Case Reports in Rheumatology
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Acceptance rate36%
Submission to final decision101 days
Acceptance to publication33 days
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Fifty-Two-Week Results of Clinical and Imaging Assessments of a Patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis Complicated by Systemic Sclerosis with Interstitial Pneumonia and Type 1 Diabetes despite Multiple Disease-Modifying Antirheumatic Drug Therapy That Was Successfully Treated with Baricitinib: A Novel Case Report

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Case Reports in Rheumatology publishes case reports and case series on paediatric and adult rheumatological and musculoskeletal conditions, including novel therapies and advances in surgery and imaging.

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Case Report

Lupus and NMOSD: The Blending of Humoral Autoimmunity

Systemic lupus erythematous (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease that can target any organ of the body. It may coexist with other autoimmune neurologic conditions such as neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder (NMOSD). NMOSD, previously known as Devic’s disease, is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder of the central nervous system (CNS) that targets the spinal cord, optic nerves, and certain brain regions. Most current evidence suggests that NMOSD is best described as a CNS astrocytopathy. While these diseases share several immunosuppressive treatment options, timely diagnosis of NMOSD is critical as patients may benefit from treatment tailored specifically to NMOSD as opposed to SLE. Steroids, plasmapheresis, intravenous immunoglobulin, cyclophosphamide, azathioprine, mycophenolate mofetil, and rituximab are used to treat both SLE and NMOSD. However, there are several new therapies (inebilizumab, eculizumab, and satralizumab) recently approved specifically for use in NMOSD. In this case series, we report on three patients with coexisting SLE and NMOSD. We describe a 31-year-old woman who suffered an NMOSD flare after 11 years of clinical remission in the context of receiving an influenza vaccination; her SLE remained quiescent on hydroxychloroquine. Next, we describe a 52-year-old woman with emergence of neurologically devastating seropositive NMOSD in the setting of active treatment for SLE with intravenous cyclophosphamide, oral steroids, and hydroxychloroquine. Last, we describe a 48-year-old woman with emergence of seronegative NMOSD in the setting of SLE that was well-controlled on azathioprine and hydroxychloroquine. These cases illustrate the importance of accurate diagnosis and targeted treatment of NMOSD when coexisting with SLE.

Case Series

Coexistence of Axial Spondyloarthritis and Idiopathic Inflammatory Myopathy

Both axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) and idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM) are infrequent, and their coexistence is even rarer; there are a few reported cases in the literature. The aim of this study was to assess their association and clinical and laboratory features in our patients. The clinical data of patients with axSpA and IIM diagnosed in China-Japan Friendship Hospital from July 2015 to February 2019 were retrospectively analyzed. This study included 7 patients with axSpA who met the IIM criteria, including 3 males and 4 females. The age of onset was 16 to 39 years. Four patients were HLA-B27 positive, and three were negative. All patients were first diagnosed as axSpA, and then IIM was detected after 0.5–20 years (mean ± SD, 9.9 ± 5.0 years). After being diagnosed to have axSpA and IIM, those patients were given prednisone and immunosuppressant drugs, and their symptoms gradually improved. Our study provides further evidence of the coexistence of IIM with axSpA. In patients with axSpA who have skin rash, interstitial lung disease (ILD), myalgia, or muscle weakness, we should suspect that they may have IIM.

Case Report

Bilateral Retrobulbar Optic Neuritis as the First Manifestation of Neuro-Behçet Disease

Background. Behçet disease (BD) is a polygenic and chronic autoinflammatory multisystem vasculitis. Acute optic neuritis has been rarely reported in patients with BD, especially in children. Case Presentation. We reported an 8-year-old girl with a sudden visual loss and color vision impairment. The patient had a history of recurrent oral aphthous ulcers, genital ulcers, and chronic abdominal pain. On ophthalmic examination, anterior and posterior chambers and funduscopy of both eyes were normal. The results of laboratory tests for infectious and rheumatic diseases were normal. Brain magnetic resonance imaging and the result of cerebrospinal fluid analysis for oligoclonal bands and auto-antibodies were also normal. Pathergy skin test and human leukocyte antigens (HLA) B5 and HLA-B51 were positive. The patient was recognized as a case of BD-related bilateral retrobulbar optic neuritis and was treated by corticosteroids, azathioprine, colchicine, and infliximab. Conclusion. Retrobulbar optic neuritis may be the first manifestation of neuro-BD.

