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Advances in Rheumatology, Volume: 61, Published: 2021
  • Increased modifiable cardiovascular risk factors in patients with Takayasu arteritis: a multicenter cross-sectional study Research

    Santos, Alexandre Moura dos; Misse, Rafael Giovani; Borges, Isabela Bruna Pires; Gualano, Bruno; Souza, Alexandre Wagner Silva de; Takayama, Liliam; Pereira, Rosa Maria R.; Shinjo, Samuel Katsuyuki

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Modifiable cardiovascular risk factors (MCRFs), such as those related to aerobic capacity, muscle strength, physical activity, and body composition, have been poorly studied in Takayasu arteritis (TAK). Therefore, the aim of the study was to investigate MCRFs and their relationships with disease status and comorbidities among patients with TAK. Methods: A multicenter cross-sectional study was conducted between 2019 and 2020, in which 20 adult women with TAK were compared with 16 healthy controls matched by gender, age, and body mass index. The following parameters were analyzed: aerobic capacity by cardiopulmonary test; muscle function by timed-stands test, timed up-and-go test, and handgrip test; muscle strength by one-repetition maximum test and handgrip test; body composition by densitometry; physical activity and metabolic equivalent by IPAQ, quality of life by HAQ and SF-36; disease activity by ITAS2010 and NIH score; and presence of comorbidities. Results: Patients with TAK had a mean age of 41.5 (38.0-46.3) years, disease duration of 16.0 (9.5-20.0) years, and a mean BMI of 27.7±4.5 kg/m2. Three out of the 20 patients with TAK had active disease. Regarding comorbidities, 16 patients had systemic arterial hypertension, 11 had dyslipidemia, and two had type 2 diabetes mellitus, while the control group had no comorbidities. TAK had a significant reduction in aerobic capacity (absolute and relative VO2 peak), muscle strength in the lower limbs, increased visceral adipose tissue, waist-to-hip ratio, reduced walking capacity, decreased weekly metabolic equivalent, and quality of life (P< 0.05) as compared to controls. However, there were no correlations between these MCRFs parameters and disease activity. Conclusions: TAK show impairment in MCRFs; therefore, strategies able to improve MCRF should be considered in this disease.
  • Serial whole-body cryotherapy in fibromyalgia is effective and alters cytokine profiles Research

    Klemm, Philipp; Becker, Johanna; Aykara, Iris; Asendorf, Thomas; Dischereit, Gabriel; Neumann, Elena; Müller-Ladner, Ulf; Lange, Uwe

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Introduction: Whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) has shown to be beneficial in the treatment of fibromyalgia (FM). There is cumulative evidence that cytokines play a crucial role in FM. It's unknown whether clinical effects of WBC can be demonstrated at the molecular level and how long the effects last. Methods: We compared effects of serial WBC (6 sessions (- 130 °C in 6 weeks) in FM patients and healthy controls (HC). Primary outcome was the change in pain level (visual analogue scale 0-100 mm) after 6 sessions. Secondary outcomes were a change in disease activity (revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire) and pain after 3 sessions and 3 months after discontinued therapy and in cytokine levels (interleukin (IL-)1, IL-6, tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) and IL-10). The patients’ opinions on the satisfaction, effectiveness and significance of WBC were evaluated. Results: Twenty-three FM patients and 30 HC were enrolled. WBC resulted in a significant reduction in pain and disease activity after 3 and 6 sessions. No clinical benefit could be measured 3 months after discontinued treatment. Overall, probands were satisfied with WBC and considered WBC to be important and effective. FM patients had significantly different levels of IL-1, IL-6, TNF-α and IL-10 at each reading point compared to HC. Levels of IL-1, IL-6 and IL-10 were significantly altered over time in FM patients. Compared to HC FM patients showed a significantly different response of IL1, - 6 and - 10 to WBC. Conclusion: Serial WBC is a fast acting and effective treatment for FM. Proven effects of WBC may be explained by changes in cytokines.
  • Abdominal symptoms during Sjogren's syndrome: a pilot study Research

    Parreau, Simon; Jacques, Jérémie; Dumonteil, Stéphanie; Palat, Sylvain.; Geyl, Sophie; Gondran, Guillaume; Bezanahary, Holy; Liozon, Eric; Azaïs, Julie; Colombie, Stéphanie; Jauberteau, Marie-Odile; Loustaud-Ratti, Véronique; Ly, Kim-Heang; Fauchais, Anne-Laure

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Abdominal symptoms in patients with primary Sjögren syndrome (pSS) are poorly documented. The objective of the study was to describe the abdominal symptoms of patients with pSS and to assess their association with characteristics of the disease. Methods: One hundred and fifty patients with pSS were evaluated using a composite global symptom score for abdominal symptoms and their severity. Data concerning the clinical and biological characteristics of pSS and abdominal disorders were also collected. Results: Of the patients with pSS, 95% suffered from abdominal symptoms (median global symptom score 7.5 ±5.5 points out of 30). More than half of the patients experienced abdominal tension (68%), upper abdominal pain (54%), abdominal discomfort (58%) and/or constipation (54%). Regarding the pSS activity, in relation to European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Sjogren syndrome disease activity index score items, general and central nervous system involvement wereassociated with a high global symptom score. The EULAR Sjogren Syndrome Patient Reported Index (ESSPRI) symptom score was positively correlated with the global symptom score (p < 0.01). Multivariate analysis showed a significant association between a high global symptom score and SSA seronegativity, gastroparesis, and ESSPRI score (p < 0.01 for each). Conclusions: The majority of patients with pSS suffered abdominal symptoms. There is currently no therapeutic recommendation because of the lack of information on the underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. Trial registration: NCT03157011. Date of registration: July 17, 2017.
  • The quality of online consumer health information at the intersection of complementary and alternative medicine and arthritis Research

    Ng, Jeremy Y.; Vacca, Alexandra; Jain, Tanya

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is prevalent among patients living with arthritis. Such patients often seek information online, for the purpose of gaining a second opinion to their healthcare provider or even self-medication. Little is known about the quality of web-based consumer health information at the intersection of CAM and arthritis; thus, investigating the quality of websites containing this information was the purpose of this study. Methods: Four unique search terms were searched on Google across four English-speaking countries. We assessed the first 20 results of each search, including them if they contained CAM consumer health information for the treatment and/or management of arthritis. Eligible websites were assessed in duplicate using the DISCERN instrument, which consists of 16-items designed to assess quality. Results: Of total of 320 webpages, 239 were duplicates, and a total of 38 unique websites were deemed eligible and assessed using the DISCERN instrument. The mean summed DISCERN scores across all websites was 55.53 (SD = 9.37). The mean score of the overall quality of each website was 3.71 (SD = 0.63), thus the majority of websites are ranked as slightly above ‘fair’ quality. Conclusion: Eligible websites generally received scores better than ‘moderate’ in terms of overall quality. Several shortcomings included a lack of transparency surrounding references used and underreporting of risks associated with treatment options. These results suggest that health providers should be vigilant of the variable quality of information their patients may be accessing online and educate them on how to identify high quality resources.
  • Treatment of knee osteoarthritis with a new formulation of a fixed-dose combination of glucosamine sulfate and bovine chondroitin: a multicenter, randomized, single-blind, non-inferiority clinical trial Research

