ISRN Rheumatology http://www.hindawi.com The latest articles from Hindawi Publishing Corporation © 2014 , Hindawi Publishing Corporation . All rights reserved. Review on Effectiveness of Primary Prophylaxis in aPLs with and without Risk Factors for Thrombosis: Efficacy and Safety Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:29:41 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2014/348726/ Context. Antiphospholipid antibodies syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that is characterized by the association between presence of antiphospholipid antibodies and risk of thrombosis and/or pregnancy morbidity. Objectives. To systematically review the evidence for primary prophylaxis in patients with antiphospholipids antibodies syndrome or APS with or without other traditional risk factors of thrombosis when they did not have any thrombotic event yet. Methods. PubMed, the Cochrane Library, and Allied Health Literature were searched for studies that examined the efficacy and safety of primary prophylaxis in aPL patients from 1990 to February 2013. We examined literature looking at patients with aPLs with other risk factors for thrombosis and aPLs with no additional risk factors for thrombosis. Conclusion. We concluded that, in patients with aPLs, primary prophylaxes with HCQ and aspirin have been observed to reduce the frequency of thrombotic events in the case of asymptomatic aPL-positive patients with SLE. We also in this study concluded that LDA was effective in patients with autoimmune diseases. Independent cardiovascular risk factors include autoimmune defects such as SLE, rheumatoid arthritis, and atherosclerosis, where overall venous thrombosis will be induced by systemic inflammation. This review concludes that HCQ is an effective primary approach when compared to aspirin. Nahid A. Qushmaq and Samar A. Al-Emadi Copyright © 2014 Nahid A. Qushmaq and Samar A. Al-Emadi. All rights reserved. Anxiety, Automatic Negative Thoughts, and Unconditional Self-Acceptance in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Preliminary Study Thu, 20 Mar 2014 07:28:21 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2014/317259/ Objectives. This research was carried out in two stages: the objectives of the first stage were (1) to identify the existing relationships between the level of anxiety, the frequency of automatic negative thoughts, and unconditional self-acceptance and (2) to capture the existing differences regarding these variables between people diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and those with no such medical history. Methods. The sample made up of 50 subjects filled out the following three questionnaires: the Hamilton Anxiety Scale, the Automatic Thoughts Questionnaire, and the Unconditional Self-Acceptance Questionnaire. Results. Psychological anxiety is positively correlated with automatic negative thoughts, while unconditional self-acceptance is negatively correlated with both psychological anxiety and somatic anxiety as well as with automatic negative thoughts. All studied variables were significantly different in rheumatoid arthritis as compared to the control population. Conclusions. The results showed the presence to a greater extent of anxiety and automatic negative thoughts, along with reduced unconditional self-acceptance among people with rheumatoid arthritis. Intervention on these variables through support and counseling can lead to reducing anxiety and depression, to altering the coping styles, and, implicitly, to improving the patients’ quality of life. Ramona Paloș and Loredana Vîșcu Copyright © 2014 Ramona Paloș and Loredana Vîșcu. All rights reserved. Can HLA-DRB4 Help to Identify Asthmatic Patients at Risk of Churg-Strauss Syndrome? Thu, 06 Mar 2014 10:43:28 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2014/843804/ HLA-DRB4 gene is associated with Churg-Strauss syndrome (CSS), a systemic eosinophilic vasculitis with a prodromal phase characterized by severe asthma, eosinophilia, nasal polyposis, and sinusitis. Aim of this study was to evaluate if the presence of HLA-DRB4 in asthmatic patients is associated with a clinical picture resembling that of the prodromal phase of CSS. HLA-DRB1 was determined in a cohort of 159 asthmatic patients and its frequency was compared with that of 1808 blood donors. HLA-DRB4 presence/absence was correlated with clinical features, including sinusitis, nasal polyposis, eosinophils, antiasthmatic drugs, asthma severity, and pulmonary function tests. HLA-DRB4 gene was associated with severe persistent asthma before treatment (), near fatal or severe hypoxemic asthma (), sinusitis (), nasal polyposis (), number of patients with eosinophils >1000/μl: (), need of beclomethasone >1000–2000 μg/daily (), use of a third controller (), and oral prednisone (). HLA-DRB4 gene is associated in asthmatic patients with a clinical picture characterized by asthma severity, sinusitis, nasal polyposis, and eosinophilia closely resembling that of the prodromal phase of CSS and might be useful to suspect corticosteroids-masked cases of CSS. P. Bottero, F. Motta, M. Bonini, F. Vecchio, F. Ierna, I. Cuppari, and R. A. Sinico Copyright © 2014 P. Bottero et al. All rights reserved. Therapeutic Effects of Acetone Extract of Saraca asoca Seeds on Rats with Adjuvant-Induced Arthritis via Attenuating Inflammatory Responses Tue, 04 Mar 2014 07:47:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2014/959687/ Saraca asoca has been traditionally used in Indian system for treatment of uterine, genital, and other reproductive disorders in women, fever, pain, and inflammation. The hypothesis of this study is that acetone extract of Saraca asoca seeds is an effective anti-inflammatory treatment for arthritis in animal experiments. The antiarthritic effect of its oral administration on Freund’s adjuvant-induced arthritis has been studied in Wistar albino rats after acute and subacute toxicities. Phytochemical analysis revealed presence of high concentrations of phenolic compounds