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Rotterdam, Netherlands

Sieper J.,Rheumatology
Nature Reviews Rheumatology

First-line therapy for spondyloarthritis (SpA) has not yet altered in the wake of new classification criteria; NSAIDs and physical therapy are recommended. Anti-TNF agents can be used when NSAIDs fail, but their efficacy has potentially been limited in previous trials by inclusion criteria requiring the presence of established, active disease. Now, not only patients with axial SpA (axSpA) with radiographic signs of sacroiliitis (that is, with ankylosing spondylitis), but also patients in whom structural damage is not-yet-visible radiographically (non-radiographic axSpA) can be included in trials of therapy for axSpA. TNF blockers, it seems already, are at least similarly effective in patients with non-radiographic axSpA as in those with established AS. Short symptom duration and a positive C-reactive protein test at baseline are currently the best predictors for a good response to TNF-blocking agents. Biologic agents besides anti-TNF therapies have so far failed in the treatment of axSpA. New bone formation seems currently to be best prevented by NSAIDs, not by TNF blockers. Whether earlier effective treatment of bony inflammation with anti-TNF therapy will be able to prevent ossification at a later stage has yet to be determined. New classification criteria for peripheral SpA will also allow treatment trials to be conducted more systematically than has previously been possible in this subgroup of patients. © 2012 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved. Source

Chung H.Y.,Leiden University | Machado P.,Leiden University | Machado P.,University of Coimbra | Van Der Heijde D.,Leiden University | And 2 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases

Objective: To clarify the influence of human leucocyte antigen B27 (HLA-B27) status on the phenotype of early axial spondyloarthritis (SpA). Methods: 708 patients with inflammatory back pain (IBP) defined by Calin or Berlin criteria were recruited;654 fulfilled at least one of the SpA criteria (modified New York, European Spondyloarthropathy Study Group, Amor or Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society classification criteria for axial SpA) and were included in the analyses. Clinical, demographic and imaging parameters were compared between HLA-B27 positive and negative groups. Significant parameters in univariate differences between HLA-B27 positive and negative groups were retested in multivariate models explaining various outcomes. Results: Patients had a short duration of axial symptoms (mean 1.5 years) and HLA-B27 was present in 61.5%. In multivariate analysis, HLA-B27 positivity was associated with a younger age at onset of IBP (regression coefficient (B)=(-2.60), p<0.001), less delay in diagnosis (B=(-1.02), p=0.01), lower frequency of psoriasis (OR 0.59, p=0.01) and higher frequency of MRI inflammation of the sacroiliac joints (SIJ) (OR 2.13, p<0.001), MRI inflammation of the spine (OR 1.59, p=0.04) and radiographic sacroiliitis (OR 1.56, p=0.03). MRI inflammation of the SIJ was shown to be an intermediate variable between HLA-B27 positivity and radiographic sacroiliitis. Conclusion: In early axial SpA, HLA-B27 is associated with earlier onset of IBP, less delay in diagnosis, axial inflammation (spine and SIJ), radiographic damage of the SIJ, decreased disease activity and lower frequency of psoriasis. It is not associated with physical function and MRI structural lesions of the SIJ. Source

Reinders M.K.,Clinical Pharmacy | Jansen T.L.T.A.,Rheumatology
Clinical Interventions in Aging

Gout is the most common inflammatory arthritis in an elderly population, and can be diagnosed with absolute certainty by polarization microscopy. However, diagnosis may be challenging because atypical presentations are more common in the elderly. Management of hyperuricemia in the elderly with gout requires special consideration because of co-medication, contra-indications, and risk of adverse reactions. Urate-lowering agents include allopurinol and uricosuric agents. These also must be used sensibly in the elderly, especially when renal function impairment is present. However, if used at the lowest dose that maintains the serum urate level below 5.0 to 6.0 mg/dL (0.30 to 0.36 mmol/L), the excess urate in the body will eventually be eliminated, acute flares will no longer occur, and tophi will resolve. Febuxostat, a new xanthine oxidase inhibitor, is welcomed, as few alternatives for allopurinol are available. Its pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics are not significantly altered in patients with moderate renal function or hepatic impairment. Its antihyperuricemic efficacy at 80 to 120 mg/day is better than "standard dosage" allopurinol (300 mg/day). Long-term safety data and efficacy data on tophus diminishment and reduction of gout flares have recently become available. Febuxostat may provide an important option in patients unable to use allopurinol, or refractory to allopurinol. © 2010 Reinders and Jansen, publisher and licensee Dove Medical Press Ltd. Source

