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עמוד בית
Sat, 20.07.24

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July 2018
Stefano Gentileschi MD, Antonio Vitale MD, Donato Rigante MD PhD, Giuseppe Lopalco MD, Giacomo Emmi MD PhD, Ida Orlando MD, Gerardo Di Scala MD, Jurgen Sota MD, Claudia Fabiani MD PhD, Bruno Frediani MD, Mauro Galeazzi MD, Giovanni Lapadula MD, Florenzo Iannone MD and Luca Cantarini MD PhD

Background: Clinical research is needed to identify patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) who are more likely to be responsive to interleukin (IL)-17 inhibition.

Objectives: To evaluate short-term efficacy of secukinumab in the management of axSpA.

Method: Twenty-one patients (7 males, 14 females) with axSpA were consecutively treated with secukinumab. Laboratory and clinical assessments were based on erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), C-reactive protein (CRP), Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Score (ASDAS)-CRP, and Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (BASDAI). Data were recorded at baseline and at a 3 month follow-up visit.

Results: The study was comprised of 21 patients. Both BASDAI and ASDAS-CRP showed a statistically significant reduction between the baseline and the 3 month visit (P < 0.0001 and P = 0.0005, respectively). During the laboratory assessment, ESR showed a significant decrease (P = 0.008) while CRP improvement did not reach statistical significance (P = 0.213). No statistical significance was observed between patients treated with secukinumab 150 mg vs. 300 mg in BASDAI (P=0.99), ASDAS-CRP (P = 0.69), ESR (P = 0.54), and CRP (P = 0.56). No significant differences emerged between the BASDAI (P = 0.15), ASDAS-CRP (P = 0.09), and CRP (P = 0.15) rates in biologic-naïve patients and those previously failing tumor necrosis factor-α inhibition. Conversely, ESR decrease was significantly higher in the biologic-naïve subgroup (P = 0.01). No adverse events were reported.

Conclusions: Secukinumab has proven remarkable short-term effectiveness, regardless of the biologic treatment line. A dosage of 150 mg proved to be appropriate in the clinical and laboratory management of axSpA.

April 2018
Mahmoud Abu–Shakra MD, Devy Zisman MD, Alexandra Balbir-Gurman MD, Howard Amital MD, Yair Levy MD, Pnina Langevitz MD, Moshe Tishler MD, Yair Molad MD, Suhail Aamar MD, Itzhak Roser MD, Nina Avshovich MD, Daphna Paran MD, Tatiana Reitblat MD, Reuven Mader MD, Hillel Savin MD, Joshua Friedman MD, Nicky Lieberman MD and Sharon Ehrlich MD

Background: Chronic fatigue is common among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), affecting quality of life. Osteoporosis is a prevalent co-morbidity in RA patients.

Objectives: To assess the effect of long-term treatment with tocilizumab on fatigue and bone mineral density (BMD) in RA patients with inadequate response to synthetic or biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs. 

Methods: In this multicenter, open-label, non-controlled, single-arm study, patients ≥ 18 years of age received intravenous tocilizumab 8 mg/kg every 4 weeks for 96 weeks. The primary outcome was the change in Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT)-Fatigue score from baseline to weeks 24, 48, 72, and 96. BMD was assessed before and 96 weeks after treatment. 

Results: The study comprised 145 patients (mean age 53.4 ± 13.4 years, 83.4% women). Of these, 88 (60.7%) completed the 2 year treatment period. The mean FACIT-Fatigue score improved consistently starting from week 4 and showed a statistically significant increase of 5.0 ± 9.7, 6.8 ± 10.5, 7.3 ± 10.9, and 7.3 ± 10.4 from baseline to weeks 24, 48, 72, and 96, respectively (P < 0.0001). Mean BMD of femoral neck and total spine remained stable. Disease activity, acute phase reactants, and composite efficacy measures decreased during the study, while hemoglobin levels increased. Adverse events and serious adverse events were as expected for the known and previously described data.

Conclusions: Tocilizumab therapy for 2 years significantly and clinically decreased fatigue. BMD remained stable and no new safety issue was reported. 

