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עמוד בית
Tue, 27.02.24

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June 2021
Omer Gendelman MD, Yuval Kuntzman MD, Ora Shovman MD, Pnina Langevitz MD, Avishai M. Tsur MD MHA, Daniel Erez MD, Yair Levy MD, and Howard Amital MD MHA

Background: Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) is a rare small vessel vasculitis. It usually involves the respiratory tract and kidney. Rarely, tumor-resembling inflammatory changes ensue.

Objectives: To report three unique cases of GPA presenting with tumor-like lesions in various organs.

Methods: We presented three cases of GPA. Case 1 presented with typical upper respiratory symptoms of GPA and a mediastinal mass. Case 2 presented with low back pain, a large retroperitoneal mass, and nodular skin lesions. Case 3 presented with epigastric pain and a paravertebral inflammatory mass.

Results: The patients were treated successfully with rituximab.

Conclusions: Clinicians should be aware of this presentation of granulomatosis with polyangiitis, which is known as Tumefaction Wegener’s granulomatosis

September 2020
Pnina Langevitz MD, Merav Lidar MD, Itzhak Rosner MD, Joy Feld MD, Moshe Tishler MD, Howard Amital MD, Suhail Aamar MD, Ori Elkayam MD, Alexandra Balbir-Gurman MD, Mahmoud Abu-Shakra MD, Dror Mevorach MD, Oded Kimhi MD, Yair Molad MD, Ana Kuperman MD and Sharon Ehrlich MD

Background: Tocilizumab is an interleukin 6 (IL-6) receptor antagonist used treat moderate to severe active rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Both intravenous (IV) and subcutaneous (SC) routes are approved for the treatment of adults with RA.

Objectives: To evaluate SC tocilizumab in a real-life clinical setting.

Methods: Our study was a multi-center, open-label, single-arm study. Participants were adults with a diagnosis of active RA, previously treated with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), with or without biologic agents. Participants received a weekly SC injection of tocilizumab 162 mg as monotherapy or in combination with methotrexate or DMARDs for 24 weeks. Efficacy, safety, and immunogenicity were assessed.

Results: Treatment of 100 patients over 24 weeks resulted in improvement in all efficacy parameters assessed: Clinical Disease Activity Index, Disease Activity Score using 28 joint counts and erythrocyte sedimentation rate, American College of Rheumatology response scores, Simplified Disease Activity Index, tender and swollen joint counts, and patient-reported outcomes including fatigue, global assessment of disease activity, pain, and Health Assessment Quality of Life Disease Index. Improvement was achieved as early as the second week of treatment. There were 473 adverse events (AEs)/100 patient-years (PY) and 16.66 serious AEs/100 PY. The most common AEs were neutropenia (12%), leukopenia (11%), and increased hepatic enzymes (11%). Of a total of 42 PY, the rates of serious infections and AEs leading to discontinuation were 4.8, and 11.9 events/100 PY, respectively.

Conclusions: The safety, tolerability, and efficacy profile of tocilizumab SC were comparable to those reported in other studies evaluating the IV and SC routes of administration.

 

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. 

 

January 2017
Zev Sthoeger MD, Margalit Lorber MD, Yuval Tal MD, Elias Toubi MD, Howard Amital MD, Shaye Kivity MD, Pnina Langevitz MD, Ilan Asher MD, Daniel Elbirt MD and Nancy Agmon Levin MD

Background: Anti-BLyS treatment with the human belimumab monoclonal antibody was shown to be a safe and effective therapeutic modality in lupus patients with active disease (i.e., without significant neurological/renal involvement) despite standard treatment.

Objectives: To evaluate the “real-life” safety and efficacy of belimumab added to standard therapy in patents with active lupus in five Israeli medical centers.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective open-labeled study of 36 lupus patients who received belimumab monthly for at least 1 year in addition to standard treatment. Laboratory tests (C3/C4, anti dsDNA autoantibodies, chemistry, urinalysis and complete blood count) were done every 3–4 months. Adverse events were obtained from patients’ medical records. Efficacy assessment by the treating physicians was defined as excellent, good/partial, or no response.