Case Report

Lupus Never Fails to Deceive US: A Case of Rowell’s Syndrome

Background. Rowell’s syndrome is comprised of the presentation of erythema multiforme- (EM-) like lesions in association with lupus erythematosus (LE), along with serologies of speckled antinuclear antibodies (ANAs), positive rheumatoid factor (RF), positive anti-La/anti-Ro, and the clinical finding of chilblains. As per the redefined criteria by Zeitouni et al., three major criteria in addition to at least 1 minor criterion are necessary for diagnosis. Case Presentation. A 20-year-old male presented with a one-week history of worsening nonpruritic erythematous maculopapular skin rash (resembling EM) which appeared on the face and subsequently spread to the trunk, arms, legs, palms, and soles. There was no mucosal involvement. At the onset of rash, the patient reported headaches, associated with photosensitivity and intermittent fevers. Workup for viral meningitis yielded negative results. Laboratory investigation revealed mild anemia, elevated inflammatory markers, a positive ANA with speckled pattern, a positive anti-Ro/SSA, anti-La/SSB antibodies, and a positive rheumatoid factor (RF). Lupus anticoagulant antibody was positive along with a low-positive anticardiolipin IgM antibody and a negative beta-2 glycoprotein antibody. Anti-dsDNA, anti-Smith, anti-Jo-1, anti-centromere, and anti-Scl-70 antibodies were negative. Hepatitis serologies, herpes simplex virus 1 and 2, mycoplasma, Epstein–Barr virus, HIV, and parvovirus B19 were negative. Left arm skin biopsy demonstrated vacuolar interface dermatitis and positive colloidal iron stain suggestive of dermal mucin deposition, favoring the diagnosis of cutaneous collagen vascular disease. Cutaneous lesions improved with administration of oral prednisolone. Conclusion. Rowell’s syndrome should be considered in patients who present with cutaneous LE and lesions resembling EM. Further serological markers should be pursued in the absence of obvious EM-precipitating factors.

Case Report

Primary Sjögren’s Syndrome Accompanied by Clinical Features of TAFRO Syndrome

Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) is associated with not only sicca symptoms but also various symptoms caused by extraglandular manifestation. The pathophysiology and comorbidities of TAFRO syndrome (thrombocytopenia, anasarca, fever, reticulin fibrosis, and organomegaly), which is thought to be a variant of multicentric Castleman’s disease, are not fully understood, and there are few data on the effectiveness of treatments. We report a patient of SS with TAFRO syndrome-like clinical features. A 52-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital because of abdominal distension. Laboratory data showed thrombocytopenia, and image findings showed massive ascites without evidence of malignant disease as confirmed by cytology. She was diagnosed with SS based on dysfunction of salivary secretion and positivity for anti-Ro/SS-A and La/SS-B antibodies, accompanied by clinical features of TAFRO syndrome based on the presence of anasarca and thrombocytopenia. High-dose corticosteroid for inflammation, anasarca, and thrombocytopenia was not effective. Cyclosporine was administered next, but anasarca and thrombocytopenia did not immediately improve until tolvaptan and eltrombopag were added. Although tolvaptan and eltrombopag were used for only a few months, the patient maintained a good condition with cyclosporine and low-dose prednisolone. In SS patients, activation of antigen-specific T lymphocytes is thought to be an important trigger that accelerates the immune response and is followed by hypercytokinemia. Therefore, using cyclosporine to suppress the activity of T lymphocytes is a reasonable treatment for SS accompanied with TAFRO syndrome-like pathophysiology. It might also be useful to administer tolvaptan or eltrombopag before the effects of immunosuppressants appear. If refractory inflammation with anasarca, thrombocytopenia, or lymphadenopathy is observed in an SS patient, complications with TAFRO syndrome-like pathophysiology should be considered.

Case Report

Development of Arthritis as the Initial Involvement in Adult-Onset Cutaneous Polyarteritis Nodosa: Two Cases and Literature Review

Articular symptoms are commonly present in polyarteritis nodosa (PAN). Meanwhile, they may occur as the initial and main involvement of PAN, raising a concern of a delay in a definitive diagnosis of disease unless the histological evidence is obtained. Herein, we report two cases of cutaneous PAN (c-PAN) in which arthritis developed as the initial clinical episode of disease and we argued, through a review of the literature, the clinical feature of patients presenting with arthritis as the initial symptom of PAN. To our knowledge, only six cases have been reported in the English literature, and all six patients were categorized as having c-PAN. Of those patients, four had arthritis with indicating destructive changes. A median of 9 years elapsed prior to the induction of immunosuppressive treatment despite the fact that the other reviewed cases as well as our two patients, who received treatment significantly earlier, showed no evidence of joint destruction. Taken together, this report suggests that the early induction of therapy based on the definitive diagnosis of PAN may be required for preventing joint disruption even though it is not easy to make a diagnosis of PAN unless biopsied tissue can provide the evidence of necrotizing vasculitis.

Case Reports in Rheumatology
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate36%
Submission to final decision101 days
Acceptance to publication33 days
CiteScore-
Impact Factor-
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