such as flavonoids and tannins, while no mortality or morbidity was observed up to 1000 mg/kg dose during acute and subacute toxicity assessments. Regular treatment up to 21 days of adjuvant-induced arthritic rats with Saraca asoca acetone extract (at 300 and 500 mg/kg doses) increases RBC and Hb, decreases WBC, ESR, and prostaglandin levels in blood, and restores body weight when compared with control (normal saline) and standard (Indomethacin) groups. Significant () inhibitory effect was observed especially at higher dose on paw edema, ankle joint inflammation, and hydroxyproline and glucosamine concentrations in urine. Normal radiological images of joint and histopathological analysis of joint, liver, stomach, and kidney also confirmed its significant nontoxic, antiarthritic, and anti-inflammatory effect. Mradu Gupta, Saumyakanti Sasmal, and Arup Mukherjee Copyright © 2014 Mradu Gupta et al. All rights reserved. Minimally Invasive Minor Salivary Gland Biopsy for the Diagnosis of Amyloidosis in a Rheumatology Clinic Sun, 23 Feb 2014 11:37:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2014/354648/ Background. Systemic amyloidosis is a potentially fatal condition, unless diagnosed and treated before development of irreversible organ damage. Demonstration of amyloid deposits within tissue biopsies is only definitive diagnostic method, which makes appropriate selection of biopsy site essential. Herein, we evaluated efficacy of minimally invasive minor salivary gland biopsy (MSGB) for the diagnosis of amyloidosis. Methods. We analyzed 37 biopsies taken from 35 patients. Suggestive findings for amyloidosis were significant proteinuria, renal impairment, refractory diarrhea, neuropathy, and restrictive cardiomyopathy. Minor salivary gland was the initial biopsy site in all subjects. When MSGB was negative but there was a high suspicion for amyloidosis, a kidney, duodenum, or rectal biopsy was performed for further investigation. Results. Mean age of patients was 45.4 and 21 were female. In 11 patients amyloidosis was diagnosed with MSGB. In overall 18 patients were diagnosed with amyloidosis. Sixteen of them were identified as being of AA type and two were AL type amyloidosis. The sensitivity of minimally invasive MSGB is 61.1% for diagnosing amyloidosis in this study. Conclusion. MSGB is a safe and simple method for the diagnosis of amyloidosis which can be performed in an outpatient setting. We suggest extensive use of this minimally invasive method. Ridvan Mercan, Berivan Bıtık, Mehmet Engin Tezcan, Arif Kaya, Abdurrahman Tufan, Mehmet Akif Özturk, Seminur Haznedaroglu, and Berna Goker Copyright © 2014 Ridvan Mercan et al. All rights reserved. Review of Hyperuricemia as New Marker for Metabolic Syndrome Sun, 16 Feb 2014 13:45:32 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2014/852954/ Hyperuricemia has long been established as the major etiologic factor in gout. In recent years, a large body of evidence has accumulated that suggests that hyperuricemia may play a role in the development and pathogenesis of a number of metabolic, hemodynamic, and systemic pathologic diseases, including metabolic syndrome, hypertension, stroke, and atherosclerosis. A number of epidemiologic studies have linked hyperuricemia with each of these disorders. In some studies, therapies that lower uric acid may prevent or improve certain components of the metabolic syndrome. There is an association between uric acid and the development of systemic lupus erythematosus; the connection between other rheumatic diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis is less clear. The mechanism for the role of uric acid in disorders other than gout is not well established but recent investigations point towards systemic inflammation induced by urate, as the major pathophysiological event common to systemic diseases, including atherosclerosis. Laura Billiet, Sarah Doaty, James D. Katz, and Manuel T. Velasquez Copyright © 2014 Laura Billiet et al. All rights reserved. Correlation of Self-Reported Questionnaire (KOOS) with Some Objective Measures in Primary OA Knee Patients Thu, 16 Jan 2014 09:42:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2014/301485/ Purpose. Objective of the present study was to see the correlation of subjectively measured KOOS questionnaire with objectively measured 6-minute walk test (6-MWT), age, height, weight, and BMI. Participants. 251 subjects with OA knee based on American College of Rheumatology criteria. Methods. After passing inclusion and exclusion criteria, the following parameters were recorded: age, height, weight, and BMI. Then subjects were asked to fill KOOS questionnaire; then all subjects were asked to do self-paced walk for 6 minutes. Analysis. Spearman rank test was done to see the correlation. Significant level was set at . Results. 6-MWT had a weak correlation with KOOS-ADL (rho 0.461) and strong correlation with KOOS-symptom, KOOS-pain, and KOOS-sports and very strong correlation with KOOS-QOL. BMI had a strong correlation with KOOS-pain, KOOS-symptom, KOOS-ADL, and KOOS-sports and very strong correlation with KOOS-QOL. Weight had a weak correlation with KOOS-symptom, KOOS-ADL, and KOOS-sports and strong correlation with KOOS-pain and KOOS-QOL. All the above values were significant with . Conclusion. KOOS is strongly positively correlated with 6-MWT and negatively correlated with BMI. Its correlation strength has decreased with weight. Kulandaivelan Sivachidambaram, Mahamed Ateef, and Shaziya Tahseen Copyright © 2014 Kulandaivelan Sivachidambaram et al. All rights reserved. Disease Activity and Bone Mineral Density of MCP Joints in Patients with Rheumatoid and Psoriatic Arthritis: Is There a Correlation?