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עמוד בית
Tue, 18.06.24

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December 2023
Yael Weintraub MD, Raffi Lev-Tzion MD, Jacob Ollech MD, Hagar Olshaker MD, Irit Rosen MD, Shlomi Cohen MD, David Varssano MD, Dror S. Shouval MD, Manar Matar MD

Anti-tumor necrosis factor-alpha (anti-TNFα) medications are the most frequently used biologicals to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Little is known about the ocular side effects of this drug category. We present a case series of six young patients with Crohn disease (CD) and no previous ophthalmologic manifestations who developed blepharitis after commencing treatment with anti-TNFα therapy. Six otherwise healthy patients with CD, with no history of allergies or prior ocular complaints, developed blepharitis at a median of 7.5 months after the initiation of anti-TNFα therapy. All ophthalmic findings were treated topically. The ocular symptoms of two of the patients resolved shortly after discontinuation of the anti-TNFα treatment. The other four presented with relapsing-remitting symptoms. Blepharitis is a common ocular disease in the general population and an extra-intestinal manifestation in patients with IBD. It may be an adverse effect of anti-TNFα therapy in this patient population.

October 2023
Wakar Garra MD, Yair Levy MD

Nocardia species are gram-positive aerobic bacteria, usually acquired by inhalation or traumatic percutaneous inoculation [1,2]. It is a rare opportunistic infection that mainly occurs in immunocompromised hosts, patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), organ transplant recipients, and long-term corticosteroid treated patients [1,2]. It is associated with high morbidity and mortality rates. The increased use of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors has been accompanied by increased risk of different opportunistic infections including reactivation of tuberculosis, viral hepatitis B and C, listeria, fungal and bacterial infections [3,4]. To date, there are scarce case reports regarding nocardial infection with anti-TNF, particularly during the first 6 months of treatment.

We present a case of nocardial tenosynovitis of the hand in a patient with psoriatic arthropathy who was followed in our rheumatology clinic in Meir medical center in Israel after treatment with an anti TNF therapy.

April 2016
Fabiola Atzeni MD PhD, Elisabetta Grillo MD, Ignazio F. Masala MD, Piercarlo Sarzi-Puttini MD and Gareth T. Jones PhD

Lung involvement is a well-recognized extra-articular manifestation of ankylosing spondylitis (AS). Anecdotal reports suggest that the use of anti-TNF drugs may be related to lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis. To examine the association between anti-TNF drugs and the development of lung disease in patients with AS or  psoriatic arthritis (PsA) we conducted a systematic review. Of the 670 papers identified by means of key word and hand search, only one full-text paper was considered potentially relevant but had to be discarded as it did not meet the eligibility criteria. Although no conclusion was reached, this is the first systematic review to examine this problem which is becoming increasingly important as these drugs are widely prescribed in patients with spondyloarthritis.

Fabiola Atzeni MD PhD, Alberto Batticciotto MD PhD, Ignazio F. Masala MD, Rossella Talotta MD, Maurizio Benucci MD and Piercarlo Sarzi-Puttini MD

Long-term extension studies and observational drug registers have revealed an increased risk of serious infections in patients treated with anti-tumor necrosis factor agents, particularly infliximab, etanercept and adalimumab. The same may be true for the newer biological drugs rituximab, tocilizumab and abatacept, although this has yet to be confirmed by long-term observational studies. We review the risk of tuberculosis, herpes zoster and other opportunistic infections, and the recommendations for screening for tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C infections in patients affected by rheumatoid arthritis, with the aim of informing patients and encouraging greater awareness among physicians.

February 2015
Siniša Roginic MD, Alan Jelic MD, Asja Stipic-Markovic MD PhD, Artukovic Marinko MD, Irena N. Artukovic MD and Martinovic-Kaliterna Dusanka MD PhD
January 2014
Joao L. P. Vaz, Mirhelen M. Abreu and Roger A. Levy
 Background: The presence of anti-citrullinated peptide/protein antibody (ACPA) has a high specificity and predictive value for the development of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Some studies have shown decreased titers of this antibody after treatment with infliximab.

Objectives: To assess the changes in ACPA titers in patients with RA after treatment with infliximab as a first biological agent, and to correlate these variations with non-infusion-related adverse effects.

Methods: In a prospective multicenter observational study involving 48 research centers, we assessed 139 patients with established moderate-to-severe RA diagnosed according to American College of Rheumatology criteria. Samples were collected before and 6–12 months after treatment.

Results: The mean age of the study patients was 50.6 years old, and 118 were female (84.9%). Statistically significant variations in ACPA titers were noted in 47 patients (before and after treatment) (P = 0.012). Overall, ACPA titers were decreased in 32 (65.3%) and increased in 15 (34.7%). No correlation was found between severe or mild adverse effects in patients presenting variations in ACPA titers.

Conclusions: The present study showed that infliximab affected ACPA titers, promoting mainly a decrease; however, this was not related to the occurrence of non-infusion-related adverse effects.

August 2009
J. Freire de Carvalho, A.C. de Medeiros Ribeiro, J.C. Bertacini de Moraes, C. Gonçalves, C. Goldenstein-Schainberg and E. Bonfá
April 2008
Y. Braun-Moscovici, D.n Markovits, A. Rozin, K. Toledano, A. M. Nahir and Alexandra Balbir-Gurman

Background: Infliximab and etanercept have been included in the Israeli national list of health services since 2002 for rheumatoid arthritis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis, and since 2005 for psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. The regulator (Ministry of Health and health funds) mandates using fixed doses of infliximab as the first drug of choice and increased dosage is not allowed. For other indications (e.g., vasculitis), anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy is given on a "compassionate" basis in severe refractory disease.

Objectives: To describe our experience with anti-TNF[1] therapy in a single tertiary referral center in northern Israel and to analyze the impact of the national health policy on the results.

Methods: We reviewed the medical records of patients who received anti-TNF therapy in our institution, and analyzed demographic data, diagnosis, clinical and laboratory features, previous and current therapies, and anti-TNF treatment duration and side effects.

Results: Between 2001 and 2006, 200 patients received anti-TNF therapy for rheumatoid arthritis (n=108), juvenile idiopathic arthritis (n=11), psoriatic arthritis (n=37), ankylosing spondylitis (n=29), adult Still's disease (n=4), overlap disease (RA[2] and scleroderma or polymyositis, n=6), temporal arteritis (n=1), polyarteritis nodosa (n=1), dermatomyositis (n=1), amyloidosis secondary to RA (n=1) and Wegener's granulomatosis (n=1). Forty percent of RA patients discontinued the first anti-TNF agent due to side effects or insufficient response. Higher sedimentation rate and lower or negative rheumatoid factor predicted better response to therapy among RA patients. AS[3] and PS[4] patients had a better safety and efficacy profile. Severe infections occurred in 2% of patients. All eight patients who presented lung involvement as part of their primary rheumatic disease remained stable or improved. A significant improvement was achieved in all six patients with overlap disease.

Conclusion: Our daily practice data are generally in agreement with worldwide experience. The ‘deviations’ might be explained by the local health policy at that time. The impact of health policy and economic and administrative constraints should be taken into account when analyzing cohort daily practice data.






[1] TNF = tumor necrosis factor

[2] RA = rheumatoid arthritis

[3] AS = ankylosing spondylitis

[4] PS = psoriatic arthritis


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