mean followup 10.3 and 10.8 yrs, respectively); 68% women; mean age 55.9 yrs in both cohorts. The rate of upper GI events/100 person-years was 2.9 in RA versus 1.7 in the non-RA cohort (rate ratio 1.7, 95% CI 1.4, 2.2); for lower GI events, the rates were 2.1 in RA versus 1.4 in the non-RA cohort (rate ratio 1.5, 95% CI 1.1, 1.9). The incidence of upper GI bleed, perforation, ulcer, obstruction, and any upper GI event in RA declined over calendar time; the incidence of lower GI events remained unchanged. Exposure to glucocorticoids, prior upper GI disease, abdominal surgery, and smoking were associated with lower GI events in RA. Both upper and lower GI events were associated with increased mortality risk in RA.
There is increased risk of serious upper and lower GI events in RA compared to non-RA subjects, and increased GI-related mortality in RA. Prominent declines in incidence of upper, but not lower GI events in RA highlight the need for studies investigating lower GI disease in patients with RA.
RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS; GASTROINTESTINAL DISEASE; INCIDENCE
Symptomatic osteoarthritis (OA) is a common painful disease with limited treatment options. A rising number of OA patients have been treated with intraarticular injections of hyaluronic acid, including the high molecular weight hylan G-F 20, which is injected following arthrocentesis. This study investigated the effectiveness of hylan G-F 20 to lower coefficient of friction (COF) and prevent chondrocyte apoptosis in vitro.
A disc-on-disc bovine cartilage bearing was used to measure the static and kinetic COF when lubricated with hylan G-F 20, human synovial fluid (HSF) and phosphate buffered saline (PBS). Following friction testing, we stained paraffin embedded sections of these cartilage bearings for activated caspase-3, a marker of apoptosis.
Bearings lubricated with hylan G-F 20 had kinetic COF values that were similar to bearings lubricated with PBS, but significantly higher than those lubricated with HSF. There were no significant differences in static COF values in bearings lubricated with hylan G-F 20 as compared to PBS or HSF. However, bearings lubricated with HSF had a significantly lower static COF values compared to bearings lubricated with PBS. The mean percentage of caspase-3 positive chondrocytes in the superficial and upper intermediate zones of bearings lubricated with hylan G-F 20 were significantly higher when compared to bearings lubricated with HSF or unloaded controls, but significantly lower than those lubricated with PBS.
These findings indicate that joint lubrication may prevent chondrocyte apoptosis by lowering the COF. Furthermore, removal of synovial fluid prior to hylan G-F 20 injection may be detrimental to cartilage health.
articular cartilage; chondrocyte; apoptosis; synovial fluid; hylan
Rapidly predicting future outcomes based upon short-term clinical response would be helpful to optimize RA management in early disease.
To derive and validate a clinical prediction rule to predict low disease activity (LDA) at 1 year among patients participating in the Treatment of Early Aggressive Rheumatoid Arthritis (TEAR) trial escalating RA therapy by adding either etanercept (E) or sulfasalazine + hydroxychloroquine [triple therapy (TT)] after 6 months of methotrexate (MTX) therapy.
Eligible subjects included in the derivation cohort (used for model building, n=186) were participants with moderate or higher disease activity (DAS28ESR>3.2) despite 24 weeks of MTX monotherapy who added either etanercept or sulfasalazine+hydroxychloroquine. Clinical characteristics measured within the next 12 weeks were used to predict LDA 1 year later using multivariable logistic regression. Validation was performed in the cohort of TEAR patients randomized to initially receive either MTX+E or TT.
The derivation cohort yielded three prediction models of varying complexity that included age, DAS28 at various time points, body mass index, and ESR (AUROC up to 0.83). Accuracy of the prediction models ranged between 80 and 95% in both derivation and validation cohorts, depending on the complexity of the model and the cutpoints chosen for response and non-response. Approximately 80% of patients could be predicted to be responders or non-responders at week 12.
Clinical data collected early after starting or escalating DMARD/biologic treatment could accurately predict LDA at 1 year in early RA patients. For patients predicted to be non-responders, treatment could be changed at 12 weeks to optimize outcomes.
rheumatoid arthritis; prediction; anti-TNF; triple therapy
To develop and evaluate a Localized Scleroderma (LS) Skin Severity Index (LoSSI) and global assessments’ clinimetric property and effect on quality of life (QOL).