—A Study in Patients Treated with Methotrexate and an Anti-TNFα Agent Sat, 07 Dec 2013 12:40:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2013/708323/ Background. Bone damage in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and in psoriatic arthritis (PsA) includes an accelerated bone mineral density (BMD) reduction. The objective was to evaluate BMD variations of the metacarpophalangeal joints (MCPs) in patients starting treatment with methotrexate (MTX) or etanercept. Methods. Patients affected by RA or PsA with hand joints involvement and with moderate or high disease activity, were enrolled in this study. All patients underwent clinical examination, laboratory exams, and a DXA scan of the most affected hand, as assessed with an ultrasound examination at the baseline, at the time of enrolment and after 1, 3, 6, and 12 months. Patients non-responders to MTX received combination therapy, while patients with no previous treatment initiated MTX. Results. 22 patients were enrolled. In both RA and PsA groups, BMD increased independently of the treatment. However, in the patients affected by RA, a slight BMD decrease was observed at the last checkup. Globally, the BMD variations of the MCPs were strongly correlated with the disease activity. At the reduction of DAS28, the scores corresponded an increase of BMD. Conclusions. MCPs BMD is inversely correlated to disease activity. BMD increase seems to be correlated with the response to treatment and not with the drug itself. Ilaria Bertoldi, Georgios Filippou, Carlo Alberto Scirè, Valentina Picerno, Valentina di Sabatino, Antonella Adinolfi, Serena Pierguidi, Mauro Galeazzi, and Bruno Frediani Copyright © 2013 Ilaria Bertoldi et al. All rights reserved. Aspirin Use in Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients with Increased Risk of Cardiovascular Disease Wed, 06 Nov 2013 14:22:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2013/589807/ Objectives. To examine the patterns of low-dose aspirin use in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with high risk for coronary artery disease (CAD). Methods. Cross-sectional study of 36 consecutive RA patients with a Framingham score ≥10% for CAD. Eligible RA patients were provided with a questionnaire on CAD risk factors and use of low-dose aspirin. For aspirin nonusers, the reason for nonuse was requested by both the patient and rheumatologist. Questions for patients included physician's advice, self-preference, history of gastrointestinal bleeding, allergy to aspirin, or concomitant use of other anti-inflammatory medications. Questions for rheumatologists included awareness of the increased CAD risk, attribution, patient preference, history of gastrointestinal bleeding, allergy to aspirin, and medication interactions. Results. Patients participated in the study; 8 patients reported using daily aspirin, while 23 patients did not. The main reason cited by patients for not taking aspirin was that they were not instructed by their primary care physician (PCP) to do so (), which was also the main reason cited by rheumatologists (). Conclusion. This study confirmed underutilization of aspirin in RA patients at high risk for CAD, largely due to the perception that this is an issue which should be handled by the PCP. Jonida K. Cote and Androniki Bili Copyright © 2013 Jonida K. Cote and Androniki Bili. All rights reserved. Role of Endothelial to Mesenchymal Transition in the Pathogenesis of the Vascular Alterations in Systemic Sclerosis Mon, 23 Sep 2013 09:05:26 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2013/835948/ The pathogenesis of Systemic Sclerosis (SSc) is extremely complex, and despite extensive studies, the exact mechanisms involved are not well understood. Numerous recent studies of early events in SSc pathogenesis have suggested that unknown etiologic factors in a genetically receptive host trigger structural and functional microvascular endothelial cell abnormalities. These alterations result in the attraction, transmigration, and accumulation of immune and inflammatory cells in the perivascular tissues, which in turn induce the phenotypic conversion of endothelial cells and quiescent fibroblasts into activated myofibroblasts, a process known as endothelial to mesenchymal transition or EndoMT. The activated myofibroblasts are the effector cells responsible for the severe and frequently progressive fibrotic process and the fibroproliferative vasculopathy that are the hallmarks of SSc. Thus, according to this hypothesis the endothelial and vascular alterations, which include the phenotypic conversion of endothelial cells into activated myofibroblasts, play a crucial role in the development of the progressive fibrotic process affecting skin and multiple internal organs. The role of endothelial cell and vascular alterations, the potential contribution of endothelial to mesenchymal cell transition in the pathogenesis of the tissue fibrosis, and fibroproliferative vasculopathy in SSc will be reviewed here. Sergio A. Jimenez Copyright © 2013 Sergio A. Jimenez. All rights reserved. Modulation of Vitamin D Status and Dietary Calcium Affects Bone Mineral Density and Mineral Metabolism in Göttingen Minipigs Sat, 24 Aug 2013 13:38:45 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2013/460512/ Calcium and vitamin D deficiency impairs bone health and may cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Large animal models are useful to study experimental osteopathies and associated metabolic changes. We intended to modulate vitamin D status and induce nutritional osteomalacia in minipigs. The control group (n = 9) was fed a semisynthetic reference diet with 6 g calcium and 6,500 IU vitamin D3/kg and the experimental group (n = 10) the same diet but with only 2 g calcium/kg and without vitamin D. After 15 months, the deficient animals were in negative calcium balance, having lost bone mineral density significantly (means ± SEM) with −51.2 ± 14.7 mg/cm3 in contrast to controls (−2.3 ± 11.8 mg/cm3), whose calcium balance remained positive. Their osteoid surface was significantly higher, typical of osteomalacia. Their plasma 25(OH)D dropped significantly from 60.1 ± 11.4 nmol/L to 15.3 ± 3.4 nmol/L within 10 months, whereas that of the control group on the reference diet rose. Urinary phosphorus excretion and plasma 