Tocilizumab (TCZ; RoActemra® or Actemra®) is a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody that acts as an interleukin 6 (IL-6) receptor antagonist. For rheumatoid arthritis (RA), intravenous (IV) TCZ 8 mg/kg every 4 weeks has been approved since 2008 in Japan (where it is also approved for polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis, systemic-onset juvenile idiopathic arthritis and Castleman's disease), and since 2009 in Europe in combination with methotrexate (MTX) for the treatment of moderate to severe active RA in adult patients with inadequate response to, or intolerance of, disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) or tumor necrosis factor (TNF) antagonist therapy. It may also be administered as monotherapy in the same dose regimen in patients with methotrexate intolerance or with inadequate response to MTX. Since January 2011 in the United States, the indication for treatment with TCZ for RA patients with an inadequate response to one or more TNF antagonists was extended to patients with moderately to severely active RA, and the recommended starting dose is 4 mg/kg every 4 weeks, with an increase to 8 mg/kg based on clinical response. All of these approvals are based on the effectiveness and safety of the 8 mg/kg dose regimen when administered either as monotherapy or in combination with conventional DMARDs in well-designed clinical studies in adult patients with moderate to severe RA. TCZ at this dose is more effective than placebo, MTX or other DMARDs in reducing disease activity and improving health-related quality of life (HR-QoL). Although there were fewer responses with the 4 mg/kg dose, this dose every 4 weeks was not statistically different to 8 mg/kg when administered in combination with MTX, and this dose is the recommended starting dose in the US. Both doses have also been shown to inhibit structural joint damage in patients with an inadequate response to MTX. Thus, TCZ is an important new treatment option in patients with moderate to severe RA. © The Author(s), 2011. Source

Russo R.A.G.,Service of Immunology and Rheumatology | Katsicas M.M.,Rheumatology
Journal of Rheumatology

Objective. Systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (SJIA) frequently leads to disability and damage. Predictive factors for a poor outcome include persistent systemic features and younger age at onset. We describe and analyze disease features in patients with early-onset (EO) SJIA (disease onset before age 18 mo) and compare them to patients with later-onset (LO) disease. Methods. Clinical features at onset, activity measures (occurrence of macrophage activation syndrome, remission), and outcome measures for disability [Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ) ≥ 0.5] and damage [radiographic joint destruction, Juvenile Arthritis Damage Index (JADI) score, growth retardation] observed during followup were analyzed retrospectively in patients with SJIA followed for ≥ 3 years since disease onset. Results. In total 132 patients were included. SJIA started at age ≤ 18 months in 19 (14%) patients and at a later age in 113 (86%) children. At onset, serositis (p < 0.01) and hepatomegaly (p < 0.05) were more frequent in EO patients, who also exhibited lower hemoglobin levels (p < 0.03) and higher platelet counts (p < 0.03) than patients with LO. Macrophage activation syndrome occurred in 20 patients (11 EO and 9 LO; p < 0.0001). Remission was achieved by 49 patients (37%; 4 EO and 45 LO). At last visit, destructive hip disease (p < 0.04), growth retardation (p < 0.01), radiographic damage (p < 0.02), and disability (p < 0.04) were more frequent in patients with EO disease, who had higher JADI scores (p < 0.003). Conclusion. Patients with EO exhibited a more aggressive and destructive disease course than patients with LO SJIA.Copyright © 2013. All rights reserved. Source

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