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עמוד בית
Thu, 20.06.24

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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.

July 2019
Lisa Gamalero MD, Gabriele Simonini MD, Giovanna Ferrara MD, Silvio Polizzi MD, Teresa Giani MD and Rolando Cimaz MD

Uveitis is an inflammatory disorder of the uveal tract of the eye that can affect both adults and children. Non-infectious uveitis can be an expression of a systemic autoimmune condition, or it can be idiopathic. It is a serious disease, associated with possible severe complications leading to visual impairment and blindness. For this reason, a prompt diagnosis and assessment of an appropriate treatment, with the collaboration of specialists such as ophthalmologists and rheumatologists, are extremely important. Many treatment options may be associated to side effects; therefore, clinicians should follow a stepladder approach starting with the least aggressive treatments to induce remission of inflammation. In this review, we reported the current evidence-based treatments for non-infectious uveitis in pediatric and adult patients with particular attention to the biologic response modifier treatment options. Important multicenter studies have demonstrated the efficacy of adalimumab, both in adults (VISUAL I, VISUAL II, VISUAL III) and in children (SYCAMORE, ADJUVITE), while for other agents data are still scarce.

Carlo Perricone MD PhD, Daphna Katz, Cinzia Ciccacci PhD, Fulvia Ceccarelli MD PhD, Guido Valesini MD, Yehuda Shoenfeld MD FRCP MaACR, Paola Borgiani PhD and Fabrizio Conti MD PhD

Recurrent pericarditis is a state of repetitive inflammation of the pericardium with intervals of remission. The etiology of recurrent pericarditis is still largely unknown, yet most causes are presumed to be immune mediated. Genetic factors, including human leukocyte antigen (HLA) haplotypes, can be involved in dysregulation of the immune system and as a predisposition to several autoimmune conditions, including recurrent pericarditis. Several diseases are frequently associated with such manifestations. They include systemic lupus erythematosus, familial Mediterranean fever, and tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome. However, idiopathic recurrent pericarditis remains the most frequently observed clinical condition and the conundrum of this disease still needs to be solved.

February 2018
Elena De Santis PhD, Alessandra Melegari PhD, Chiara Bonaguri PhD , Gilda Sandri MD, Maria Teresa Mascia MD, Federica Gaiani MD, Valentina Pecoraro PhD , Gianluigi De Angelis MD and Tommaso Trenti MD

Background: Biological agents for anti-tumor necrosis factor-α therapy have revolutionized treatments for autoimmune diseases; however, approximately 20% of rheumatology and 40% of gastroenterology patients do not respond to the therapy, or they show reduced drug efficacy because of anti-drug antibody (ADA) formation.

Objectives: To evaluate laboratory tools for individual monitoring of infliximab therapy and the relationship between ADA and infliximab serum levels, ADA and clinical response, and ADA and autoantibodies.

Methods: Our study comprised patients treated with infliximab and affected by selected rheumatology and gastroenterology diseases. Sera were analyzed for infliximab, total-anti-drug antibodies (Total-ADA), and free-anti-drug antibodies (Free-ADA) serum levels and for the detection of specific autoantibodies.

Results: We analyzed 73 patients. Total-ADA were detected in 26 rheumatology and 21 gastroenterology patients. Serum infliximab levels were significantly lower in Total-ADA positive patients (P = 0.01 for rheumatology group, P = 0.02 for gastroenterology group). A lack of response was observed in 7 rheumatology and 15 gastroenterology samples. Total-ADA serum levels were statistically significantly higher in patients with treatment failure in both groups (P = 0.01 and P = 0.001, respectively). There was no significant association between the presence of Total-ADA and other autoantibodies. Free-ADA were detected in only 27 rheumatology patients. Results showed a significant correlation with clinical outcome (P = 0.006).

Conclusions: The correlation with clinical response suggests that the presence of ADA could interfere with efficacy of therapy. The tests for monitoring therapy may be an important tool to assist clinicians in early detection and prevention of therapy failure.

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. 

 

January 2017
Avichai Weissbach MD, Ben Zion Garty MD, Irina Lagovsky Phd, Irit Krause MD and Miriam Davidovits MD

Background: Several studies link the pathogenesis of nephrotic syndrome to tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα). However, data on the serum TNFα level in children with nephrotic syndrome are sparse. 

Objective: To investigate serum TNFα levels and the effect of steroid therapy in children with nephrotic syndrome. 

Methods: A prospective cohort pilot study of children with nephrotic syndrome and controls was conducted during a 1 year period. Serum TNFα levels were measured at presentation and at remission, or after a minimum of 80 days if remission was not achieved.

Results: Thirteen patients aged 2–16 years with nephrotic syndrome were compared with 12 control subjects. Seven patients had steroid-sensitive and six had steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome. Mean baseline serum TNFα level was significantly higher in the steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome patients than the controls (6.13 pg/ml vs. 4.36 pg/ml, P = 0.0483). Mean post-treatment TNFα level was significantly higher in the steroid-resistant than in the steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome patients (5.67 pg/ml vs. 2.14 pg/ml, P = 0.001). In the steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome patients, mean serum TNFα levels were similar before and after treatment.

Conclusions: Elevated serum TNFα levels are associated with a lack of response to corticosteroids. Further studies are needed to investigate the role of TNFα in the pathogenesis of nephrotic syndrome.

 

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.

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.

September 2015
Rina Elimelech BDS, Yaniv Mayer DMD, Yolanda Braun-Moscovici MD, Eli E. Machtei DMD and Alexandra Balbir-Gurman MD

Background: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic disease with prominent vasculopathy, inflammation, production of autoantibodies, and tissue fibrosis. Periodontitis is a chronic inflammatory oral condition manifesting as microbial infection, inflammation and destruction of the alveolar bone. In both conditions tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNFα) and other pro-inflammatory cytokines play an important role in pathogenesis. 

Objectives: To assess the periodontal status in SSc patients and compare these parameters to TNFα level in gingival crevicular fluid (GCF) of SSc patients and healthy controls.

Methods: Twenty SSc patients and 20 controls underwent periodontal examination, including probing depth (PD), plaque index (PI), gingival index (GI), bleeding on probing (BOP), and measurement of TNFα levels in collected GCF. 

Results: SSc patients had a greater PD (3.74 ± 0.32 mm vs. 3.35 ± 0.31 mm, P > 0.003), GI (1.53 ± 0.34 vs. 1.12 ± 0.54, P > 0.049), and non-significantly higher BOP than controls. TNFα levels in GCF were higher in SSc patients (1.63 ± 0.36 vs. 1.15 ± 0.34 pg/ml, P = 0.001). Periodontitis parameters correlated with several SSc variables; PI in particular was higher in patients with longer disease duration, sclerodactyly, more severe skin involvement, and SSc activity score.

Conclusions: Patients with SSc have higher indices of periodontal inflammation and higher TNFα level in GCF than did healthy individuals. These changes probably reflect the complexity of factors that influence oral health in SSc. Common pathologic pathways may be responsible for the association between SSc and periodontitis, which requires further study.

 

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
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