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D concentrations were significantly higher and final plasma calcium significantly lower than in controls. We conclude that the minipig is a promising large animal model to induce nutritional osteomalacia and to study the time course of hypovitaminosis D and associated functional effects. Katharina E. Scholz-Ahrens, Claus-Christian Glüer, Felix Bronner, Günter Delling, Yahya Açil, Hans-Jürgen Hahne, Joachim Hassenpflug, Wolfram Timm, and Jürgen Schrezenmeir Copyright © 2013 Katharina E. Scholz-Ahrens et al. All rights reserved. Effects of Low-Level Laser Therapy, 660 nm, in Experimental Septic Arthritis Mon, 12 Aug 2013 09:17:24 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2013/341832/ The effectiveness of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in the presence of an infectious process has not been well elucidated. The aim of the study was to evaluate the effects of LLLT in an experimental model of septic arthritis. Methods. Twenty-one Wistar rats were divided as follows: control group, no bacteria; placebo group, bacteria were inoculated; Treated group, bacteria were injected and treatment with LLLTwas performed. To assess nociception, a von Frey digital analgesimeter was applied. Synovial fluid was streaked to analyze bacterial growth. The standard strain of S. aureus was inoculated in the right knee. LLLT was performed with 660 nm, 2 J/cm2, over 10 days. After treatment, the knees were fixed and processed for morphological analysis by light microscopy. Results. It was found that nociception increases in the right knee. There was a lack of results for the seeding of the synovial fluid. The morphological analysis showed slight recovery areas in the articular cartilage and synovia; however, there was the maintenance of the inflammatory infiltrate. Conclusion. The parameters used were not effective in the nociception reduction, even with the slight tissue recovery due to the maintenance of inflammatory infiltrate, but produced no change in the natural history of resolution of the infectious process. Bruna Formentão Araujo, Lígia Inez Silva, Anamaria Meireles, Camila Thieimi Rosa, Nereida Mello da Rosa Gioppo, Alex Sandro Jorge, Regina Inês Kunz, Lucinéia de Fátima Chasko Ribeiro, Rose Meire Costa Brancalhão, and Gladson Ricardo Flor Bertolini Copyright © 2013 Bruna Formentão Araujo et al. All rights reserved. Oral Janus Kinase Inhibitor for the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tofacitinib Sun, 21 Jul 2013 11:09:01 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2013/357904/ Since the introduction of immune modulators in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), there has been hope that orally effective biologic agents would be developed. Tofacitinib, a Janus kinase inhibitor, has become the first oral biologic to receive approval for use in active RA patients. This paper reviews the efficacy and safety profile of Tofacitinib at dosages of 5 mg and 10 mg twice daily. Remarkable improvement in terms of ACR 20 response and HAQ-DI score was noted at month 3 and month 6. DAS 28-4 ESR < 2.6 achievement was noticeably obvious at month 6 for both dosages. No significant serious adverse events, serious infections, neutropenia, or anaemia were observed compared to placebo. In fact, Tofacitinib 5 mg was even found to have significant protective effect of anaemia in the meta-analysis (). Tofacitinib has a noticeable efficacy in controlling disease activity in RA with a manageable safety profile. However, longer studies are needed for its long-term safety profile. Han Ni, Soe Moe, Kay Thi Myint, and Aung Htet Copyright © 2013 Han Ni et al. All rights reserved. Evaluation of 10-Year Experience of Wegener’s Granulomatosis in Iranian Children Mon, 15 Jul 2013 12:28:15 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2013/694928/ Wegener’s granulomatosis or granulomatosis polyangiitis (GPA) is an uncommon chronic systemic vasculitis in children. The aim of this study was to describe pediatric patients with GPA in Iran. We studied records of all patients with GPA diagnosis who were referred to all Iranian Pediatric Rheumatology Division from 2002 to 2011. A total of 11 patients (5 females and 6 males) enrolled in this study. In children less than 15 years old, the prevalence of GPA is 0.6 per million. The mean age of GPA diagnosis was 11 years and average delay diagnosis was 20 months. Mortality rate was 18.1% due to pulmonary vasculitis and infection. The most common organ system involvement was upper and lower respiratory tract involvement (81.8% and 63.9%, resp.). Other common manifestations were renal (36.3), skin (27.2%), and eye involvement (18.2%). Fatemeh Tahghighi, Mohamad-Hassan Moradinejad, Yahya Aghighi, Reza Shiari, Seyed-Reza Raeeskarami, Farhad Salehzadeh, Vadood Javadi, and Vahid Ziaee Copyright © 2013 Fatemeh Tahghighi et al. All rights reserved. Assessing Depression among Older Persons with Arthritis: A Nationwide Health Status Survey Mon, 15 Jul 2013 12:25:22 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2013/968343/ Objectives. This study aimed to assess the health status of a nationwide sample of elderly persons having arthritis and determine the prevalence of depressive symptomatology in this population. Methods. WebTV technology was utilized to administer health status and depression surveys to a nationally representative sample of 550 randomly selected older persons. Predetermined cutoff scores on Short Form-36 (SF-36) scale and Center for Epidemiological Scale for Depression (CES-D) were used to identify individuals with depressive mood. Results. Sixteen percent () of the respondents were found to be at risk for depression. Key associations among health domains of SF-36 and CES-D variables were statistically significant and were in the expected direction. Discussion. The risk of depression among older adults who have arthritis is moderate. A significant decline in multiple domains of health of older persons is likely when depression coexists with