A 3-phase study was conducted. The first phase involved 15 patients with LS and 14 examiners who assessed LoSSI [surface area (SA), erythema (ER), skin thickness (ST), and new lesion/extension (N/E)] twice for inter/intrarater reliability. Patient global assessment of disease severity (PtGA-S) and Children’s Dermatology Life Quality Index (CDLQI) were collected for intrarater reliability evaluation. The second phase was aimed to develop clinical determinants for physician global assessment of disease activity (PhysGA-A) and to assess its content validity. The third phase involved 2 examiners assessing LoSSI and PhysGA-A on 27 patients. Effect of training on improving reliability/validity and sensitivity to change of the LoSSI and PhysGA-A was determined.
Interrater reliability was excellent for ER [intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) 0.71], ST (ICC 0.70), LoSSI (ICC 0.80), and PhysGA-A (ICC 0.90) but poor for SA (ICC 0.35); thus, LoSSI was modified to mLoSSI. Examiners’ experience did not affect the scores, but training/practice improved reliability. Intrarater reliability was excellent for ER, ST, and LoSSI (Spearman’s rho = 0.71–0.89) and moderate for SA. PtGA-S and CDLQI showed good intrarater agreement (ICC 0.63 and 0.80). mLoSSI correlated moderately with PhysGA-A and PtGA-S. Both mLoSSI and PhysGA-A were sensitive to change following therapy.
mLoSSI and PhysGA-A are reliable and valid tools for assessing LS disease severity and show high sensitivity to detect change over time. These tools are feasible for use in routine clinical practice. They should be considered for inclusion in a core set of LS outcome measures for clinical trials.
LOCALIZED SCLERODERMA; SKIN SCORES; GLOBAL ASSESSMENT; OUTCOME MEASURE; QUALITY OF LIFE
Independent replication with large cohorts and metaanalysis of genetic associations are necessary to validate genetic susceptibility factors. The known tumor necrosis factor (ligand) superfamily, member 4 gene (TNFSF4) systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) risk locus has been found to be associated with systemic sclerosis (SSc) in 2 studies, but with discrepancies between them for genotype-phenotype correlation. Our objective was to validate TNFSF4 association with SSc and determine the subset with the higher risk.
Known SLE and SSc TNFSF4 susceptibility variants (rs2205960, rs1234317, rs12039904, rs10912580, and rs844648) were genotyped in 1031 patients with SSc and 1014 controls of French white ancestry. Genotype-phenotype association analysis and metaanalysis of available data were performed, providing a population study of 4989 patients with SSc and 4661 controls, all of European white ancestry.
Allelic and genotypic associations were observed for the 5 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) with the subset of patients with SSc who are positive for anticentromere antibodies (ACA) and only a trend for association with SSc and limited cutaneous SSc. Rs2205960 exhibited the strongest allelic association in ACA+ patients with SSc [p = 0.0015; OR 1.37 (1.12–1.66)], with significant intracohort association when compared to patients with SSc positive for ACA. Metaanalysis confirmed overall association with SSc but also raised preferential association with the ACA+ subset and strongest effect with rs2205960 [T allele p = 0.00013; OR 1.33 (1.15–1.54) and TT genotype p = 0.00046; OR 2.02 (1.36–2.98)].
We confirm TNFSF4 as an SSc susceptibility gene and rs2205960 as a putative causal variant with preferential association in the ACA+ SSc subphenotype. (First Release March 15 2012; J Rheumatol 2012;39:997–1003; doi:10.3899/jrheum.111270)
SYSTEMIC SCLEROSIS; TNFSF4; AUTOIMMUNITY; AUTOANTIBODIES
Few studies have investigated whether the utility of social support for patients with a relapsing, remitting illness varies by activity level of the disease. Our goal was to determine whether disease status (relapse vs remission) moderates the effect of medication-related support from physicians and partners on the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of patients with vasculitis.
