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עמוד בית
Mon, 15.07.24

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July 2021
Ramona Lucchetti MD, Fulvia Ceccarelli MD PhD, Enrica Cipriano MD, Carlo Perricone MD PhD, Francesca Romana Spinelli MD PhD, Cristiano Alessandri MD, and Fabrizio Conti MD

Background: Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is an inflammatory rheumatic disease characterized by different phenotypes in terms of joint involvement. The so-called oligoarticular pattern involves fewer than five active joints at a different time points. The evaluation of disease activity in this subset of patients is an unmet need due to the lack of specific indices able to capture modifications over time.

Objectives: To evaluate the ability of musculoskeletal ultrasound to monitor the response to apremilast treatment in oligoarticular PsA patients.

Methods: We evaluated 24 oligoarticular patients (19 women, 5 men; median age 56 years, interquartile range (IQR) 19; median disease duration 5 years, IQR 5.75). All patients were assessed at baseline (T0), and after 6 (T1), 12 (T2), and 24 (T3) weeks. Clinical assessment included evaluation of 66 swollen joints and patient global health assessment. All the patients underwent ultrasound assessment of the clinically involved joints. Synovial effusion/hypertrophy and power Doppler were scored with a semi-quantitative scale (0–3). The total inflammatory score was the sum of the scores.

Results: We found a reduction in the ultrasound inflammatory score at all time points, with a significant improvement at 6 and 12 weeks of treatment compared with baseline: T0 median 8.5 (IQR 5.0); T1 3.5 (3.0); T2 2.0 (3.5); P  = 0.01. We observed a significant reduction of patient global health assessment after 24 weeks (T0 median 50 (32.5); T3 40 (57.5); P = 0.01).

Conclusions: Musculoskeletal ultrasound could be useful in the assessment of treatment response in PsA patients with oligoarticular subset

March 2020
Fabrizio Cantini MD PhD, Laura Niccoli MD, Giulia Franchi MD, Arianna Damiani MD and Maurizio Benucci MD

We describe the features of nocebo, and its impact in studies of transition from the originator to the respective biosimilar in inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Investigations in healthy volunteers as well as in the neurology and anesthesiology fields demonstrated the involved cerebral areas and the neurotransmitter pathways responsible for the nocebo response. Whether these findings are applicable to patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases remains to be demonstrated. Nocebo may account for part of the after-switching biosimilar failures. However, in the absence of validated classification or diagnostic criteria, specific neurochemical and neuroimaging studies, the lack of data on serum tumor necrosis factor and drug levels, and the disease improvement after the switching back to the originator biologic observed in some patients, the nocebo diagnosis remains the role of the individual clinician. Investigations on nocebo pathophysiology and diagnosis are required to address its impact in after-transition biosimilar studies in rheumatology.

May 2016
Shachaf Ofer-Shiber MD and Yair Molad MD

Background: Tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) inhibitors are indicated for patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in whom conventional disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs) are insufficient to achieve disease remission. 

Objectives: To determine the value of acute-phase reactant levels at diagnosis of psoriatic arthritis in predicting the need for biologic treatment with TNFα inhibitors.

Methods: We conducted a longitudinal observational study of an inception cohort of 71 consecutive patients diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis. C-reactive protein (CRP) was assayed for all patients at their first visit.

Results: All patients were treated with one or more DMARDs, mainly methotrexate (81.6%). Thirty-seven patients (52.11%) had an inadequate response and received at least one TNF inhibitor. CRP level at diagnosis was positively correlated with need for a TNF inhibitor (P = 0.009, HR 1.8, 95%CI 1.27–1.85). Patients with CRP > 0.9 mg/dl at diagnosis started biologic treatment significantly earlier than patients with a lower level (P = 0.003, HR 2.62, 95%CI 0.393–2.5).

Conclusions: In patients with psoriatic arthritis, CRP ≥ 0.9 mg/dl at diagnosis significantly predicts an earlier need for a TNF inhibitor to achieve disease control.

 

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.

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