    Lomonte, Andrea Barranjard Vannucci; Gimenez, Emerson; Silva, Antônio Carlos da; Radominski, Sebastião Cezar; Scheinberg, Morton Aaron; Ximenes, Antônio Carlos; Zerbini, Cristiano Augusto de Freitas

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Objectives: To compare the efficacy and safety of a new formulation of a fixed dose combination of glucosamine sulfate (GS; 1500 mg) and bovine chondroitin sulfate (CS; 1200 mg) versus the reference product (RP) in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Methods: In this multicenter, randomized, single-blind trial, 627 patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA)—Kellgren-Lawrence grades 2 or 3 and mean score ≥ 40 mm in the WOMAC pain subscale—were randomized to receive GS/ CS or the RP for 24 weeks. The primary efficacy endpoint was the absolute change in WOMAC pain subscale score. The secondary endpoints included the following: WOMAC total and subscale scores, overall assessment of the disease by the patient and the investigator, SF-12 score, OMERACT-OARSI response rate to the treatment, and rescue medication use. Results: Mean reductions of WOMAC pain score were – 35.1 (sd = 23.2) mm in the GS/CS group and – 36.5 (sd = 24.9) mm in the RP group. The difference between the adjusted means of both treatments confirmed the noninferiority of GS/CS versus the RP. Improvement was observed in pain, stiffness, physical function and total WOMAC score, as well as in overall OA assessment by the patient and the investigator for both groups. No improvement was observed in SF-12. The rate of OMERACT-OARSI responders was 89.4% in GS/CS group and 87.9% in the RP group. Headache and changes in glucose tolerance were the most frequent treatment-related adverse events. Conclusions: The new formulation of a fixed-dose combination of glucosamine sulfate and bovine chondroitin sulfate was non-inferior to the RP in symptomatic treatment of knee OA, with a high responder rate and good tolerability profile. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov; Registration number NCT02830919; Date of registration: July 13, 2016; First randomization date: December 05, 2016).
  • Unstimulated whole salivary flow in Sjögren's Syndrome: systematic literature review and meta-analysis Research

    Martínez-Ceballos, María Alejandra; Aguilera, Natalia; Garzón-González, Kenny Carolina; Cajamarca-Baron, Jairo; Alzate-Granados, Juan Pablo; Rojas-Villarraga, Adriana

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Sjögren's Syndrome compromises the exocrine function, producing xerostomia and xerophthalmia. It can appear as an isolated condition or associated with other autoimmune diseases (polyautoimmunity). The Unstimulated Salivary Flow rate (UWSF) is used to quantify saliva production. There is no objective evidence to differentiate the values in patients with Sjögren's versus healthy people or patients with non-Sjögren's sicca. The objective of the present review was to evaluate the UWSF in patients with Sjögren's syndrome in comparison to controls (healthy and non-Sjögren's sicca patients). Methods: A systematic literature review was carried out (PRISMA guidelines). Analytical observational studies of cases and controls, cross-sectional studies, cohort studies and randomized clinical trials (including healthy controls) were considered. The Medline/OVID, Lilacs, Embase, and Cochrane/OVID databases were consulted. MeSH, DeCS, keywords, and Boolean operators were used. The meta-analysis (RevMan 5.2) was done through the random-effects model [mean difference (MD)]. Level and quality of evidence were evaluated by the Oxford Center Levels of Evidence and Joanna Brigs list respectively. Results: Thirty-two articles were included (20 were case-control studies,6 were cross-sectional,2 prospective cohort,2 retrospective cohort, and2 studies were abstracts) and 28 were meta-analyzed. The unstimulated whole salivary flow rate in the Sjögren's group was lower than in controls (healthy and patients with non-Sjögren Sicca syndrome) (MD-0.18 ml/min; 95% CI, −0.24 to −0.13; chi2-P-value <0.00001). Heterogeneity was 97% and there was publication bias (funnel plot). The level of evidence was mostly3 or 4. The quality of evidence was met (97% of items valued). Conclusion: For the first time, the unstimulated whole salivary flow rate is found to be lower in patients with Sjögren's syndrome compared to controls (healthy and non-SS sicca) through a meta-analysis. Trial registration: PROSPERO CRD42020211325.
  • Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for systemic sclerosis: Brazilian experience Research

    Henrique-Neto, Álvaro; Vasconcelos, Marianna Yumi Kawashima; Dias, Juliana Bernardes Elias; Moraes, Daniela Aparecida de; Gonçalves, Maynara Santana; Zanin-Silva, Djúlio César; Zucoloto, Talita Graminha; Oliveira, Marília de Fátima Cirioli de; Dotoli, Giuliana Martinelli; Weffort, Luiz Fernando; Leopoldo, Vanessa Cristina; Oliveira, Maria Carolina

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: In the past 20 years, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) has been investigated as treatment for systemic sclerosis (SSc). The goal of HSCT is to eradicate the autoreactive immune system, which is replaced by a new immune repertoire with long-lasting regulation and tolerance to autoantigens. Here, we describe the clinical outcomes of severe and refractory SSc patients that underwent HSCT at a single Brazilian center. Patients and methods: This is a longitudinal and retrospective study, including 70 adult SSc patients, with an established diagnosis of SSc, and who underwent autologous HSCT from 2009 to 2016. The procedure included harvesting and cryopreservation of autologous hematopoietic progenitor cells, followed by administration of an immunoablative regimen and subsequent infusion of the previously collected cells. Patients were evaluated immediately before transplantation, at 6 months and then yearly until at least 5-years of post-transplantation follow-up. At each evaluation time point, patients underwent clinical examination, including modified Rodnan's skin score (mRSS) assessment, echocardiography, high-resolution computed tomography of the lungs and pulmonary function. Results: Median (range) age was 35.9 (19–59), with 57 (81.4%) female and median (range) non-Raynaud's disease duration of 2 (1–7) years. Before transplantation, 96% of the patients had diffuse skin involvement, 84.2%, interstitial lung disease and 67%, positive anti-topoisomerase I antibodies. Skin involvement significantly improved, with a decline in mRSS at all post-transplantation time points until at least 5-years of follow-up. When patients with pre-HSCT interstitial lung disease were analyzed, there was an improvement in pulmonary function (forced vital capacity and diffusing capacity of lung for carbon monoxide) over the 5-year follow-up. Overall survival was 81% and progression-free survival was 70.5% at 8-years after HSCT. Three patients died due to transplant-related toxicity, 9 patients died over follow-up due to disease reactivation and one patient died due to thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. Conclusions: Autologous hematopoietic progenitor cell transplantation improves skin and interstitial lung involvement. These results are in line with the international experience and support HSCT as a viable therapeutic alternative for patients with severe and progressive systemic sclerosis.
  • Correlating cognition and cortical excitability with pain in fibromyalgia: a case control study Research

    Tiwari, Vikas Kumar; Nanda, Srishti; Arya, Suvercha; Kumar, Uma; Sharma, Ratna; Kumaran, Senthil S.; Bhatia, Renu

