German Rheumatology Research Center

Berlin, Germany

German Rheumatology Research Center

Berlin, Germany
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Felson D.T.,Boston University | Felson D.T.,University of Manchester | Smolen J.S.,Medical University of Vienna | Wells G.,University of Ottawa | And 42 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2011

Objective: Remission in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an increasingly attainable goal, but there is no widely used definition of remission that is stringent but achievable and could be applied uniformly as an outcome measure in clinical trials. This work was undertaken to develop such a definition. Methods: A committee consisting of members of the American College of Rheumatology, the European League Against Rheumatism, and the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology Initiative met to guide the process and review prespecified analyses from RA clinical trials. The committee requested a stringent definition (little, if any, active disease) and decided to use core set measures including, as a minimum, joint counts and levels of an acute-phase reactant to define remission. Members were surveyed to select the level of each core set measure that would be consistent with remission. Candidate definitions of remission were tested, including those that constituted a number of individual measures of remission (Boolean approach) as well as definitions using disease activity indexes. To select a definition of remission, trial data were analysed to examine the added contribution of patient-reported outcomes and the ability of candidate measures to predict later good radiographic and functional outcomes. Results: Survey results for the definition of remission suggested indexes at published thresholds and a count of core set measures, with each measure scored as 1 or less (eg, tender and swollen joint counts, C reactive protein (CRP) level, and global assessments on a 0-10 scale). Analyses suggested the need to include a patient-reported measure. Examination of 2-year follow-up data suggested that many candidate definitions performed comparably in terms of predicting later good radiographic and functional outcomes, although 28-joint Disease Activity Score-based measures of remission did not predict good radiographic outcomes as well as the other candidate definitions did. Given these and other considerations, we propose that a patient's RA can be defined as being in remission based on one of two definitions:(1) when scores on the tender joint count, swollen joint count, CRP (in mg/dl), and patient global assessment (0-10 scale) are all ≤1, or (2) when the score on the Simplified Disease Activity Index is ≤3.3. Conclusion: We propose two new definitions of remission, both of which can be uniformly applied and widely used in RA clinical trials. The authors recommend that one of these be selected as an outcome measure in each trial and that the results on both be reported for each trial.


Felson D.T.,Boston University | Felson D.T.,University of Manchester | Smolen J.S.,Medical University of Vienna | Wells G.,University of Ottawa | And 41 more authors.
Arthritis and Rheumatism | Year: 2011

Objective. Remission in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an increasingly attainable goal, but there is no widely used definition of remission that is stringent but achievable and could be applied uniformly as an outcome measure in clinical trials. This work was undertaken to develop such a definition. Methods. A committee consisting of members of the American College of Rheumatology, the European League Against Rheumatism, and the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology Initiative met to guide the process and review prespecified analyses from RA clinical trials. The committee requested a stringent definition (little, if any, active disease) and decided to use core set measures including, as a minimum, joint counts and levels of an acute-phase reactant to define remission. Members were surveyed to select the level of each core set measure that would be consistent with remission. Candidate definitions of remission were tested, including those that constituted a number of individual measures of remission (Boolean approach) as well as definitions using disease activity indexes. To select a definition of remission, trial data were analyzed to examine the added contribution of patient-reported outcomes and the ability of candidate measures to predict later good radiographic and functional outcomes.Results. Survey results for the definition of remission suggested indexes at published thresholds and a count of core set measures, with each measure scored as 1 or less (e.g., tender and swollen joint counts, C-reactive protein [CRP] level, and global assessments on a 0-10 scale). Analyses suggested the need to include a patientreported measure. Examination of 2-year followup data suggested that many candidate definitions performed comparably in terms of predicting later good radiographic and functional outcomes, although 28-joint Disease Activity Score-based measures of remission did not predict good radiographic outcomes as well as the other candidate definitions did. Given these and other considerations, we propose that a patient's RA can be defined as being in remission based on one of two definitions: (a) when scores on the tender joint count, swollen joint count, CRP (in mg/dl), and patient global assessment (0-10 scale) are all ≤1, or (b) when the score on the Simplified Disease Activity Index is ≤3.3. Conclusion. We propose two new definitions of remission, both of which can be uniformly applied and widely used in RA clinical trials. We recommend that one of these be selected as an outcome measure in each trial and that the results on both be reported for each trial. © 2011, American College of Rheumatology.


