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OBJECTIVES - To detail the greatest areas of unmet scientific and clinical needs in rheumatology.
METHODS - The 21st annual international Advances in Targeted Therapies meeting brought together more than 100 leading basic scientists and clinical researchers in rheumatology, immunology, epidemiology, molecular biology and other specialties. During the meeting, breakout sessions were convened, consisting of 5 disease-specific groups with 20-30 experts assigned to each group based on expertise. Specific groups included: rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, axial spondyloarthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and other systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases. In each group, experts were asked to identify unmet clinical and translational research needs in general and then to prioritise and detail the most important specific needs within each disease area.
RESULTS - Overarching themes across all disease states included the need to innovate clinical trial design with emphasis on studying patients with refractory disease, the development of trials that take into account disease endotypes and patients with overlapping inflammatory diseases, the need to better understand the prevalence and incidence of inflammatory diseases in developing regions of the world and ultimately to develop therapies that can cure inflammatory autoimmune diseases.
CONCLUSIONS - Unmet needs for new therapies and trial designs, particularly for those with treatment refractory disease, remain a top priority in rheumatology.
© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2020. Re-use permitted under CC BY-NC. No commercial re-use. See rights and permissions. Published by BMJ.
OBJECTIVE - Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have increased cardiovascular (CV) risk. In the general population, exercise improves several CV risk factors. In a cross-sectional study, we examined the hypothesis that more exercise is associated with protective traditional and non-traditional CV risk factor profile in patients with RA.
METHODS - Patient-reported exercise outside of daily activities was quantified by time and metabolic equivalents per week (METmin/week) and CV risk factors including blood pressure, standard lipid profiles, lipoprotein particle concentrations (NMR spectroscopy), and vascular indices were measured in 165 patients with RA. The relationship between exercise and CV risk factors was assessed according to whether patients exercised or not, and after adjustment for age, race and sex.
RESULTS - Over half (54%) of RA patients did not exercise. Among those who did exercise, median value for exercise duration was 113 min/week [IQR: 60, 210], and exercise metabolic equivalent expenditure was 484 METmin/week [IQR: 258, 990]. Disease activity (measured by DAS28 score), C-reactive protein, waist-hip ratio, and prevalence of hypertension were lower in patients who exercised compared to those who did not (all p-values < 0.05) but standard lipid profile and body mass index were not significantly different. Patients who exercised had significantly higher concentrations of HDL particles (p = 0.004) and lower vascular stiffness as measured by pulse wave velocity (p = 0.005).
CONCLUSIONS - More self-reported exercise in patients with RA was associated with a protective CV risk factor profile including lower waist-hip ratio, higher HDL particle concentration, lower vascular stiffness, and a lower prevalence of hypertension.
BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVE - Despite effective therapies, rheumatoid arthritis (RA) can result in joint destruction requiring total joint arthroplasty to maintain patient function. An estimated 16% to 70% of those undergoing total joint arthroplasty of the hip or knee will receive a blood transfusion. Few studies have described risk factors for blood transfusion following total joint arthroplasty in patients with RA. The aim of this study was to identify demographic and clinical risk factors associated with receiving a blood transfusion following total joint arthroplasty among patients with RA.
METHODS - A retrospective study (n = 3270) was conducted using deidentified patient health claims information from a commercially insured, US data set (2007-2009). Data analysis included descriptive statistics and multivariate logistic regression.
RESULTS - Females were more likely to receive a blood transfusion (odds ratio [OR], 1.48; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.16-1.87; p = 0.001). When compared with those in the South, patients residing the Midwest were less likely to receive a blood transfusion following total joint arthroplasty (OR, 0.56; 95% CI, 0.44-0.71). Relative to those receiving total knee arthroplasty, patients who underwent total hip arthroplasty were more likely to receive a blood transfusion (OR, 1.39; 95% CI, 1.14-1.70), and patients who underwent a total shoulder arthroplasty were less likely to receive a blood transfusion (OR, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.05-0.38; p < 0.001). Patients with a history of anemia were more likely to receive a blood transfusion compared with those who did not have this diagnosis (OR, 3.30; 95% CI, 2.62-4.14; p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS - Risk factors for the receipt of blood transfusions among RA patients who have undergone total joint arthroplasty were identified.
Current therapies used in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are not effective in all patients. Biologic agents result in approximately 40% remission rates at 1 year in selected populations, prompting a growing interest in combining biologic therapy to improve outcomes. There are limited published data regarding the efficacy and safety of combination targeted therapy in IBD specifically, which include only 1 exploratory randomized control trial and 3 case reports or series. This review evaluates the published literature regarding this therapeutic paradigm in IBD and its extensive utilization in the treatment of other immune-mediated inflammatory disorders. The combination of biologic therapies demonstrates variable degrees of efficacy and highlights some safety concerns, depending upon the agents used and the disease state treated. A trial (Clinical Trials.gov Identifier: NCT02764762) combining vedolizumab and adalimumab is currently underway evaluating the effectiveness and safety of this approach in patients with Crohn's disease, which should provide further insight into this treatment concept. While combination biologic therapy is an attractive strategy, the lack of consistent superior efficacy as well as safety concerns militates the need for further trials prior to its general application in IBD.