arthritis. Early screening for depressive symptomatology and prompt treatment should be an essential part of arthritis management in primary care practice. Rajesh Nayak and Jigar Rajpura Copyright © 2013 Rajesh Nayak and Jigar Rajpura. All rights reserved. Efficacy of Anti-TNF Agents as Adjunctive Therapy for Knee Synovitis Refractory to Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drugs in Patients with Peripheral Spondyloarthritis Tue, 11 Jun 2013 13:11:08 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2013/907085/ Our aim was to evaluate the effectiveness of tumour necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors as add-on therapy for knee synovitis that did not respond to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and other standard treatments in patients with peripheral spondyloarthritis (SpA). We retrospectively studied 27 SpA patients, in whom an anti-TNF agent was added for active peripheral arthritis with knee synovitis refractory to DMARDs and treatment with low-dose oral corticosteroids and/or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and intra-articular (IA) corticosteroids. As response of knee synovitis, were considered the absence of swelling, tenderness, and decreased range of movement in the clinical examination, after 4 months of anti-TNF therapy. In twenty-four (88.9%) of the patients there was response of knee synovitis. No statistical differences in gender (), age (), disease subtype (), and pattern of arthritis () between knee synovitis responders and nonresponders were found. Fourteen patients managed to stop DMARD therapy and six, all of whom were initially on DMARDs combination, to decrease the number of DMARDs to one, maintaining simultaneously the response of knee synovitis. Our results imply a beneficial effect of adjunctive anti-TNF therapy on knee synovitis not responding to DMARDs and other standard treatments in patients with peripheral SpA. Grigorios T. Sakellariou, Athanasios D. Anastasilakis, Ilias Bisbinas, Anastasios Gketsos, and Charalampos Berberidis Copyright © 2013 Grigorios T. Sakellariou et al. All rights reserved. Investigating the Value of Abatacept in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Systematic Review of Cost-Effectiveness Studies Thu, 30 May 2013 12:23:47 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2013/256871/ Background. Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive inflammatory disease that affects greatly patients’ quality of life and demands for aggressive management early on during the course of the disease. The discovery of biologics has equipped rheumatologists with evolutionary treatment tools but has also impacted greatly management costs. Objectives. To conduct a systematic review in order to evaluate the cost effectiveness of abatacept in the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. Methods. Pubmed, the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research Outcomes Research Digest, the National Health System Economic Evaluation Database, and the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects were searched. Results. In total 301 studies were identified and 42 met the inclusion criteria. Half of the selected studies evaluated abatacept in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, after failure of or intolerance to tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitors. Of those, 82% were in favor of abatacept as a cost-effective or dominant strategy versus varying alternatives, whereas 18% favored other treatments. Conclusion. The majority of evidence from the published literature supports that abatacept can be a cost-effective alternative in the treatment of moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis, especially in patients that have demonstrated inadequate response or intolerance to anti-TNF agents or conventional disease modifying antirheumatic drugs. Kostas Athanasakis, Ioannis Petrakis, and John Kyriopoulos Copyright © 2013 Kostas Athanasakis et al. All rights reserved. Oral Bisphosphonate Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw: A Challenging Adverse Effect Thu, 16 May 2013 15:54:09 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2013/215034/ Oral bisphosphonates are the most commonly prescribed antiresorptive drugs for the treatment of osteoporosis. However, there are several adverse effects associated with oral bisphosphonates including the bisphosphonate related osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ). With a better understanding of this side effect, reported incidences for BRONJ in oral bisphosphonate users have increased in time. The pathogenesis of BRONJ has not been well determined. Several risk factors such as dentoalveolar surgery, therapy duration, and concomitant steroid usage have been linked to BRONJ. Conservative and surgical methods can be preferred in the treatment. Preventative measures are of great importance for the patients at high risk. In this paper, osteonecrosis of the jaw secondary to oral bisphosphonates was reviewed in order to increase awareness as well as to renew the current knowledge. Ilke Coskun Benlidayi and Rengin Guzel Copyright © 2013 Ilke Coskun Benlidayi and Rengin Guzel. All rights reserved. Stronger Correlation between Interleukin 18 and Soluble Fas in Lupus Nephritis Compared with Mild Lupus Thu, 14 Mar 2013 10:41:35 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2013/850851/ Lupus nephritis (LN) is a major cause of morbidity in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Several cytokines and apoptotic markers such as IL-18 and soluble Fas (sFas) have been assumed to play a role in the pathogenesis of LN. Previous studies confirmed that serum concentrations of sFas and IL-18 are increased in SLE. However, only a few studies have suggested a possible correlation between IL-18 and sFas. This study was planned to continue our previous study on the correlation between those markers to evaluate this correlation in LN. Thirty-two patients with only LN and 46 patients