PubMed | University of La Sabana, Charles Sturt University, Queensland University of Technology, Leiden University and 9 more.
Type: | Journal: Clinical and experimental rheumatology | Year: 2016

Spondyloarthritis (SpA) is often diagnosed late in the course of the disease and improved methods for early diagnosis are required. We have tested the ability of genetic profiling to diagnose axial SpA (axSpA) as a whole group, or ankylosing spondylitis (AS) alone, in a cohort of chronic back pain patients.282 patients were recruited from centres in the United Kingdom, Germany, Taiwan, Canada, Columbia and Turkey as part of the ASAS classification criteria for axSpA study (ASAS cohort). Subjects were classified according to the ASAS axSpA criteria, and the modified New York Criteria for AS. Patients were genotyped for ~200,000 immune-mediated disease SNPs using the Illumina Immunochip.We first established the predictive accuracy of genetic data comparing 9,638 healthy controls and 4,428 AS cases from the homogenous International Genetics of AS (IGAS) Consortium Immunochip study which showed excellent predictive power (AUC=0.91). Genetic risk scores had lower predictive power (AUC=0.83) comparing ASAS cohort axSpA cases meeting the ASAS imaging criteria with IGAS controls. Comparing genetic risk scores showed moderate discriminatory capacity between IGAS AS and ASAS imaging positive cases (AUC 0.670.05), indicating that significant differences in genetic makeup exist between the cohorts.In a clinical setting of referred back pain patients suspected to have axial SpA we were unable to use genetic data to construct a predictive model better than that based on existing clinical data. Potential confounding factors include significant heterogeneity in the ASAS cohort, possibly reflecting the disease heterogeneity of axSpA, or differences between centres in ascertainment or classification performance.


Rudwaleit M.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Van Der Heijde D.,Leiden University | Landewe R.,Maastricht University | Akkoc N.,Dokuz Eylül University | And 15 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2011

Objective: To evaluate new classification criteria for peripheral spondyloarthritis (SpA) in patients with SpA with peripheral manifestations only. Methods: In this Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS) study, two prespecified sets of criteria were compared against the European Spondylarthropathy Study Group (ESSG) and Amor criteria in newly referred consecutive patients with undiagnosed peripheral arthritis, and/or enthesitis, and/ or dactylitis that usually began before 45 years of age. The clinical diagnosis (SpA vs no SpA) made by the ASAS rheumatologist served as reference standard. Results: In all, 24 ASAS centres included 266 patients, with a fi nal diagnosis of SpA being made in 66.2%. After adjustments a fi nal set of criteria showed the best balance between sensitivity (77.8%) and specificity (82.9%): arthritis and/or enthesitis and/or dactylitis plus (A) one or more of the following parameters: psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease, preceding infection, human leucocyte antigen B27, uveitis, sacroiliitis on imaging, or (B) two or more other parameters: arthritis, enthesitis, dactylitis, inflammatory back pain in the past, family history of SpA. The new criteria performed better than modified versions of the ESSG (sensitivity 62.5%, specificity 81.1%) and the Amor criteria (sensitivity 39.8%, specificity 97.8%), particularly regarding sensitivity. In the entire ASAS population of 975 patients the combined use of ASAS criteria for axial SpA and ASAS criteria for peripheral SpA also had a better balance (sensitivity 79.5%, specificity 83.3%) than the modified ESSG (sensitivity 79.1%, specificity 68.8%) and Amor criteria (sensitivity 67.5%, specificity 86.7%), respectively. Conclusions: The new ASAS classification criteria for peripheral SpA performed well in patients presenting with peripheral arthritis, enthesitis and/or dactylitis.