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal symptoms, primarily attributed to sensitization of somatosensory system carrying pain. Few reports have investigated the impact of fibromyalgia symptoms on cognition, corticomotor excitability, sleepiness, and the sleep quality — all of which can deteriorate the quality of life in fibromyalgia. However, the existing reports are underpowered and have conflicting directions of findings, limiting their generalizability. Therefore, the present study was designed to compare measures of cognition, corticomotor excitability, sleepiness, and sleep quality using standardized instruments in the recruited patients of fibromyalgia with pain-free controls. Methods: Diagnosed cases of fibromyalgia were recruited from the Rheumatology department for the cross-sectional, case-control study. Cognition (Mini-Mental State Examination, Stroop color-word task), corticomotor excitability (Resting motor threshold, Motor evoked potential amplitude), daytime sleepiness (Epworth sleepiness scale), and sleep quality (Pittsburgh sleep quality index) were studied according to the standard procedure. Results: Thirty-four patients of fibromyalgia and 30 pain-free controls were recruited for the study. Patients of fibromyalgia showed decreased cognitive scores (p = 0.05), lowered accuracy in Stroop color-word task (for color: 0.02, for word: 0.01), and prolonged reaction time (< 0.01, < 0.01). Excessive daytime sleepiness in patients were found (< 0.01) and worsened sleep quality (< 0.01) were found. Parameters of corticomotor excitability were comparable between patients of fibromyalgia and pain-free controls. Conclusions: Patients of fibromyalgia made more errors, had significantly increased reaction time for cognitive tasks, marked daytime sleepiness, and impaired quality of sleep. Future treatment strategies may include cognitive deficits and sleep disturbances as an integral part of fibromyalgia management.
  • Chronic osteo-articular changes in patients with sickle cell disease Research

    Ferreira, Taciana Fernandes Araújo; Santos, Ana Paula Teixeira dos; Leal, Alexandra Silva; Pereira, Gilberto de Araújo; Silva, Sheila Soares; Moraes-Souza, Helio

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Sickle cell disease (SCD) is an autosomal recessive genetic disease in which a mutation occurs in the β-globin chain gene, resulting in abnormal hemoglobin levels. In an environment with reduced oxygen concentration, red blood cells change their conformation, resulting in chronic hemolysis and consequent anemia and vaso-occlusive crises with injuries to several organs, with a significant impairment of the osteoarticular system. This study aimed to verify the chronic osteoarticular alterations and their association with clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients with SCD with a more severe phenotype (SS and Sβ0), on a steady-state fasis. Methods: Fifty-five patients were referred to a medical consultation with a specialized assessment of the locomotor system, followed by laboratory tests and radiographic examinations. Results: In total, 74.5% patients had hemoglobinopathy SS; 67.3% were female; and 78.2% were non-whites. The mean patient age was 30.5 years. Most patients (61.8%) reported up to three crises per year, with a predominance of high-intensity pain (65.5%). Radiographic alterations were present in 80% patients. A total of 140 lesions were identified, most which were located in the spine, femur, and shoulders. Most lesions were osteonecrosis and osteoarthritis and were statistically associated with the non-use of hydroxyurea. Conclusions: There was a high prevalence of chronic osteoarticular alterations, which was statistically associated only with the non-regular use of hydroxyurea.
  • The relevance of anti-Jo-1 autoantibodies in patients with definite dermatomyositis Research

    Andrade, Vanessa Posener de; Souza, Fernando Henrique Carlos De; Pinto, Gustavo Luiz Behrens; Shinjo, Samuel Katsuyuki

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: To assess the prevalence and clinical relevance of anti-Jo-1 autoantibodies in a representative sample of patients with definite dermatomyositis (DM). Methods: This retrospective cohort study took place from 2005 to 2020 and assessed 118 adult patients from a tertiary center who were diagnosed with definite DM. A commercial kit was used to detect anti-Jo-1 autoantibodies. Results: The presence of anti-Jo-1 autoantibodies was observed in 10 out of 118 (8.5%) patients with definite DM. The following variables were comparable between individuals with and without anti-Jo-1 autoantibodies: age at diagnosis, sex, ethnicity, disease duration, follow-up period, recurrence rate, complete clinical response, death rate, and cancer incidence. There was no difference in clinical features between groups, except for an increased prevalence of “mechanic's hands,” joint involvement, and lung disease, as well as a reduced occurrence of skin findings in patients positive for anti-Jo-1 autoantibodies. No anti-Jo-1-positive patients went into remission; they required greater use of glucocorticoids and immunosuppressive drugs. Conclusions: Anti-Jo-1 positivity was found in 8.5% of patients with definite DM. This autoantibody was associated with an antisynthetase syndrome phenotype and might predict clinical outcomes in patients with definite DM.
  • Psoriatic Arthritis Quality of Life Questionnaire: translation, cultural adaptation and validation into Brazilian Portuguese language Research

    Gonçalves, Rafaela Silva Guimaraes; Heaney, Alice; McKenna, Stephen P.; Carvalho, Jonas Braynner; Vidal, Maria Eduarda Lima; Brito, Marina Coelho Mores de; Duarte, Angela Luzia Branco Pinto

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Introduction: Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a multifaceted inflammatory disease that can cause joint destruction and impair quality of life. The Psoriatic Arthritis Quality of Life Questionnaire (PsAQoL) was the first disease-specific tool for determining the impact of the disease on the quality of life of people with PsA. Objectives: The primary objective was to develop and validate a Brazilian Portuguese version of the PsAQoL. Methods: The UK PsAQoL was translated into Brazilian Portuguese using two translation panels. This translation then checked for face validity and construct validity with new samples of patients. Finally, a test-retest validation study was conducted with 52 patients with PsA. The survey included the Nottingham Health Profile (NHP) as a comparator instrument. Results: Internal consistency and reproducibility were both excellent for the new adaptation (0.91 and 0.90 respectively Scores on the PsAQoL were found to correlate as expected with the comparator measure and the instrument was able to detect differences in score related to perceived severity of PsA, general health status and presence of a flare. Conclusions: The Brazilian PsAQoL was found easy to understand and complete and has excellent reliability and construct validity. The new measure will be a valuable new tool for use in routine PsA practice and clinical trials.
  • Is rituximab effective for systemic sclerosis? A systematic review and meta-analysis Research

    Caldas, Marina Maria Vieira de Figueiredo; Azevedo, Kesley Pablo Morais de; Nunes, Ana Clara de França; Oliveira, Victor Hugo de; Pimenta, Isac Davidson Santiago Fernandes; Araújo, Isabela Dantas Torres de; Bezerra Neto, Francisco Alves; Oliveira, Ana Katherine da Silveira Gonçalves de; Piuvezam, Grasiela