without any major organ involvement participated in this study. SLEDAI score (except for scores related to nephritis) was the same in these two groups. In both groups, patients with any other major organ involvement were excluded. We found a significant rise in the serum concentrations of sFas () and IL-18 () in patients with proteinuria compared to those without it. This study showed that the correlation between sFas and IL-18 in LN (, ) is significantly stronger than it is in mild SLE (, ) with similar nonrenal SLEDAI score (, ). Between these two serum markers, sFas is the only predictor of proteinuria. Mohammad Reza Hatef, Maryam Sahebari, Zahra Rezaieyazdi, Mohammad Reza Nakhjavani, and Mahmoud Mahmoudi Copyright © 2013 Mohammad Reza Hatef et al. All rights reserved. Clinical Features of Inflammatory Myopathies and Their Association with Malignancy: A Systematic Review in Asian Population Mon, 25 Feb 2013 11:19:50 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2013/509354/ Introduction. Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIMs) are a group of chronic systemic autoimmune diseases that mainly affect the skeletal muscle. The common subtypes include adult dermatomyositis (DM), polymyositis (PM), and inclusion body myositis (IBM). Most of the earlier studies that described the clinical characteristics of IIM as well as their association with cancer were conducted in Western population. Our study is the first systematic review that summarizes the clinical data of DM/PM in Asian population. Methods. We identified 14 case series of DM/PM that met our eligibility criteria. We then compared this data with that from previous reports from Europe and North America. Results. Our systematic review included 2518 patients. Dermatomyositis is more common, with the ratio of dermatomyositis to polymyositis being 1.36 : 1. 69% of them were females with mean age of 45.5 years. Extramuscular manifestations, including arthritis/arthralgia, dysphagia, and interstitial lung disease, are found in one-third of the patients. Malignancy was found in 10% of patients, with lung and nasopharyngeal carcinomas being the most common malignancies associated with these myopathies. Conclusion. Clinical presentation of PM/DM appears to be similar in both Western and Asian populations. However, the type of associated malignancies in Asians differs from that in Caucasians. Ethnic background should be one of the factors that clinicians should consider while screening for malignancy. Patompong Ungprasert, Napat Leeaphorn, Nattamol Hosiriluck, Wikrom Chaiwatcharayut, Nischala Ammannagari, and Donald A. Raddatz Copyright © 2013 Patompong Ungprasert et al. All rights reserved. Wound Healing with Medications for Rheumatoid Arthritis in Hand Surgery Mon, 03 Dec 2012 16:59:17 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2012/251962/ Introduction. Medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, such as corticosteroids, disease-modifying agents (DMARDs), and injectable biological agents (anti-TNFα), may have widespread effects on wound healing. In hand surgery, it is important to balance the risks of poor wound healing from continuing a medication against the risks of a flare of rheumatoid arthritis if a drug is temporarily discontinued. Materials and Methods. A United Kingdom (UK) group of 28 patients had metacarpophalangeal joint replacement surgery in 35 hands (140 wounds). All medication for rheumatoid arthritis was continued perioperatively, except for the injectable biological agents. Results. There were no instances of wound dehiscence or deep infection and only one episode of minor superficial infection. Conclusions. We conclude that provided care is taken to identify and treat any problems promptly, it is appropriate to continue most antirheumatoid medications in the perioperative period during hand surgery to reduce the risk of destabilising the patients' overall rheumatoid disease control. A. R. Barnard, M. Regan, F. D. Burke, K. C. Chung, and E. F. S. Wilgis Copyright © 2012 A. R. Barnard et al. All rights reserved. Neuropsychiatric Features of a Cohort of Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Tue, 20 Nov 2012 10:28:23 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2012/989218/ In order to establish if neuropsychiatric systemic lupus erythematosus (NPSLE) can be identified by any characteristic other than those used to diagnose the neuropsychiatric (NP) disease itself, we retrospectively reviewed 98 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients followed over a mean period of 10 years. NPSLE was identified in 22 patients. Stroke and generalized seizures were the most frequent NP manifestations. The NPSLE and non-NPSLE groups were similar with regard to demographic characteristics, ACR criteria, serum autoantibodies, and frequency of hypertension and hypercholesterolemia. Of note, compared to the non-NPSLE group, NPSLE was associated with a higher frequency of smoking (78 versus 26%), organ damage (73 versus 34%), and cumulative mortality rate (14 versus 7%). The series of patients was further analysed according to the presence of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS). Significantly, the interval between the onset of NP disease and SLE diagnosis was shorter in the APS− ( years) than in the APS+ ( years) groups. Recurrence and/or persistence of NP events were only documented in the APS− group. Overall cumulative mortality was highest in NPSLE and in APS+ patients with inadequate anticoagulation control, identifying an aspect that requires improved vigilance and the development of novel therapeutic modalities. Maria Francisca Moraes-Fontes, Isabel Lúcio, Céu Santos, Maria Manuel Campos, Nuno Riso, and Manuel Vaz Riscado Copyright © 2012 Maria Francisca Moraes-Fontes et al. All rights reserved. Rheumatological Findings in Candidates for Valvular Heart Surgery Wed, 24 Oct 2012 09:55:29 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2012/927923/ Background and Objectives. Valvular heart diseases are