Krohn M.,Charite Medical School | Braum L.S.,Charite Medical School | Sieper J.,Charite Medical School | Song I.-H.,Charite Medical School | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Rheumatology | Year: 2014

Objective. Assessment of structural damage of sacroiliac joints (SIJ) in patients with axial spondyloarthritides (axSpA) has been discussed as a useful outcome measure in clinical trials. The aim of our study was to evaluate different magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scoring methods and pulse sequences with a focus on fatty lesions and bony erosions. Methods. Seventy-five patients with the diagnosis of axSpA underwent MRI at 3 timepoints as part of the ESTHER trial, which compared 2 groups of patients treated with etanercept or sulfasalazine. Two MRI sequences [unenhanced T1-weighted (T1w) turbo spin-echo (TSE) and unenhanced T1w opposed-phase gradient-echo sequences (opGRE)] and 2 different scoring systems (simple and comprehensive Berlin method) were used for the evaluation of fatty lesions and erosions of the SIJ. Differences between techniques and methods were evaluated by intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and standardized response means (SRM). Results. Applying the simple Berlin method, mean fatty lesion scores for etanercept-treated patients were 4.59 and 5.19 at baseline and Week 48, respectively, while the comprehensive Berlin method revealed mean fatty lesion scores of 6.59 and 7.64, respectively. Corresponding SRM were 0.59 and 0.86 for simple and comprehensive methods, respectively, while ICC dropped from 0.76-0.77 to 0.59-0.62. Scoring of erosions on T1w opGRE images resulted in a higher interreader agreement (ICC of 0.65) compared to T1w TSE sequences (ICC of 0.18). Conclusion. Better characterization of fatty lesion changes within 1 year was achieved by the comprehensive Berlin scoring method; however, more reader variation has to be taken into account. The delineation of erosions is markedly improved when using T1w opGRE pulse sequences. The Journal of Rheumatology Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.


Sieper J.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Sieper J.,German Rheumatology Research Center | Listing J.,German Rheumatology Research Center | Poddubnyy D.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | And 6 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2015

Background To date, only a single controlled trial provided evidence that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) given continuously reduce radiographic progression compared with an on-demand therapy over 2 years in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). In the current study, we tested whether such an effect of NSAIDs could be confirmed in another randomised trial. Methods Patients with AS were randomised for treatment with either continuous (150 mg/day) or on-demand diclofenac for 2 years. Tumour necrosis factor-blocker treatment was not allowed during the entire study period. The primary outcome was the difference in radiographic progression in the spine as measured by the modified Stoke Ankylosing Spondylitis Spine Score (mSASSS) scored by two readers blinded to treatment arm and time point. Results 62 of 85 patients enrolled in the continuous arm and 60 of 82 enrolled in the on-demand arm completed the study. The mSASSS progression was numerically higher in the continuous group (1.28 (0.7 to 1.9) vs 0.79 (0.2 to 1.4)) (p=0.39). If only patients were analysed who were either C reactive protein positive or had syndesmophytes at baseline, there was again a higher radiographic progression in the continuous versus the on-demand group: 1.68 (0.7 to 2.6) vs 0.96 (0.0 to 1.9) and 2.11 (1.1 to 3.1) vs 0.95 (0.0 to 1.9), respectively. There was no difference between the two treatment groups regarding adverse events. Conclusions In our study, continuous treatment with diclofenac over 2 years did not reduce radiographic progression compared with on-demand treatment in AS. © 2015 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & European League Against Rheumatism. All rights reserved.


Seidel D.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Eickmeier I.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Kuhl A.A.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Hamann A.,German Rheumatology Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Hepatology | Year: 2014

The pathogenesis of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) remains poorly understood. Since PSC predominantly occurs in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmunity triggered by activated T cells migrating from the gut to the liver is a possible mechanism. We hypothesized that T cells primed in the gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) by a specific antigen migrate to the liver and cause cholangitis when they recognize the same antigen on cholangiocytes. We induced ovalbumin-dependent colitis in mice that express ovalbumin in biliary epithelia (ASBT-OVA mice) and crossed ASBT-OVA mice with mice that express ovalbumin in enterocytes (iFABP-OVA mice). We analyzed T-cell activation in the GALT and crossreactivity to the same antigen in the liver as well as the effects of colitis per se on antigen-presentation and T-cell activation in the liver. Intrarectal application of ovalbumin followed by transfer of CD8 OT-I T cells led to antigen-dependent colitis. CD8 T cells primed in the GALT acquired effector function and the capability to migrate to the liver, where they caused cholangitis in a strictly antigen-dependent manner. Likewise, cholangitis developed in mice expressing ovalbumin simultaneously in biliary epithelia and enterocytes after transfer of OT-I T cells. Dextran sodium sulfate colitis led to increased levels of inflammatory cytokines in the portal venous blood, induced activation of resident liver dendritic cells, and promoted the induction of T-cell-dependent cholangitis. Conclusion: Our data strengthen the notion that immune-mediated cholangitis is caused by T cells primed in the GALT and provide the first link between colitis and cholangitis in an antigen-dependent mouse model. © 2013 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.