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) Is a clinically complex and challenging disease, that leads to skin fibrosis. Its most frequent complication is interstitial lung disease (ILD), which leads to a worse prognosis. In this situation, cyclophosphamide is considered the gold standard for its treatment, despite the controversies regarding its efficacy and toxicity. However, studies using rituximab (RTX) have shown that this drug may be a promising therapeutic option. Objectives: This paper objective was to analyze the scientific evidence on the RTX effects on SSc. Methods: A systematic review (SR) was performed including clinical trials (CTs) on the use of RTX in SSc, published up to May 2020. The studies were identified through systematic searches in bibliographic databases using a predefined search strategy. The following databases were used: PUBMED, SCOPUS, SCIELO, LILACS, SCIENCE DIRECT, WEB OF SCIENCE, COCHRANE, WHOLIS, PAHO and EMBASE. Also, a manual search was performed. The methodological quality of the studies was determined using Jadad scale, Risk of Bias Tool (RoB 2.0) and Risk of Bias in Non-Randomized Studies - of Interventions tool (ROBINS-I). A meta-analysis of the randomized CTs was performed, using Review Manager. Results: Ten CTs were included in this SR. Of these, three were randomized and seven were non-randomized. Five showed a statistically significant improvement in forced vital capacity (FVC) at some time during follow-up. Regarding the skin, eight studies showed statistically significant improvements according toa the modified Rodnan skin score. The meta-analysis found positive effects of RTX in SSc, with a statistical significance for lung disease. Conclusion: Rituximab is a promising strategy for the SSc-associated ILD and cutaneous fibrosis treatment. PROSPERO registration number: CRD42019132018.
  • Associations between serum calcium, 25(OH)D level and bone mineral density in adolescents Research

    Pan, Kaiyu; Tu, Rongliang; Yao, Xiaocong; Zhu, Zhongxin

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Backgrounds: It is important to improve our understanding of the roles of calcium and vitamin D in bone health for preventing osteoporosis. We aimed at exploring the associations between serum calcium, vitamin D level, and bone mineral density (BMD) in adolescents included in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001 – 2006. Methods: Weighted multivariate linear regression models were used to estimate the associations of serum calcium, 25(OH)D level with total BMD. Smooth curve fitting was used to explore the potential non-linear relationship. Results: A total of 5990 individuals aged between 12 and 19 years were included in this study. The fully-adjusted model showed serum calcium positively correlated with total BMD. However, an inverted U-shaped relationship was found when we performed the smooth curve fitting method, and the inflection point was calculated at 9.6 mg/dL using the two-piecewise linear regression model. In contrast, there was a positive correlation between serum 25(OH)D and total BMD after adjusting for potential confounders. Conclusions: The present study revealed a positive correlation between serum 25(OH)D level and total BMD, and an inverted U-shaped relationship between serum calcium and total BMD.
  • Association of homocysteine with ankylosing spondylitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis Research

    Li, Hui-hui; Li, Xue-quan; Sai, Lin-tao; Cui, Yi; Xu, Jia-hui; Zhou, Chi; Zheng, Jing; Li, Xing-fu; Liu, Hua-xiang; Zhao, Ying-jie

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Hyperhomocysteinemia is associated with autoimmune diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis (AS), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Current findings regarding plasma/serum homocysteine (HCY) levels in AS patients are inconsistent. This study aims to systematically evaluate the association between circulating HCY levels and AS. Methods: Online electronic databases (PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, ScienceDirect, China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI), and Wanfang data) were used to retrieve all relevant articles published up to May 7, 2020. The pooled standardized mean difference (SMD) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was calculated using the random-effect model, Stata16 software. Results: Nine articles containing 778 AS patients and 522 controls were included in this meta-analysis. No significant differences in HCY levels were found between AS and control groups (pooled SMD = 0.46, 95% CI = − 0.30 to 1.23, P = 0.23). However, subgroup analysis suggested that HCY levels were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in the AS group treated with methotrexate (MTX) compared with the control group. In contrast, HCY levels were significantly (P < 0.05) lower in the AS group receiving anti-TNF-α treatment compared with the control group. No significant differences were detected between HCY levels and disease activity scores (Bath AS disease activity index, BASDAI), and methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T genotype. Conclusion: This meta-analysis indicates that HCY levels are similar between AS and controls, and do not correlate with disease activity. However, different medical treatments cause fluctuations of circulating HCY levels in AS patients. Further and larger-scale studies are needed to confirm these findings. Trial registration: This study was registered at international prospective register of systematic reviews (PROSPERO), registration number: CRD42020184426.
  • Depressive symptoms are associated with impaired sleep, fatigue, and disease activity in women with rheumatoid arthritis Research

    Lopes, Fernando Henrique Azevedo; Freitas, Max Victor Carioca; Bruin, Veralice Meireles Sales de; Bruin, Pedro Felipe Carvalhedo de

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Objectives: To investigate the associations between sleep quality, fatigue, disease activity and depressive symptoms in women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Methods: Female patients with previous diagnosis of RA from a Rheumatology Outpatient Clinic at a tertiary referral centre, in Fortaleza, Brazil, were consecutively recruited into the study. Sleep quality was assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI); fatigue by the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS); daytime sleepiness by the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS); and depressive symptoms by the Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II). RA activity was measured by the disease activity score (DAS28). Results: One hundred ten women (mean age ± SD = 51.1 ± 13.0 y) were included in the study. On average, patients with depressive symptoms (BDI-II > 13), as compared to those without, showed poorer sleep quality (PSQI: 10.09 ± 4.1 vs 7.33 ± 3.55; p = 0.001 respectively), more fatigue (FSS: 4.69 ± 1.89 vs 3.34 ± 1.8; p = 0.001) and higher disease activity level (DAS28: 4.36 ± 1.53 vs 3.7 ± 1.39; p = 0,047). The logistic regression analysis showed that sleep quality is an independent predictor of depressive symptom severity. Conclusion: Depressive symptoms, impaired sleep and fatigue are common in women with RA. Poor sleep is associated with greater frequency and severity of depressive symptoms in these patients, suggesting that screening for sleep and mood problems may be relevant both in clinical research and routine patient care. Future studies investigating the impact of measures to promote healthy sleep on depressive symptom control in this patient population are warranted.
  • Functional index for hand osteoarthritis (FIHOA) is associated with pain, muscle strength, and EQ-5D in hand osteoarthritis Research

    Kim, Seong-Kyu; Jung, Ui Hong; Choe, Jung-Yoon

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: This study identified whether Functional Index for Hand Osteoarthritis (FIHOA) is associated with pain, hand muscle strength, health-related quality of life, and radiographic severity in hand osteoarthritis (OA). Methods: We consecutively recruited 95 patients with hand OA. The FIHOA was used to assess questionnaire-based physical function in hand OA. Health-related quality of life was evaluated using EuroQol-5 dimension (EQ-5D). Radiographic changes of hand joints were measured by Kellgren-Lawrence (K-L) grade, which was determined based on total radiographic severity score and number of affected joints. Other measures included patient's visual analogue scale (VAS) score for pain and performance-based function indexes such as grip and pinch strength. Statistical analysis was performed using Mann-Whitney U test, Spearman's correlation analysis, and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results: FIHOA score was negatively associated with grip and pinch hand strength and EQ-5D and positively correlated to VAS pain (p < 0.05 for all). There were significant differences of grip and pinch strength, VAS pain, EQ-5D index, and EQ-VAS between two FIHOA groups (≤ 4 vs. > 4) (p < 0.05 for all). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that higher FIHOA score (FIHOA > 4) was related with increased VAS pain and with lower EQ-5D index (p = 0.008 and p = 0.013, respectively). There was no association between FIHOA score and measures of total radiographic severity score and number of affected joints. Conclusion: This study observes that FIHOA score is associated with patient-reported VAS pain, hand muscle strength indexes, and EQ-5D but not radiographic severity in hand OA.
  • Using urinary neutrophile gelatinase-associated lipocalin for prognosticate renal dysfunction in children with familial Mediterranean fever the study design: a pilot study Research