 

Raja Hakim MD, Nimrod Rozen MD PhD, Andrea Zatkova PhD, Judit Krausz MD, Irit Elmalah MD and Ronen Spiegel MD
Vitaly Finkelshtein MD, Yair Lampl MD, Mordechai Lorberboym MD, Andrew Kanner MD, Dominique Ben-Ami Raichman MD, Ron Dabby MD and Amir Tanay MD
January 2018
Raifa Ivanova MD PhD, Maya Goremykina MD PhD, Natalya Glushkova MD PhD and Sandro Vento MD
December 2017
Shani Dahan MD and Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MACR

Medical practice is a form of art, with each complex detail essential to the welfare of the individuals in the care of the physician. Art and medicine have shared a close relationship in a variety of ways for centuries, as demonstrated by anatomical drawings and textbooks from the 16th century. Leonardo da Vinci, driven by his fascination with the details of the human body and how it functioned, succeeded in creating an anatomical model of the cerebral ventricles and the aorta using molten wax and a glass structure, respectively (Heart and Its Blood Vessels). By using water that contained grass seeds, this experiment enabled him to study blood flow. da Vinci’s engrossment with the complexity of the human body is reflected in many of his drawings, including the famous depiction of the human physique in his drawing of the Vitruvian Man. This drawing, which defines the ideal proportions of the human body and their correlation with geometry, is an example of how artistic and scientific objectives integrate with each other.

November 2017
Iris Eshed MD and Merav Lidar MD

Background: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is the most sensitive imaging modality for the detection of sacroiliitis. Diagnosing sacroiliitis on MRI is not always straightforward and can be challenging in some cases.

Objectives: To evaluate the prevalence of alternative diagnoses suggested by MRI and characterize the MR appearance of the most common ones.

Methods: Consecutive MRI examinations of the sacroiliac joints (SIJ) performed between 2005 and 2012 were retrospectively evaluated for the presence of structural and active sacroiliitis findings according to the Assessment of SpondyloArthritis International Society guidelines. Alternative diagnoses, including degenerative changes, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis (DISH), Osteitis condensans ilii (OCI), septic sacroiliitis/discitis, stress reaction as well as anatomic variants, were registered

Results: We evaluated 281 MRI examinations, 116 males, 165 females, average age 44 ± 15 years. Sacroiliitis was found in 71 examinations (25%) and alternative diagnoses were suggested in 87 (31%) (OCI 8.9%, anatomic variants 5.3%, septic sacroiliitis 5.3%, degenerative findings 4.3%, diffuse idiopathic skeletal hyperostosis [DISH] 1.5%, stress reaction 0.7%, tumor 0.3%). A normal examination was found in the remaining 123 examinations. Patients with alternative diagnoses were older than those with sacroiliitis (62 vs. 47 years of age, respectively, P > 0.05). Alternative pathologies in the SIJ were significantly more common in females (66) than males (21), P < 0.05.

Conclusions: A substantial proportion of patients with suspected sacroiliitis had normal SIJ while the rest were more commonly diagnosed with other pathologies. A referral by an experienced rheumatologist may improve the sensitivity and specificity of this important examination.