Results: The study group comprised 36 lupus patients (8 males, 28 females) with a mean age of 41.6 } 12.2 years. Belimumab was given for a mean period of 2.3 } 1.7 years (range 1–7). None of the patients discontinued belimumab due to adverse events. Four patients (11.1%) had an infection related to belimumab. Only 5 patients (13.9%) stopped taking belimumab due to lack of efficacy. The response was excellent in 25 patients (69.5%) and good/partial in the other 6 (16.6%). Concomitantly, serological response (reduction of C3/C4 and anti-dsDNA autoantibodies) was also observed. Moreover, following belimumab treatment, there was a significant reduction in the usage of corticosteroids (from 100% to 27.7%) and immunosuppressive agents (from 83.3% to 8.3%).

Conclusions: Belimumab, in addition to standard therapy, is a safe and effective treatment for active lupus patients.

July 2009
N. Agmon-Levin, B. Gilburd, S. Kivity, B.S. Porat Katz, I. Flitman-Katzevman, N. Shoenfeld, D. Paran, P. Langevitz and Y. Shoenfeld

Background: Anti-ribosomal-P antibodies have been associated with central nervous manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus. However, inconsistencies in their prevalence and clinical correlations have become an obstacle to their use as a diagnostic marker of the disease. This lack of consistency might stem from several factors, such as the lag period between clinical manifestations and the time blood was drawn, or the different methods used for antibodies detection.

Objectives: To evaluate three different enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay tests for the detection of anti-Rib-P Abs[1] in patients with SLE[2] and normal controls.

Methods: Sera from 50 SLE outpatients and 50 healthy subjects were tested with three ELISA[3] kits: Kit-1, which uses synthetic peptide comprising the 22 C-terminal amino-acids; Kit-2, which uses native human ribosomal proteins (P0, P1, P2); and Kit-3, which is coated with affinity-purified human ribosomal proteins. ELISA studies were performed according to the manufacturers' instructions.

Results: The prevalence of anti-Rib-P Abs in SLE patients and controls was 30% vs. 0%, 17% vs. 21%, and 30% vs. 14% in kits 1-3 respectively. Anti-Rib-P Abs detected by Kit-1 correlated with the SLEDAI score (SLE Disease Activity Index). No correlation between prior CNS[4] manifestations and anti-Rib-P Abs was observed.

Conclusions: A significant difference was documented between the ELISA kits used for the detection of anti-Rib-P Abs. A correlation was found between these antibodies (evaluated by Kit-1) and concurrent SLEDAI scores, in contrast to the lack of correlation with previous CNS manifestations. This supports the notion of "active serology" that is evaluated at the same time manifestations are present, as well as the need for standardization of laboratory assays in the future that enable a better assessment of anti-Rib-P Abs presence and clinical correlation. 



 




[1] anti-Rib-P Abs = anti-ribosomal-P antibodies

[2] SLE = systemic lupus erythematosus

[3] ELISA = enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay

[4] CNS = central nervous system

 



 
January 2008
Y. Shoenfeld, B. Gilburd, M. Abu-Shakra, H. Amital, O. Barzilai, Y. Berkun, M. Blank, G. Zandman-Goddard, U. Katz, I. Krause, P. Langevitz, Y. Levy, H. Orbach, V. Pordeus, M. Ram, Y. Sherer, E. Toubi and Y. Tomer
Y. Shoenfeld, G. Zandman-Goddard, L. Stojanovich, M. Cutolo, H. Amital, Y. Levy, M. Abu-Shakra, O. Barzilai, Y. Berkun, M. Blank, J.F. de Carvalho, A. Doria, B. Gilburd, U. Katz, I. Krause, P. Langevitz, H. Orbach, V. Pordeus, M. Ram, E. Toubi and Y. Sherer
Y. Shoenfeld, M. Blank, M. Abu-Shakra, H. Amital, O. Barzilai, Y. Berkun, N. Bizzaro, B. Gilburd, G. Zandman-Goddard, U. Katz, I. Krause, P. Langevitz, I.R. Mackay, H. Orbach, M. Ram, Y. Sherer, E. Toubi and M.E. Gershwin
September 2005
N. Tweezer-Zaks, I. Marai, A. Livneh, I. Bank and P. Langevitz
 Background: Benign prostatic hypertrophy is the most common benign tumor in males, resulting in prostatectomy in 20–30% of men who live to the age of 80. There are no data on the association of prostatectomy with autoimmune phenomena in the English-language medical literature.

