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Maurer B.,University of Zürich | Graf N.,Graf Biostatistics | Michel B.A.,University of Zürich | Muller-Ladner U.,Justus Liebig University | And 163 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2014

Objectives To identify predictive parameters for the progression of skin fibrosis within 1 year in patients with diffuse cutaneous SSc (dcSSc). Methods An observational study using the EUSTAR database was performed. Inclusion criteria were dcSSc, American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria fulfilled, modified Rodnan skin score (MRSS) ≥7 at baseline visit, valid data for MRSS at 2nd visit, and available follow-up of 12±2 months. Worsening of skin fibrosis was defined as increase in MRSS >5 points and ≥25% from baseline to 2nd visit. In the univariate analysis, patients with progressive fibrosis were compared with non-progressors, and predictive markers with p<0.2 were included in the logistic regression analysis. The prediction models were then validated in a second cohort. Results A total of 637 dcSSc patients were eligible. Univariate analyses identified joint synovitis, short disease duration (≤15 months), short disease duration in females/patients without creatine kinase (CK) elevation, low baseline MRSS (≤22/51), and absence of oesophageal symptoms as potential predictors for progressive skin fibrosis. In the multivariate analysis, by employing combinations of the predictors, 17 models with varying prediction success were generated, allowing cohort enrichment from 9.7% progressive patients in the whole cohort to 44.4% in the optimised enrichment cohort. Using a second validation cohort of 188 dcSSc patients, short disease duration, low baseline MRSS and joint synovitis were confirmed as independent predictors of progressive skin fibrosis within 1 year resulting in a 4.5-fold increased prediction success rate. Conclusions Our study provides novel, evidence-based criteria for the enrichment of dcSSc cohorts with patients who experience worsening of skin fibrosis which allows improved clinical trial design. © 2014 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & European League Against Rheumatism.


Boracchi P.,University of Milan | Gualtierotti R.,Instituto Gaetano Pini | Smith V.,Ghent University | Cutolo M.,University of Genoa | And 109 more authors.
Microvascular Research | Year: 2015

Objective: Qualitative capillaroscopy patterns in juvenile- and adult-onset systemic sclerosis (SSc) were studied in adulthood using data from the EULAR Scleroderma Trials and Research (EUSTAR) database. Methods: Data collected between June 2004 and April 2013 were examined with focus on capillaroscopy. In this retrospective exploratory study, series of patients with juvenile-onset SSc were matched with series of adult-onset SSc having the same gender and autoantibody profile. Results: 30 of 123 patients with juvenile-onset and 2108 of 7133 with adult-onset SSc had data on capillaroscopy. Juvenile-onset SSc showed scleroderma pattern more frequently than adult-onset SSc (93.3% and 88%). The OR was 2.44 and 95% CI 0.57-10.41. An active scleroderma pattern was present in 58% of juvenile- and 61% of adult-onset SSc. The OR was 0.91 and 95% CI 0.28-2.93. The late scleroderma pattern was present in 61% of juvenile- and 55.5% of adult-onset SSc. The OR was 1.06 and 95% CI 0.34-3.56. Conclusion: This is the first exploratory study on the comparison of capillaroscopy between juvenile- and adult-onset SSc in adulthood. Juvenile-onset SSc had an increase prevalence of scleroderma pattern, but a similar distribution of the three patterns was suggested. Further studies are needed to define this issue. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.


Avouac J.,University of Paris Descartes | Fransen J.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Walker U.A.,University of Basel | Riccieri V.,University of Rome La Sapienza | And 118 more authors.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases | Year: 2011

Objective: To identify a core set of preliminary items considered as important for the very early diagnosis of systemic sclerosis (SSc). Methods: A list of items provided by European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Scleroderma Trial and Research(EUSTAR) centres were subjected to a Delphi exercise among 110 experts in the field of SSc. In round 1, experts were asked to choose the items they considered as the most important for the very early diagnosis of SSc. In round 2, experts were asked to reconsider the items accepted after the first stage. In round 3, the clinical relevance of selected items and their importance as measures that would lead to an early referral process were rated using appropriateness scores. Results: Physicians from 85 EUSTAR centres participated in the study and provided an initial list of 121 items. After three Delphi rounds, the steering committee, with input from external experts, collapsed the 121 items into three domains containing seven items, developed as follows: skin domain (puffy fingers/puffy swollen digits turning into sclerodactily);vascular domain (Raynaud's phenomenon, abnormal capillaroscopy with scleroderma pattern) and laboratory domain (antinuclear, anticentromere and antitopoisomerase-I antibodies). Finally, the whole assembly of EUSTAR centres ratified with a majority vote the results in a final face-to-face meeting. Conclusion: The three Delphi rounds allowed us to identify the items considered by experts as necessary for the very early diagnosis of SSc. The validation of these items to establish diagnostic criteria is currently ongoing in a prospective observational cohort.


Avouac J.,University of Paris Descartes | Walker U.,Rheumatologische Universitatsklinik | Tyndall A.,Rheumatologische Universitatsklinik | Kahan A.,University of Paris Descartes | And 167 more authors.
Journal of Rheumatology | Year: 2010

Objective. To determine the prevalence of and independent factors associated with joint involvement in a large population of patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Methods. This study was cross-sectional, based on data collected on patients included in the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Scleroderma Trials and Research (EUSTAR) registry. We queried this database to extract data regarding global evaluation of patients with SSc and the presence of any clinical articular involvement: synovitis (tender and swollen joints), tendon friction rubs (rubbing sensation detected as the tendon was moved), and joint contracture (stiffness of the joints that decreased their range of motion). Overall joint involvement was defined by the occurrence of synovitis and/or joint contracture and/or tendon friction rubs. Results. We recruited 7286 patients with SSc; their mean age was 56 ± 14 years, disease duration 10 ± 9 years, and 4210 (58%) had a limited cutaneous disease subset. Frequencies of synovitis, tendon friction rubs, and joint contractures were 16%, 11%, and 31%, respectively. Synovitis, tendon friction rubs, and joint contracture were more prevalent in patients with the diffuse cutaneous subset and were associated together and with severe vascular, muscular, renal, and interstitial lung involvement. Moreover, synovitis had the highest strength of association with elevated acute-phase reactants taken as the dependent variable. Conclusion. Our results highlight the striking level of articular involvement in SSc, as evaluated by systematic examination in a large cohort of patients with SSc. Our data also show that synovitis, joint contracture, and tendon friction rubs are associated with amore severe disease and with systemic inflammation. The Journal of Rheumatology Copyright © 2010. All rights reserved.

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