Abdulla Watad MD, Iris Eshed MD and Dennis McGonagle MD FRCPI PhD

Enthesitis is a term that refers to inflammation at tendon, ligament, or joint capsule insertions. The entheses are increasinlgly considered to be the primary site of joint inflammation in the spondyloarthropathies including psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Great advances have occurred in the understanding of enthesopathy, which has resulted in a better understanding of the etiopathogenesis of PsA. Enthesitis is difficult to assess on both clinical examination and on imaging because of the overlap in features between mechanical, degenerative, and inflammatory pathologies. Ultrasonography frequently detects entheseal abnormalities in patients with psoriasis, despite the absence of clinical symptoms of arthropathy and the longitudinal value of such lesions for PsA prediction remains unknown. The role of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the assessment and monitoring of enthesitis is not fully agreed on but it is clearly superior for the assessment of spinal polyenthesitis and for diffuse peri-enthseal osteitis that can occur anywhere in the skeleton. Nuclear medicine, including conventional positron-emission tomography (PET) and high-resolution PET scan (hrPET), is more of a research tool for enthesitis and can, for example, help distinguish between PsA and osteoarthritis. Entheseal abnormalities are common in osteoarthritis, which creates diagnostic difficulty from PsA. Entheseal changes, especially on imaging, may also occur in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and likely reflect the extension of the inflammatory process from the adjacent synovium. The nail is anatomically anchored to the skeleton via a mini-enthesis network. An association between ultrasonography determined distal interphalageal joint (DIP) extensor tendon enthesopathy and clinical nail disease was found, which highlights the pivotal role of the enthesis in this PsA risk factor. This review summarizes the relevant insights and implication of imaging for enthesitis, primarily in PsA but also in other arthropathies.

 

Xenofon Baraliakos MD PhD

Axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) covers the stage of non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (nr-axSpA) and classic ankylosing spondylitis. The pathognomonic findings of axSpA are mainly inflammatory and osteoproliferative changes in the sacroiliac joints (SIJ) and the spine. Various imaging techniques are being used in daily practice for assessment of disease-specific changes, such as periarticular bone marrow edema, erosions, sclerosis, fat metaplasia and ankylosis in the SIJ or spondylitis, spondylodiscitis, facet joint involvement, or syndesmophytes in the spine of patients with axSpA. Conventional radiographs are still considered the gold standard for assessment of structural changes, while the method of for detection of inflammatory changes is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

A result for an MRI in the SIJ is considered positive for axSpA when more than one lesion is present on one MRI slice, If there is one lesion only, this should be present on at least two consecutive slices. For the spine, inflammatory lesions should preferably be located in the corner of the vertebral bodies, while occurrence of spondylitis in three or more vertebral corners is considered highly suggestive of axSpA.

This review gives a detailed overview about the benefits and limitations of all available imaging techniques in patients with axSpA, explains the usage of imaging techniques in the context of diagnosis and differential diagnosis of the disease, and reports on the potential future trends in the area of imaging of the axial skeleton in patients who are suspicious for this diagnosis.

Maria Antonietta D’Agostino MD PhD

Over the last 15 years ultrasound has gained importance for the clinical management of patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases, especially rheumatoid arthritis. This review summarizes the recent developments and achievements in the use of ultrasound in RA, as well as the unmet needs.

August 2017
Paola Conigliaro MD PhD, Paola Triggianese MD PhD, Maria Sole Chimenti MD PhD, Marco Tonelli MD, Flavia Sunzini MD, Barbara Kroegler MD and Roberto Perricone MD

Background: The goals of treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are remission and low disease activity (LDA). However, many patients do not reach or maintain these targets with regard to disease control. 

Objective: To identify predictive factors of remission/LDA in a cohort of RA patients who started treatment with first line tumor necrosis factor-inhibitors (TNF-i). 

Methods: We included 308 RA patients treated with first line TNF-i for 2 years to evaluate remission/LDA based on the 28-joint disease activity score (DAS28). Predictive factors considered for achievement of remission/LDA were: gender, age at the time of TNF-i treatment, early arthritis, baseline C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate levels, RF/anti-citrullinated protein antibody positivity, good/moderate European League Against Rheumatism response at 6 months, co-morbidities, and concomitant disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Intention to treat, receiver operating characteristic curve, and univariate and multivariate analyses by logistic regression were performed. 

Results: Positive predictors of remission/LDA in both the univariate and the multivariate analyses were: male gender, age at the time of TNF-i treatment ≤ 54 years, negative baseline CRP, and concomitant DMARDs. The presence of any co-morbidity resulted to be a negative predictor of remission/LDA in both the univariate and the multivariate analyses. 

Conclusions: Demographic and clinical features were identified as reliable predictors of both the achievement and the maintenance of treatment targets in a cohort of RA patients treated for 2 years with first line TNF-i. 

 

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