Objectives: To report our experience with three patients who developed autoimmune disease following prostatectomy.

Patients: Three patients presented with autoimmune phenomenon soon after a prostectomy for BPH[1] or prostatic carcinoma: one had clinically diagnosed temporal arteritis, one had leukocytoclastic vasculitis, and the third patient developed sensory Guillian-Barré syndrome following prostatectomy.

Conclusions: In view of the temporal association between the removal of the prostate gland and the autoimmune process, combined with previously known immunohistologic features of BPH, a cause-effect relationship probably exists.

________________

[1] BPH = benign prostatic hypertrophy

January 2005
I. Dudkiewicz, I. Cohen, S. Horowitz, S. Regev, M. Perelman, A. Chechik, P. Langevitz, S. Strasburg, A. Livneh and M. Salai

Background: Heterotopic ossification is a common complication of hip surgery and musculoskeletal or brain traumas.

Objectives: To confirm by in vivo study that colchicine inhibits osteoblast cell proliferation with marked decrease in tissue mineralization.

Methods: Heterotopic ossification was induced in three groups of New Zealand white rabbits (females, 6 months old, weight 3–3.5 kg) by injecting 2 ml bone marrow drawn from the iliac crest into their right thigh muscle. To prevent heterotopic ossification, colchicine (0.25 mg/day) was administered orally for 4 weeks to two groups of adult rabbits: group A (preload group) – 1 week preceding bone marrow injection; group B – on day of injection; and group C – control group.

Results: After 4 weeks the rabbits were evaluated by radiographs and ultrasound for evidence of heterotopic ossification. At the end of the study histologic samples were taken from all the thighs. Imaging and histologic studies showed, with statistical significance, almost complete prevention of heterotopic ossification formation in group A (preload) and a marked decrease in group B, when compared with the controls in whom large new bone had formed at the injection site. These results indicated the inhibitory effects of colchicine on a bone-forming process in soft tissue such as heterotopic ossification.

Conclusions: The role of colchicine in preventing heterotopic ossification in other bone-forming conditions, such as hip arthroplasty or pelvic trauma, and after brain trauma, remains to be evaluated in a clinical setting.

 
 

February 2004
November 2003
N. Tweezer-Zaks, E. Shiloach, A. Spivak, M. Rapoport, B. Novis and P. Langevitz
August 2003
N. Zaks, Y. Shinar, S. Padeh, M. Lidar, A. Mor, I. Tokov, M. Pras, P. Langevitz, E. Pras and A. Livneh

Background: Familial Mediterranean fever is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by recurrent attacks of fever and serositis. The disease is caused by mutations in the MEFV gene, presumed to act as a down-regulator of inflammation within the polymorphonuclear cells.

Objectives: To present the results of 412 FMF patients genotyped for three MEFV mutations, M694V, V726A and E148Q.

Results: The most frequent mutation, M694V, was detected in 47% of the carrier chromosomes. This mutation, especially common among North African Jewish FMF[1] patients, was not found in any of the Ashkenazi (East European origin) patients. Overall, one of the three mutations was detected in 70% of the carrier chromosomes. M694V/M694V was the most common genotype (27%), followed by M694V/V726A (16%). The full genotype could be assessed in 57% of the patients, and one disease-causing mutation in an additional 26%. Only one patient with the E148Q/E148Q genotype was detected despite a high carrier rate for this mutation in the Jewish population, a finding consistent with a low penetrance of this genotype. The M694V/M694V genotype was observed in 15 patients with amyloidosis compared to 4 amyloidosis patients with other genotypes (P < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Because of low penetrance and as yet other undetermined reasons, mutation analysis of the most common MEFV mutations supports a clinical diagnosis in only about 60% of patients with definite FMF.

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[1] FMF = familial Mediterranean fever


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