Patients with vasculitis (n = 228) completed baseline measures of disease status and medication-related support and a 3-month followup measure of HRQOL (RAND 36-item health survey 1.0). We calculated 8 HRQOL dimensions: physical functioning, physical role limitations, bodily pain, general health, vitality, social functioning, emotional role limitations, and mental health. Bonferroni-corrected t tests compared the HRQOL of patients in relapse to patients in remission, and multivariate analysis of covariance determined whether disease status moderated the effect of medication-related support from physicians and partners on patient HRQOL. Wilks’ lambda assessed whether the support-by-disease status interaction terms were significant.
Relapsing patients reported significantly worse quality of life compared with nonrelapsing patients for every HRQOL dimension except physical role limitations. Disease status did not moderate the effect of physician (lambda = 0.48; p = 0.86) or partner (lambda = 1.51; p = 0.16) medication-related support on HRQOL, although greater physician and partner support predicted better HRQOL for all dimensions except bodily pain and vitality.
Vasculitis patients experience compromised HRQOL but the magnitude of the compromise is greater for patients experiencing a relapse. Medication-related support from physicians and partners is beneficial for patients’ HRQOL regardless of disease status.
VASCULITIS; QUALITY OF LIFE; SOCIAL SUPPORT
Small series suggest mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is well tolerated and may be an effective therapy for connective tissue disease-associated interstitial lung disease (CTD-ILD). We examined the tolerability and longitudinal changes in pulmonary physiology in a large and diverse cohort of patients with CTD-ILD treated with MMF.
We identified consecutive patients evaluated at our center between January 2008 and January 2011 and prescribed MMF for CTD-ILD. We assessed safety and tolerability of MMF and used longitudinal data analyses to examine changes in pulmonary physiology over time, before and after initiation of MMF.
We identified 125 subjects treated with MMF for a median 897 days. MMF was discontinued in 13 subjects. MMF was associated with significant improvements in estimated percentage of predicted forced vital capacity (FVC%) from MMF initiation to 52, 104, and 156 weeks (4.9% ± 1.9%, p = 0.01; 6.1% ± 1.8%, p = 0.0008; and 7.3% ± 2.6%, p = 0.004, respectively); and in estimated percentage predicted diffusing capacity (DLCO%) from MMF initiation to 52 and 104 weeks (6.3% ± 2.8%, p = 0.02; 7.1% ± 2.8%, p = 0.01). In the subgroup without usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP)-pattern injury, MMF significantly improved FVC% and DLCO%, and in the subgroup with UIP-pattern injury, MMF was associated with stability in FVC% and DLCO%.
In a large diverse cohort of CTD-ILD, MMF was well tolerated and had a low rate of discontinuation. Treatment with MMF was associated with either stable or improved pulmonary physiology over a median 2.5 years of followup. MMF appears to be a promising therapy for the spectrum of CTD-ILD.
INTERSTITIAL LUNG DISEASE; CONNECTIVE TISSUE DISEASE; MYCOPHENOLATE MOFETIL
To investigate and refine the relationships among systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and related autoantibodies, interferon-α (IFN-α), and various ancestral backgrounds.
We investigated quantitatively defined genetic ancestry through principal component analysis in place of self-reported ancestry.
African ancestry was found to be associated with presence of anti-RNP antibody (p = 0.0026), and anti-RNP was correlated with high levels of IFN-α (p = 2.8 × 10−5).
Our data support a model in which African ancestry increases the likelihood of SLE-associated autoantibody formation, which subsequently results in higher levels of serum IFN-α.
SYSTEMIC LUPUS ERYTHEMATOSUS; AUTOANTIBODIES; INTERFERONS; GENETICS
There remains a need for biomarkers to guide therapy in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis. Our objective was to determine whether measures of platelet activation or inflammation are associated with disease activity in Wegener’s granulomatosis (WG).
Study subjects were participants in a clinical trial. Soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L), C-reactive protein, interleukin 6 (IL-6), IL-8, monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), P-selectin, vascular endothelial growth factor, and proteinase 3 (PR3)-specific ANCA were measured by ELISA using plasma samples obtained at baseline (active disease), at remission, and prior to, during, and after first flares. Disease activity was assessed by the Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score for WG (BVAS/WG). Association of biomarkers with disease activity was determined with conditional logistic and linear regression.