    Oksay, Sinem Can; Dursun, Hasan; Neijmann, Sebnem Tekin; Hatipoglu, Sami

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: The most important finding that affects the prognosis in Familial Mediterranean Fever is renal amyloidosis. The aim of the present study was to analyze neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin levels in the urine, and to investigate whether it may be used as an early marker for renal involvement. Methods: Forty attack-free children followed by diagnosis of Familial Mediterranean Fever with age range of 5 and 18 years, and 38 healthy children with similar ages and genders were enrolled into the study. Hemogram, sedimentation, C-reactive protein, urine analysis, creatinine in the spot urine, microalbumin and urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin levels were analyzed and evaluated statistically in the patients and controls. Results: There was not any statistically significant difference between the patient and control groups for age, gender, height and body weight. Although there was not any clinical sign of attack in the patient group, sedimentation, C-reactive protein and fibrinogen levels were significantly higher than the control group (p = 0.002, p = 0.023, and p = 0.006, respectively). Similarly, urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin level and urinary creatinine ratio were significantly higher in the patient group (p = 0.0001, p = 0.011, respectively). We found a positive correlation between uNGAL level and uNGAL/uCr ratio and number of attacks per year in FMF patients (r =0.743, p =0.001 and r =0.516, p =0.001; respectively). Conclusions: Detection of significantly higher levels of urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin level and urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin level to creatinine ratio were suggested as urinary neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin level as a non-invasive marker for renal involvement better than microalbumin.
  • Osteoporotic fractures in rheumatoid arthritis patients in Argentina: a matched retrospective cohort study Research

    Pierini, Florencia S.; Brom, Martin; Scolnik, Marina; Scaglioni, Valeria; Rosa, Javier E.; Soriano, Enrique R.

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: To compare the incidence of osteoporotic fractures in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with matched controls from a university hospital. Methods: Consecutive RA patients (n = 100) were matched (age and sex) with controls (1:2). The follow-up period began at the index date, defined as the date of diagnosis for RA patients and the date of the first medical claim at the Health Management Organization (HMO) for non-RA patients. Fracture incidence rates per 1000 persons-years (PY) for distinct types of fractures were calculated. Multivariate cox regression analysis was performed to identify factors associated with fractures. Results: One hundred RA patients were followed for a total of 975.1 patients-years and 200 controls for 1485.7 patients-years. No difference was found in the overall fracture incidence rate per 1000 PY between RA and controls (19.5, 95% CI 12.7-28.6 vs 12.1, 95% CI 7.7-18.7, p =0.07). In the Cox regression analysis, only age (HR 1.06, 95% CI 1.02-1.11, p = 0.006) and history of a prior fracture (HR 9.85, 95% CI 2.97-32.64, p < 0.001) were associated with fractures after the index date. The stratified analysis of the fractures by location showed that only the vertebral fractures were more frequent in RA patients compared with controls (12.9 per 1000 PY, 95% CI 8.9-25.8, vs. 3.4, 95% CI 1.4-8.1, respectively, p =0.01). Conclusion: Patients with RA didn't show an overall increased risk of osteoporotic fractures compared with matched controls, but vertebral fractures were more frequently observed in patients with RA.
  • Risk factors for losing hepatitis B virus surface antibody in patients with HBV surface antigen negative/surface antibody positive serostatus receiving biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs: a nested case-control study Research

    Hung, Ming-Hui; Tien, Ya-Chih; Chiu, Ying-Ming

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Hepatitis B virus (HBV) reactivation consequent to immunosuppressive therapy is an increasingly prevalent problem with serious clinical implications. Treatment with biologic agents conduces to the loss of protective antibody to HBV surface antigen (anti-HBs), which significantly increases the risk of HBV reactivation. Hence, we investigated the risk factors for losing anti-HBs in patients with rheumatic diseases and HBV surface antigen negative/anti-HBs positive (HBsAg-/anti-HBs+) serostatus during treatment with biologic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). Methods: Using a nested case-control design, we prospectively enrolled patients with rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis/psoriasis, or juvenile idiopathic arthritis, who were treated with biologic DMARDs at Changhua Christian Hospital, Taiwan, from January 2013 to June 2019 and had HBsAg-/anti-HBs+ serostatus; the analytic sample excluded all patients with HBsAg+ or anti-HBs- serostatus. Anti-HBs titers were monitored 6-monthly and cases were defined as anti-HBs < 10 mIU/ml during follow-up. Cases were matched one- to-all with controls with anti-HBs ≥ 10 mIU/ml on the same ascertainment date and equivalent durations of biologic DMARDs treatment (control patients could be resampled and could also become cases during follow-up). Between-group characteristics were compared and risk factors for anti-HBs loss were investigated by conditional logistic regression analyses. Results: Among 294 eligible patients, 23 cases were matched with 311 controls. The incidence of anti-HBs loss was ∼ 2.7%/person-year during biologic DMARDs treatment. Besides lower baseline anti-HBs titer (risk ratio 0.93, 95% CI 0.89-0.97), cases were significantly more likely than controls to have diabetes mellitus (risk ratio 4.76, 95% CI 1.48-15.30) and chronic kidney disease (risk ratio 14.00, 95% CI 2.22-88.23) in univariate analysis. Risk factors remaining significantly associated with anti-HBs loss in multivariate analysis were lower baseline anti-HBs titer (adjusted risk ratio 0.93, 95% CI 0.88-0.97) and chronic kidney disease (adjusted risk ratio 45.68, 95% CI 2.39-871.5). Conclusions: Besides lower baseline anti-HBs titer, chronic kidney disease also strongly predicts future anti-HBs negativity in patients with HBsAg-/anti-HBs+ serostatus who receive biologic DMARDs to treat rheumatic diseases. Patients with low anti-HBs titer (≤ 100 mIU/ml) and/or chronic kidney disease should be monitored during biologic DMARDs therapy, to enable timely prophylaxis to preempt potential HBV reactivation.
  • An investigation about chronic prostatitis in ankylosing spondylitis Research

    Deves, Eduardo; Novotny, Rodrigo; Barazzetti, Fernando Hartmann; Scheffer, Mara Cristina; Pacheco, Letícia Kramer; Zimmermann, Adriana Fontes; Pereira, Ivânio Alves; Bazzo, Maria Luiza; Neves, Fabricio Souza