among the frequent causes of cardiac surgery. Some patients have a well-known rheumatic condition. Heart valves are fragile connective tissues which are vulnerable to any systemic autoimmune diseases. This study was designed to evaluate the frequency of rheumatological background in patients candidate for valvular heart surgery in Afshar Cardiovascular Center, Yazd, Iran. Methods. One hundred and twenty (120) patients candidate for valvular heart surgery were selected for this study. Careful history and physical examination were undertaken from rheumatological stand points. The most sensitive screening serologic tests were also assayed. Results. The result of this study showed that 53.3% were male and 46.6% were female with mean age of years old. 45.8% of the patients had history of nonmechanical joint disease, 14.2% had history of rheumatological conditions in their family, and 30% had history of constitutional symptoms. 29.8% had positive joint dysfunction findings in their physical examination while 25.8% had anemia of chronic disease. Positive Rheumatoid factor (RF), anticyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP, ACPA), C-reactive protein (CRP), antinuclear antibody (ANA), abnormal urine and elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) were 34, 2.5, 26.7, 4.2, 5, and 36.7%, respectively. Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) and antiphospholipid (APL) were positive in a few cases. Conclusion. The findings of this study show immunologic bases for most patients with valvular heart diseases candidate for surgery. Undifferentiated connective tissue diseases may play an important role in the pathophysiology of valvular damage. Mohammad Bagher Owlia, Seyed Jalil Mirhosseini, Nafiseh Naderi, Seyed Mohammad Yousof Mostafavi Pour Manshadi, and Sadegh Ali Hassan Sayegh Copyright © 2012 Mohammad Bagher Owlia et al. All rights reserved. Cardiac Manifestations of Rheumatological Conditions: A Narrative Review Wed, 17 Oct 2012 14:22:34 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2012/463620/ Cardiovascular diseases are common in systemic rheumatologic diseases. They can be presented at the time of diagnosis or after diagnosis. The cardiac involvements can be the first presentation of rheumatologic conditions. It means that a patient with rheumatologic disease may go to a cardiologist when attacked by this disease at first. These manifestations are very different and involve different structures of the heart, and they can cause mortality and morbidity of patients with rheumatologic diseases. Cardiac involvements in these patients vary from subclinical to severe manifestations. They may need aggressive immunosuppressive therapy. The diagnosis of these conditions is very important for choosing the best treatment. Premature atherosclerosis and ischemic heart disease are increased in rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, and may be causes of mortality among them. The aggressive control of systemic inflammation in these diseases can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease especially ischemic heart disease. Although aggressive treatment of primary rheumatologic diseases can decrease mortality rate and improve them, at this time, there are no specific guidelines and recommendations, to include aggressive control and prevention of traditional risk factors, for them. Mohammad Bagher Owlia, Seyed Mohammad Yousof Mostafavi Pour Manshadi, and Nafiseh Naderi Copyright © 2012 Mohammad Bagher Owlia et al. All rights reserved. The Swindon Foot and Ankle Questionnaire: Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Words? Wed, 26 Sep 2012 09:29:39 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2012/105479/ Objectives. Despite increased awareness of the high prevalence and significance of foot and ankle problems in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), feet remain neglected. Reasons may include the perception that feet are difficult to assess, they are not included in the DAS28, and lack of freely available foot screening tools specific for RA. Methods. The Swindon Foot and Ankle Questionnaire (SFAQ) is a simply worded 10-point foot and ankle screening questionnaire with diagrams of feet and ankles for use in general rheumatology outpatients. All RA patients on our electronic database were invited to complete the questionnaire and attend clinic for assessment. Patients assessed clinically were scored out of 10 using the parameters from the questionnaire. The SFAQ was compared to the Manchester Foot Pain and Disability Index (MFPDI), DAS28, HAQ, HAD, and OSRA scores. Results. 597 questionnaires were sent, 301 (50%) returned, and 137 seen in clinic. There was good correlation between the postal SFAQ score, clinic score (), and the MFPDI (). Neither of the foot scores correlated with other RA disease outcome measures. 75% patients completed the picture. 73% corresponded to clinical findings. 45% of patients required an intervention following clinical review and trended towards higher scores. Conclusions. The SFAQ was quick to complete and correlated with the MFPDI. Lack of association with standard RA outcome measures suggests that relying on these scores alone may miss foot pathology. The diagrams were a useful complement. This simple screening tool could aid identification of RA foot and ankle problems. Rosemary Waller, Peter Manuel, and Lyn Williamson Copyright © 2012 Rosemary Waller et al. All rights reserved. Thrombosis in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: A Review Article Mon, 30 Jul 2012 09:10:55 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2012/428269/ Thrombosis is a well-known clinical entity in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and it is multifactorial. The most important risk factor is the presence of antiphospholipid antibodies (APLAs). However, approximately 40% of adults with SLE who are negative for APL A are diagnosed with thrombosis, indicating the importance of other risk factors. Thus, the thrombosis risk