Copyright © 2018 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The goals of this study were to determine if secretory sphingomyelinase (S-SMase) activity is elevated in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) compared to control subjects and to examine the relationships of S-SMase activity with functional status, quality of life, and RA disease activity measurements. We collected data on 33 patients who were diagnosed with RA and 17 non-RA controls who were comparable in terms of age, sex, and race. Demographic, clinical data and self-reported measures of fatigue, pain, and physical function were obtained directly from patients and controls. RA patients also completed quantitative joint assessment using a 28-joint count and functional status and quality of life assessment using the Modified Health Assessment Questionnaire (MHAQ). Archived serum samples were used to analyze retrospectively serum S-SMase activity in patients and controls. The mean serum S-SMase activity was 1.4-fold higher in patients with RA (RA 2.8 ± 1.0 nmol/ml/h vs. controls 2.0 ± 0.8 nmol/ml/h; p = 0.014). Spearman's rho correlations between S-SMase activity and oxidant activity, markers of inflammation and endothelial activation with the exception of P-selectin (rho = 0.40, p = 0.034), measures of disease activity, functional status, and quality of life were not statistically significant in patients with RA. We confirmed that S-SMase activity is higher among RA patients compared to controls, as in other acute and chronic inflammatory diseases. Future studies can build on the present findings to understand more fully the biologic role(s) of S-SMase activity in RA.
It has been proposed that CD6, an important regulator of T cells, functions by interacting with its currently identified ligand, CD166, but studies performed during the treatment of autoimmune conditions suggest that the CD6-CD166 interaction might not account for important functions of CD6 in autoimmune diseases. The antigen recognized by mAb 3A11 has been proposed as a new CD6 ligand distinct from CD166, yet the identity of it is hitherto unknown. We have identified this CD6 ligand as CD318, a cell surface protein previously found to be present on various epithelial cells and many tumor cells. We found that, like CD6 knockout (KO) mice, CD318 KO mice are also protected in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. In humans, we found that CD318 is highly expressed in synovial tissues and participates in CD6-dependent adhesion of T cells to synovial fibroblasts. In addition, soluble CD318 is chemoattractive to T cells and levels of soluble CD318 are selectively and significantly elevated in the synovial fluid from patients with rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile inflammatory arthritis. These results establish CD318 as a ligand of CD6 and a potential target for the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and inflammatory arthritis.
OBJECTIVE - Inconclusive findings about infection risks, importantly the use of immunosuppressive medications in patients who have undergone large-joint total joint arthroplasty, challenge efforts to provide evidence-based perioperative total joint arthroplasty recommendations to improve surgical outcomes. Thus, the aim of this study was to describe risk factors for developing a post-operative infection in patients undergoing TJA of a large joint (total hip arthroplasty, total knee arthroplasty, or total shoulder arthroplasty) by identifying clinical and demographic factors, including the use of high-risk medications (i.e., prednisone and immunosuppressive medications) and diagnoses [i.e., rheumatoid arthritis (RA), osteoarthritis (OA), gout, obesity, and diabetes mellitus] that are linked to infection status, controlling for length of follow-up.
METHODS - A retrospective, case-control study (N = 2212) using de-identified patient health claims information from a commercially insured, U.S. dataset representing 15 million patients annually (from January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2009) was conducted. Descriptive statistics, t-test, chi-square test, Fisher's exact test, and multivariate logistic regression were used.
RESULTS - Male gender (OR = 1.42, p < 0.001), diagnosis of RA (OR = 1.47, p = 0.031), diabetes mellitus (OR = 1.38, p = 0.001), obesity (OR = 1.66, p < 0.001) or gout (OR = 1.95, p = 0.001), and a prescription for prednisone (OR = 1.59, p < 0.001) predicted a post-operative infection following total joint arthroplasty. Persons with post-operative joint infections were significantly more likely to be prescribed allopurinol (p = 0.002) and colchicine (p = 0.006); no significant difference was found for the use of specific disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs and TNF-α inhibitors.
CONCLUSION - High-risk, post-operative joint infection groups were identified allowing for precautionary clinical measures to be taken.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
OBJECTIVE - The differences between seronegative and seropositive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have not been widely reported. We performed electronic health record (EHR)-based phenome-wide association studies (PheWAS) to identify disease associations in seropositive and seronegative RA.
METHODS - A validated algorithm identified RA subjects from the de-identified version of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center EHR. Serotypes were determined by rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibody (ACPA) values. We tested EHR-derived phenotypes using PheWAS comparing seropositive RA and seronegative RA, yielding disease associations. PheWAS was also performed in RF-positive versus RF-negative subjects and ACPA-positive versus ACPA-negative subjects. Following PheWAS, select phenotypes were then manually reviewed, and fibromyalgia was specifically evaluated using a validated algorithm.
RESULTS - A total of 2,199 RA individuals with either RF or ACPA testing were identified. Of these, 1,382 patients (63%) were classified as seropositive. Seronegative RA was associated with myalgia and myositis (odds ratio [OR] 2.1, P = 3.7 × 10 ) and back pain. A manual review of the health record showed that among subjects coded for Myalgia and Myositis, ∼80% had fibromyalgia. Follow-up with a specific EHR algorithm for fibromyalgia confirmed that seronegative RA was associated with fibromyalgia (OR 1.8, P = 4.0 × 10 ). Seropositive RA was associated with chronic airway obstruction (OR 2.2, P = 1.4 × 10 ) and tobacco use (OR 2.2, P = 7.0 × 10 ).
CONCLUSION - This PheWAS of RA patients identifies a strong association between seronegativity and fibromyalgia. It also affirms relationships between seropositivity and chronic airway obstruction and between seropositivity and tobacco use. These findings demonstrate the utility of the PheWAS approach to discover novel phenotype associations within different subgroups of a disease.
© 2016, American College of Rheumatology.