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Chronic prostatitis has been a common disease reported with high frequency in ankylosing spondylitis (AS) even from decades ago. Infectious (Chlamydia trachomatis) or non-infectious (uric acid) prostatitis can hypothetically trigger vertebral inflammation in AS. This study aimed to assess the features of chronic prostatitis in patients with AS compared to healthy controls. Methods: A cross-sectional study including male patients with AS and healthy controls who agreed to undergo a prostate examination was conducted. Structured clinical interviews, prostate physical examinations, and cytological, biochemical, and microbiological tests on urinary samples collected before and after standardized prostatic massage (pre- and post-massage test) were performed. Results: Ninety participants (45 AS patients, mean age: 52.5 ± 10.0 years, with longstanding disease, 12.4 ± 6.9years, and 45 controls, mean age: 52.8 ± 12.1 years) were included. National Institutes of Health - Chronic Prostatitis Symptom Index (NIH-CPSI) scores were similar in the AS and control groups (4.0 [1.0-12.0] vs. 5.0 [1.0—8.5], p = 0.994). The frequencies of symptoms of chronic prostatitis (NIH-CPSI Pain Domain ≥4) were also similar in both groups (23.3% vs. 22.7%, p = 0.953). Results of polymerase chain reaction tests for Chlamydia trachomatis were negative in all tested urinary samples, and uric acid concentrations and leukocyte counts were similar in all pre- and post-massage urinary samples. Conclusions: In this study, chronic prostatitis occurred in male patients with AS, but its frequency and characteristics did not differ from those found in the healthy male population of similar age.
  • The genetic influence of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor Val66Met polymorphism in chronic low back pain Research

    Yamada, Angela Shiratsu; Antunes, Flavia Tasmim Techera; Ferraz, Camila; Souza, Alessandra Hubner de; Simon, Daniel

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: The Val66Met polymorphism of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene is a potential biomarker of vulnerability to pain. Thus, the present study aimed to investigate the association of this polymorphism with clinical and biopsychosocial factors in patients with chronic low back pain (CLBP). Methods: A total of 107 individuals with CLBP answered questionnaires that were validated and adapted for the Brazilian population, including the Brief Inventory of Pain, the Central Sensitization Inventory, the Roland Morris Disability Questionnaire, the Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia, the Pain Catastrophizing Scale, the Survey of Pain Attitude-Brief, and the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale. All of the subjects were genotyped for the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism. Results: The sample showed moderate scores of disability, central sensitization, and kinesiophobia, in addition to mild anxiety, hopelessness, and ruminant thoughts. No significant association was observed between the Val66Met polymorphism and the variables analyzed. Besides, there was no relationship between the BDNF Val66Met polymorphism with CSI, catastrophization, or disabilities that were generated by CLBP. Conclusions: The results showed that the Val66Met polymorphism of the BDNF gene was not associated with clinical and biopsychosocial characteristics of CLBP in the sample studied.
  • Surgical treatment for lumbar spinal stenosis: a single-blinded randomized controlled trial Research

    Rodrigues, Luiz Claudio Lacerda; Natour, Jamil

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of surgery for the management of patients with symptomatic lumbar spinal stenosis. Methods: Sixty-three patients with lumbar canal stenosis were randomized into two groups: the intervention group (IG) and control group (CG). IG patients underwent surgery and both groups participated in the same physical therapy program twice a week for a period of 12 weeks and were followed up at 1 year. The primary endpoint was visual analogue scale for pain, and the secondary endpoints were function (6-min walk test, Roland Morris and Oswestry questionnaires), quality of life (SF-36 questionnaire) and satisfaction with treatment (Likert scale). Results: No significant difference between groups was observed for pain over time (p = 0.145). Significant differences between groups, in favor of the IG, were observed for the Oswestry score (p = 0.006) and vitality domain score of the SF-36 (p = 0.047). Function in the Roland Morris and 6-min walk test and the role of the physical domain of SF-36 also showed significant differences between the groups; however, these differences occurred due to a worsening of the IG in the short term, and the medium-term. The Likert scale demonstrated greater satisfaction with the IG treatment compared to control group. Conclusions: Lumbar stenosis surgery did not improve pain in short and medium terms. Function and vitality were better in the group that underwent surgery in the medium term, and patients were more satisfied with the surgical treatment. Trial registration: Clinicaltrials.gov (NCT02879461).
  • Flow cytometry evaluation of CD14/CD16 monocyte subpopulations in systemic sclerosis patients: a cross sectional controlled study Research

    Schneider, Laiana; Marcondes, Natália Aydos; Hax, Vanessa; Moreira, Isadora Flesch da Silva; Ueda, Carolina Yuka; Piovesan, Rafaella Romeiro; Xavier, Ricardo; Chakr, Rafael

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by vasculopathy and fibrosis, which can be subclassified into diffuse cutaneous (dSSc) and limited cutaneous (lSSc) subtypes. Previous studies suggest that an increase in monocytes can be a hallmark of various inflammatory diseases, including SSc. Our aim was to evaluate circulating blood monocyte subpopulations (classical, intermediate and non-classical) of SSc patients and their possible association with disease manifestations. Methods: Fifty consecutive patients fulfilling the 2013 ACR/EULAR classification criteria for SSc were included in a cross-sectional study. Monocyte subpopulations were identified based on their expression of CD64, CD14 and CD16, evaluated by flow cytometry, and were correlated with the clinical characteristics of the patients; furthermore, the expression of HLA-DR, CD163, CD169 and CD206 in the monocytes was studied. Thirty-eight age- and sex-matched healthy individuals were recruited as a control group. Results: SSc patients had an increased number of circulating peripheral blood monocytes with an activated phenotypic profile compared to healthy subjects. Absolute counts of CD16+ (intermediary and non-classical) monocyte subpopulations were higher in SSc patients. There was no association between monocyte subpopulations and the clinical manifestations evaluated. Conclusion: We identified higher counts of all monocyte subpopulations in SSc patients compared to the control group. There was no association between monocyte subpopulations and major fibrotic manifestations. CD169 was shown to be more representative in dSSc, being a promising marker for differentiating disease subtypes.
  • Pain and fatigue are predictors of quality of life in primary Sjögren’s syndrome Research

    Dias, Laiza Hombre; Miyamoto, Samira Tatiyama; Giovelli, Raquel Altoé; Magalhães, Caerê Iamonde Maciel de; Valim, Valeria

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Few studies have evaluated the relation of quality of life (QoL) with symptoms and disease activity in primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS). There is also scant information on the predictors of QoL in this population. The aim of this study was to assess QoL in patients with pSS and to investigate their possible predictors. Methods: In a cross-sectional study, 77 patients with pSS were evaluated using the following questionnaires: Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy Fatigue Subscale (FACIT-Fatigue), EULAR Sjögren’s Syndrome Patient Reported Index (ESSPRI), EULAR Sjögren’s Syndrome Disease Activity Index (ESSDAI), Short Form-36 Health Survey (SF-36) and World Health Organization Quality of Life Assessment (WHOQOL-BREF). Seventy-seven healthy controls responded to the SF-36 and WHOQOL-BREF. The Mann-Whitney test, t-test, Pearson and Spearman correlation, and multiple regression analysis were used in the statistical analysis. Results: Patients with pSS and healthy controls were matched by gender and age. The mean scores for the ESSDAI, ESSPRI and FACIT-Fatigue were 3.34 ±4.61, 6.58 ± 2.29 and 26.17 ± 11.02, respectively. Patients had a lower employment rate (36.4% versus 62.3%, p < 0.01) and higher work disability (10.4% versus 1.3%, p < 0.01). SF-36 and WHOQOL-BREF values were lower in patients with pSS (p < 0.001), except in the WHOQOL-BREF environment domain. Pain (ESSPRI), fatigue (FACIT-Fatigue), antinuclear antibody (ANA), anti-Ro-SSA and economic class (Brazilian Economic Classification Criteria - CCEB) were independent predictors of QoL. Conclusions: The main predictors of poor QoL in patients with pSS were pain and fatigue, and these symptoms had an impact regardless of disease activity, age, schooling, marital status, work disability and fibromyalgia.
  • Sacroiliitis in children and adolescents with familial Mediterranean fever Research