factors should be evaluated extensively and regularly and treated aggressively in every patient with systemic lupus erythematosus. Ibrahim A. Al-Homood Copyright © 2012 Ibrahim A. Al-Homood. All rights reserved. Orbital IgG4-Related Disease: Clinical Features and Diagnosis Thu, 21 Jun 2012 09:30:12 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2012/412896/ Orbital IgG4-related disease, which can occur in adults of any age, is characterized by IgG4-positive lymphoplasmacytic infiltrations in ocular adnexal tissues. The signs and symptoms include chronic noninflammatory lid swelling and proptosis. Patients often have a history of allergic disease and elevated serum levels of IgG4 and IgE as well as hypergammaglobulinemia. Orbital IgG4-related disease must be differentiated from idiopathic orbital inflammation and ocular adnexal marginal zone B-cell lymphoma to ensure appropriate and effective treatment. Systemic steroid therapy decreases the size of the lesions, but relapse often occurs when systemic steroid therapy is discontinued. Toshinobu Kubota and Suzuko Moritani Copyright © 2012 Toshinobu Kubota and Suzuko Moritani. All rights reserved. Prevalence and Risk Factors of Discordance between Left- and Right-Hip Bone Mineral Density Using DXA Sun, 17 Jun 2012 07:58:57 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2012/617535/ To determine the prevalence of significant left-right differences in hip bone mineral density (BMD), and the impact of this difference on osteoporosis diagnosis, we measured bilateral proximal femora using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) in 3481 subjects (608 males, 2873 females). The difference between left and right hip was considered significant if it exceeded the smallest detectable difference (SDD) for any of the three hip subregions. Contralateral femoral BMD was highly correlated at all measuring sites (𝑟=0.92–0.95). However, significant left-right differences in BMD were common: the difference exceeded the SDD for 54% of patients at total hip, 52.1% at femoral neck, and 57.7% at trochanter. The prevalence of left-right differences was greater in participants >65 years. For 1169 participants with normal spines, 22 (1.9%) had discordant left-right hips in which one hip was osteoporotic; for 1349 patients with osteopenic spines, 94 (7%) had osteoporosis in one hip. Participants with BMI < 20 kg/m2 were more likely to show major T-score discordance (osteoporosis in one hip and normal BMD in the other). Multiple regression analysis showed that the only significant statically parameter that persists after adjusting for all potential confounding parameters were age over 65 years. Aziza Mounach, Asmaa Rezqi, Imad Ghozlani, Lahsen Achemlal, Ahmed Bezza, and Abdellah El Maghraoui Copyright © 2012 Aziza Mounach et al. All rights reserved. Clinical and Immunopathologic Profile of Mexican Patients with IgG4 Autoimmune Pancreatitis Mon, 14 May 2012 08:55:33 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2012/164914/ Autoimmune pancreatitis is part of the spectrum of IgG4-associated diseases. Its diagnostic criteria and histological subtypes have been formally proposed recently and although based on current data it has been suggested that there are differences in clinical presentation among populations, more research is needed to properly establish if this heterogeneity exists. In this paper, we describe 15 cases of autoimmune pancreatitis diagnosed at a Mexican centre of reference, all of them associated to the lymphoplasmocytic sclerosing pancreatitis variant. The mean age at the onset of symptoms was 47.5 ± 14.4 years, and 53% of patients were male. The main manifestations were weight loss (87%), obstructive jaundice (53%), and acute (27%) and chronic (27%) pancreatitis. Only 20% of patients had high IgG4 serum levels at the time of diagnosis. All patients receiving prednisone responded favourably, both in their pancreatic and extrapancreatic manifestations. Clinical manifestations of Mexican patients showed certain differences with respect to those usually reported. María T. Bourlon, Christianne Bourlon, Yemil Atisha-Fregoso, Fredy Chable-Montero, Marco A. Teliz, Arturo Angeles-Angeles, Eduardo Carrillo-Maravilla, Luis Llorente, and Luis F. Uscanga Copyright © 2012 María T. Bourlon et al. All rights reserved. Anti-Ro52 Antibodies and Interstitial Lung Disease in Connective Tissue Diseases Excluding Scleroderma Tue, 27 Mar 2012 07:52:38 +0000 http://www.hindawi.com/journals/isrn.rheumatology/2012/415272/ Introduction. The presence of anti-Ro52 antibodies has been reported in a wide variety of autoimmune diseases, particularly in myositis, scleroderma, and autoimmune liver diseases. Clinical significance of anti-Ro52 antibodies remains controversial, and studies are lacking for clarifying the association of anti-Ro52 with interstitial lung disease (ILD) in connective tissue diseases (CTD). Objectives. To determine if anti-Ro52 antibodies are associated with ILD in CTD other than scleroderma. Methods. Single-center, retrospective study based on immunoblotting panel analysis and patients clinical records. Results. In our connective tissue disease cohort, 162 patients had immunoblotting panels with anti-Ro52 reactivity analysis, 41 (25,3%) had inclusion criteria. Among the 41 selected sera, 85.4% (𝑛=35) had anti-Ro52 reactivity. The prevalence of ILD in the positive anti-Ro52 antibodies was 71.4% (𝑛=25), and 16.7% (𝑛=1) in the negative anti-Ro52 group (𝑃=0.018). Overall sensitivity (96.2%), specificity (83.3%), positive (71.4%) and negative (83.3%) predictive values of anti-Ro52 antibodies to determine ILD in CTD is detailed in this study. Conclusion. Ro52 autoantibodies are associated with ILD in CTD excluding scleroderma. We suggest that the presence of anti-Ro52 reactivity in CTD should increase the clinician curiosity for the search of ILD. João Pedro Ferreira, Isabel Almeida, António Marinho, Conceição Cerveira, and Carlos Vasconcelos Copyright © 2012 João Pedro Ferreira et al. All rights reserved.