Brueckner C.S.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Becker M.O.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Kroencke T.,Charité - Medical University of Berlin | Huscher D.,German Rheumatology Research Center | And 4 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2010

Objective: In this pilot study, the effect of sildenafil on digital ulcer (DU) healing and related clinical symptoms was analysed. Methods: A total of 19 patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc) were treated with maximally tolerated sildenafil doses up to 6 months. Primary outcome was the healing of DUs. Changes in other clinical symptoms were also evaluated. Results: In all, 49 DUs were present at baseline; this decreased to 17 ulcers (p<0.001) at the end of sildenafil treatment. Furthermore, the visual analogue scale (VAS) score for Raynaud's phenomenon (RP), pain and activity improved (p=0.003, p=0.002 and p=0.05, respectively). A total of 9 patients developed 12 new DUs during sildenafil treatment. Conclusions: This study indicates an effect of sildenafil on DU healing in patients with SSc and an improvement of RP and associated symptoms that should be validated in controlled studies.


PubMed | Rheumazentrum Herne, Klinikum Bielefeld, Charité - Medical University of Berlin and German Rheumatology Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Annals of the rheumatic diseases | Year: 2016

To date, only a single controlled trial provided evidence that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) given continuously reduce radiographic progression compared with an on-demand therapy over 2years in patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS). In the current study, we tested whether such an effect of NSAIDs could be confirmed in another randomised trial.Patients with AS were randomised for treatment with either continuous (150mg/day) or on-demand diclofenac for 2years. Tumour necrosis factor-blocker treatment was not allowed during the entire study period. The primary outcome was the difference in radiographic progression in the spine as measured by the modified Stoke Ankylosing Spondylitis Spine Score (mSASSS) scored by two readers blinded to treatment arm and time point.62 of 85 patients enrolled in the continuous arm and 60 of 82 enrolled in the on-demand arm completed the study. The mSASSS progression was numerically higher in the continuous group (1.28 (0.7 to 1.9) vs 0.79 (0.2 to 1.4)) (p=0.39). If only patients were analysed who were either C reactive protein positive or had syndesmophytes at baseline, there was again a higher radiographic progression in the continuous versus the on-demand group: 1.68 (0.7 to 2.6) vs 0.96 (0.0 to 1.9) and 2.11 (1.1 to 3.1) vs 0.95 (0.0 to 1.9), respectively. There was no difference between the two treatment groups regarding adverse events.In our study, continuous treatment with diclofenac over 2years did not reduce radiographic progression compared with on-demand treatment in AS.EudraCt-no 2007-007637-39; ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00715091.


Pogonka T.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Schelzke K.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Stange J.,Humboldt University of Berlin | Papadakis K.,Humboldt University of Berlin | And 3 more authors.
Microbes and Infection | Year: 2010

We investigated cellular immune responses of mice infected with the apicomplexan parasite Eimeria falciformis in order to characterise protective immune mechanisms and effector functions. Adoptive transfer experiments with mesenterial lymph node cells (MLNC) from immune donor mice were performed, and the oocyst output monitored after challenge infection. Phenotypical analysis by fluorescence cytometry and T cell proliferation assay showed that already from day four post infection E. falciformis-specific lymphocytes were present in the MLN. The frequency of parasite-specific, IFN-γ producing CD4+ and CD8+ cells increased in this period by 9.8% and 16.4%, respectively. Infection experiments with IFN-γ deficient mice revealed that IFN-γ is involved in resistance to primary and secondary infection. Transfer of total MLNC from immune donors reduced the oocyst output by 65-74%, as compared to the oocyst output of animals transferred with cells from naïve donors. Transfer of CD8+ cells inhibited parasite development resulting in a reduction of oocyst numbers by 42-64%, whereas CD4+ cells showed no influence on resistance to reinfection. © 2009 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

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