    Kaçmaz, Hülya; Aldemir, Esin; Tanatar, Ayşe; Karadağ, Şerife Gül; Çakan, Mustafa; Sönmez, Hafize Emine; Ayaz, Nuray Aktay

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) is an autoinflammatory disease characterized by recurrent episodes of fever and serositis. Sacroiliitis can be observed in some FMF patients. This study aimed to compare the demographic, clinical, and laboratory findings, and treatment in children with FMF and sacroiliitis, and children with juvenile spondyloarthropathy (JSpA). Methods: In total, 1687 pediatric FMF patients that were followed-up between May 2010 and June 2020 were evaluated retrospectively. Among them, those with sacroiliitis ( n = 63) were included in the study and compared to patients with JSpA ( n = 102). Results: The study included 63 FMF patients with sacroiliitis (38 males [60.3%] and 25 females [39.7%]) with a mean age of 15.2 ± 4.1 years. Mean age at symptom onset was 7.2 ± 5.05 years and mean age at diagnosis was 9.74 ± 4.67 years. The most common mutation in the FMF patients was M694V/M694V ( n = 22). Patients were diagnosed with sacroiliitis with a mean of 12 months (range: 6–36 months) after the diagnosis of FMF. Among the FMF patients, 28 (44.4%) had enthesitis, 23 (36.5%) had heel pain, and 11 (17.4%) had low back pain. The study also included 102 JSpA patients (90 males [88.2%] and 12 females [11.8%]). Mean age of patients with JSpA was 16.1 ± 2.8 years. As compared to 102 JSpA patients, patients with FMF and sacroiliitis had higher acute phase reactants, whereas HLA- B27 positivity rate was lower. In addition, axial involvement rate was higher in the JSpA patients. Conclusion: Sacroiliitis is a common co-morbidity in FMF patients. The phenotypic features of these patients are different from patients with JSpA.
  • Translation, cultural adaptation and reproducibility of a Portuguese version of the Functional Index for Hand OsteoArthritis (FIHOA) Research

    Azevedo, Francisco Vileimar Andrade de; Rocha, Hermano Alexandre Lima; Jones, Anamaria; Natour, Jamil; Rocha, Francisco Airton Castro da

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: The Functional Index for Hand Osteoarthritis (FIHOA) is a simple, reliable, and reproducible specific instrument to evaluate hand OA that can be applied both in clinical practice and research protocols. In order to be used in Brazil, FIHOA has to be translated into Portuguese, culturally adapted and have the reliability of the translated FIHOA version tested, which is the purpose of this study. Methods: The FIHOA was translated into Brazilian Portuguese and administered to 68 patients with hand OA recruited between May 2019 and February 2020. The test-retest was applied to 32 patients and the reliability was assessed using Spearman’s correlation coefficient and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC). The internal consistency reliability was evaluated using Cronbach’s alpha. External construction validity was assessed using the Spearman’s correlation test between FIHOA and pain, assessed with a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS), the Cochin Hand Functional Scale (CHFS) and Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ). Results: The 30 participants that initially answered the translated version of the FiHOA did not report difficulties in understanding or interpreting the translated version. The test-retest reliability for the total score was strong ( r =0.86; ICC = 0.89). Mean differences (1.37 ± 0.68) using Bland Altman’s analysis did not significantly differ from zero and no systematic bias was observed. Cronbach’s alpha was also high (0.89) suggesting a strong internal coherence in the test items. There were also correlations between FIHOA and the CHFS ( r =0.88), HAQ ( r = 0.64) and pain in the hands both at rest ( r =0.55) and in motion ( r =0.44). Conclusion: The translation of the FIHOA into Brazilian Portuguese proved a valid instrument for measuring the functional capacity of patients with hand OA who understand Brazilian Portuguese.
  • Long non-coding RNA KCNQ1OT1 promotes cell viability and migration as well as inhibiting degradation of CHON-001 cells by regulating miR-126-5p/TRPS1 axis Research

    Wang, Binfeng; Liu, Xiangwei

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Osteoarthritis (OA) is defined as a degenerative disease. Pivotal roles of long non-coding RNA (lncRNAs) in OA are widely elucidated. Herein, we intend to explore the function and molecular mechanism of lncRNA KCNQ1OT1 in CHON-001 cells. Methods: Relative expression of KCNQ1OT1, miR-126-5p and TRPS1 was determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR). Cell viability was examined by MTT assay. The migratory ability of chondrocytes was assessed by transwell assay. Western blot was used to determine relative protein expression of collagen II, MMP13 and TRPS1. Dual-luciferase reporter (DLR) assay was applied to test the target of lncRNA KCNQ1OT1 or miR-126-5p. Results: Relative expression of KCNQ1OT1 and TRPS1 was reduced, whereas miR-126-5p was augmented in cartilage tissues of post-traumatic OA patients compared to those of subjects without post-traumatic OA. Increased KCNQ1OT1 or decreased miR-126-5p enhanced cell viability and migration, and repressed extracellular matrix (ECM) degradation in CHON-001 cells. MiR-126-5p was the downstream target of KCNQ1OT1, and it could directly target TRPS1. There was an inverse correlation between KCNQ1OT1 and miR-126-5p or between miR-126-5p and TRPS1. Meantime, there was a positive correlation between KCNQ1OT1 and TRPS1. The promoting impacts of KCNQ1OT1 on cell viability and migration as well as the suppressive impact of KCNQ1OT1 on ECM degradation were partially abolished by miR-126-5p overexpression or TRPS1 knockdown in CHON-001 cells. Conclusions: Overexpression of KCNQ1OT1 attenuates the development of OA by sponging miR-126-5p to target TRPS1. Our findings may provide a possible therapeutic strategy for human OA in clinic.
  • Rheumatologist perspective of the Brazilian consensus for detection of auto antibodies in HEp-2 CELLS Research

    Francescantonio, Isadora Carvalho Medeiros; Santos, Leandro Augusto Rodrigues dos; Francescantonio, Paulo Luiz Carvalho; Andrade, Luiz Eduardo Coelho; Cruvinel, Wilson de Melo