Over a mean followup of 27 months, 180 subjects underwent 2044 visits; markers were measured in 563 samples. Longitudinally, all markers other than IL-6 were associated with disease activity. The strongest associations for active disease at baseline versus remission were observed for sCD40L (OR 4.72, 95% CI 2.47–9.03), P-selectin (OR 6.26, 95% CI 2.78–14.10), PR3-ANCA (OR 9.41, 4.03–21.99), and inversely for MCP-1 (OR 0.36, 95% CI 0.22–0.57). BVAS/WG increased by 0.80 (95% CI 0.44–1.16), 0.83 (95% CI 0.42–1.25), and 0.81 (95% CI 0.48–1.15) per unit-increase in PR3-ANCA, sCD40L, and P-selectin, respectively; and decreased by 1.54 (95% CI 0.96–2.12) per unit-increase in MCP-1.
Cytokines arising from within the circulation, including those of platelet activation, correlate with disease activity in WG.
VASCULITIS; BIOMARKERS; DISEASE ACTIVITY; WEGENER’S GRANULOMATOSIS
Giant cell (GCA) and Takayasu’s arteritis (TAK) are 2 forms of large-vessel vasculitis (LVV) that involve the aorta and its major branches. GCA has a predilection for the cranial branches, while TAK tends to affect the extracranial branches. Both disorders may also cause nonspecific constitutional symptoms. Although some clinical features are more common in one or the other disorder and the ages of initial presentation differ substantially, there is enough clinical and histopathologic overlap between these disorders that some investigators suggest GCA and TAK may be 2 processes within the spectrum of a single disease. There have been few randomized therapeutic trials completed in GCA, and none in TAK. The lack of therapeutic trials in LVV is only partially explained by the rarity of these diseases. It is likely that the lack of well validated outcome measures for LVV and uncertainties regarding trial design contribute to the paucity of trials for these diseases. An initiative to develop a core set of outcome measures for use in clinical trials of LVV was launched by the international OMERACT Vasculitis Working Group in 2009 and subsequently endorsed by the OMERACT community at the OMERACT 10 meeting. Aims of this initiative include: (1) to review the literature and existing data related to outcome assessments in LVV; (2) to obtain the opinion of experts and patients on disease content; and (3) to formulate a research agenda to facilitate a more data-based approach to outcomes development.
VASCULITIS; OUTCOMES; TAKAYASU’S ARTERITIS; GIANT CELL ARTERITIS
Enthesopathy has been reported as a feature of osteoarthritis (OA) in the distal interphalangeal (DIP) joints. We previously reported that central bone marrow lesions (BML) on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are associated with OA. In this study, we evaluated whether hand and knee enthesopathy were related.
We studied knee and hand radiographs of subjects from the Framingham Osteoarthritis Study. Subjects seen in 2002–2005 had bilateral posteroanterior hand radiographs, weight-bearing knee radiographs, and knee MRI scans. Hand radiographs were read for enthesophytes at the juxtaarticular non-synovial areas of metacarpophalangeal (MCP), proximal interphalangeal (PIP), and DIP joints, and midshafts of the phalanges. We selected 100 cases of knees with central BML and 100 matched controls. Conditional logistic regression was used to assess associations.
Subjects with enthesophytes of at least 1 score ≥ 2 at DIP, PIP, and/or MCP were not more likely to have central knee BML (OR 0.49, 95% CI 0.17–1.40) than those without enthesophytes. Similarly, having at least 1 score ≥ 2 on the shafts was not significantly associated with having a central knee BML (OR 0.59, 95% CI 0.23–1.51). Adjustment for the presence of diabetes mellitus did not affect these results, but there was an increased prevalence of diabetes in those with hand enthesophytes (OR 3.09, 95% 1.29–7.40, enthesophyte score ≥ 2).
We found no increase in the prevalence of hand enthesophytes among persons with central knee BML on their knee MRI scans. This provides evidence against a systemic enthesopathic disorder in association with knee OA.
OSTEOARTHRITIS; ENTHESOPHYTE; CENTRAL BONE MARROW LESIONS