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Objective: To evaluate the perception of rheumatologists regarding the recommendations of the Brazilian Consensus for detection of Autoantibodies (BCA) on HEp-2 Cells by Indirect Immunofluorescence assay (IFA) and how BCA recommendations help in clinical practice. Methodology: A structured questionnaire regarding the BCA recommendations for detection and interpretations of autoantibodies in HEp-2 cells was applied to randomly selected rheumatologists. The results were tabulated using the Microsoft® Excel program, expressed as a simple percentage and the dichotomous data were analyzed using the Chi-square test and the Epi Info® program. Results: Four hundred fuorteen rheumatologists participated in the study: 70% of them considered their knowledge of the HEp-2 IFA test satisfactory or excellent, and 43% said they knew the BCA recommendations in general, without distinguishing the edition of the BCA to which they refer. The Revista Brasileira de Rheumatologia/ Advances in Rheumatology was the means of dissemination most consulted by specialists (50%). According to the rheumatologists’ opinion, the most relevant pattern was the homogeneous nuclear (78%) and 65% stated they were satisfied with the BCA recommendations at a level of satisfaction greater than or equal to 80%. There was no significant difference in the perception of rheumatologists from the several Brazilian geographic regions. Conclusion: Brazilian rheumatologists are aware of the BCA guidelines and most are satisfied with the content published, considering that the BCA recommendations assist positively in the clinical practice. Most rheumatologists recognize the patterns associated with rheumatic autoimmune diseases and have used BCA recommendations to interpret the results of the HEp-2 IFA test.
  • Vasculitis damage index in Behçet's disease Research

    Elgengehy, Fatema T.; Gamal, Sherif M.; Sobhy, Nesreen; Siam, Ibrahem; Soliman, Ahmed M.; Elhady, Ghada W.; Gheita, Tamer A.

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Vasculitis damage index (VDI) is a validated damage index for systemic vasculitis, and as Behçet's disease is considered one of systemic vascular disease we aimed to study the relationship of the vasculitis damage index to clinical manifestations and comorbidity in patients with Behçet's disease (BD) to determine if VDI could be used to assess damage in patients with BD. Methods: A total of 109 patients with BD were recruited from the Rheumatology Department (outpatient and inpatient clinic), Cairo University Hospitals. All patients were subjected to full history taking, clinical examination, and routine laboratory investigations. Disease activity was assessed by the BD current activity form, and the VDI was calculated in all patients. The relationship of the VDI to the disease clinical manifestations was studied. Mann–Whitney and Kruskal Wallis tests were used to estimate differences in quantitative variables. Spearman correlation test was used to test for correlation between quantitative variables. Results: In the current study, the VDI ranged from 1 to 10, with a mean of 3.5 ± 1.8. It was significantly associated with total thrombosis (P = 0.022); total neurological manifestations (P = 0.000), especially stroke and cranial nerve affection; uveitis (P = 0.005); avascular necrosis (AVN) (P = 0.015); osteoporosis (P = 0.01); impaired vision (P < 0.0001); cataract (P < 0.0001); and diabetes (P = 0.012). Generally, immunosuppressive treatment was significantly associated with VDI (P = 0.039), especially cyclophosphamide (P < 0.0001), biological agent (P = 0.008), chlorambucil (P = 0.003), and anticoagulant (P = 0.02). VDI was also significantly correlated with age (P = 0.033), disease duration (P = 0.029), and duration of eye involvement (P = 0.003). Conclusion: VDI is significantly associated with most disease parameters of BD, except for parameters such as mucocutaneous manifestations and uncomplicated venous thrombosis; however, further studies may be needed to establish BD-specific damage index.
  • Dualities of the vitamin D in systemic sclerosis: a systematic literature review Research

    Schneider, Laiana; Hax, Vanessa; Monticielo, Odirlei; Macedo, Tamires Ferri; Barreto, Roberta Kern Menna; Marcondes, Natália Aydos; Chakr, Rafael

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic disease characterized by autoimmunity, vasculopathy, and visceral and cutaneous fibrosis. Vitamin D has several functions in the immunological system, and different studies have suggested a potential role in triggering autoimmune diseases. Patients with SSc may present with low serum levels of vitamin D, but the association between hypovitaminosis D and disease onset or any clinical manifestation is still obscure. Our goal was to verify the causal relationship between hypovitaminosis D and SSc onset or any particular clinical manifestation in the literature. Methods: A systematic literature review was performed through February 24th, 2021 on Pubmed, Lilacs/BIREME, and Cochrane databases. The eligible studies were read in full text, and, in the absence of exclusion criteria, were included in this review after consensus between two reviewers. Results: Forty articles met the eligibility criteria and the main results of each study are described. In most studies, SSc patients showed a higher prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and insufficiency compared to controls. Additionally, in some reports serum levels of vitamin D were inversely correlated with the severity of SSc. Oral supplementation did not seem to affect serum levels of vitamin D. Four of the included studies were with experimental models. Conclusion: In conclusion, vitamin D deficiency seems to have a role in susceptibility to SSc, as well as in the clinical manifestations of the disease.
  • Relationship of the sacral slope with early gait derangements in robust older women Research

    Oliveira, Leda Magalhaes; Roizenblatt, Suely; Silva, Flavio Duarte; Roizenblatt, Arnaldo; Fernandes, Artur Rocha Correa; Szejnfeld, Vera Lucia

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Trunk pelvic dissociation is fundamental to the compensatory mechanism for muscle weakness during body bending. We carried out an early investigation of gait changes in a sample of community-dwelling women ≥60 years without gait complaints. The primary objective was to correlate spine and pelvic angles with performance tests and accelerometry parameters. The secondary objective was to correlate performance tests with accelerometry. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, 54 community-dwelling women ≥60years were subjected to Falls Efficacy Scale-International (FES-I), performance tests (Berg Balance Scale, Timed Up and Go, and Gait analysis), and radiographic analysis of sagittal alignment (Thoracic and Lumbar Cobb, Pelvic Incidence, Sacral Slope, and Pelvic Tilt angles). Gait speed was assessed in a 10-m comfortable walk, and accelerometry parameters were obtained in a 30m walk distance. Results: The sample, aged 72 ±6 years, exhibited moderate correlation between Sacral Slope and Step Length (+ 0.615). Sacral Slope weakly correlated with FES-I (- 0.339), Berg Balance Scale (+0.367), and with further accelerometry data in the AP plane: RMS, (+ 0.439) and Stride Regularity (+ 0.475), p < 0.05, all. Lumbar Cobb weakly correlated with the following accelerometry data in the AP plane: Step Length (+0.405), RMS, (+0.392), and Stride Regularity (+ 0.345), p < 0.05, all. Additionally, Stride Regularity in AP moderately correlated with FES-I (0,561, p < 0.05), among other weak correlations between performance tests and accelerometry data in AP. Conclusions: Early alterations in Sacral Slope and gait abnormalities in the AP plane may provide understanding of the early gait changes in robust older women.
  • Gout of feet and ankles in different disease durations: diagnostic value of single-source DECT and evaluation of urate deposition with a novel semi-quantitative DECT scoring system Research

    Shang, Jin; Li, Xiao-Hu; Lu, Shu-Qin; Shang, Yi; Li, Lu-Lu; Liu, Bin

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Objectives: To investigate the diagnostic performance of single-source dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) based on gemstone spectral imaging technology (including Discovery CT750HD and Revolution CT) in patients with suspected feet/ankles gouty arthritis, and evaluate the urate deposition with a novel semi-quantitative DECT scoring system. Methods: A total of 196 patients were consecutively included. Feet and ankles were evaluated in all patients by single-source DECT scan. The 2015 EULAR/ACR criteria were used as the reference for the diagnosis of gout. The sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUC) of DECT for the diagnosis of gout in the early (≤1 year), middle (1-3 years), and late (> 3 years) disease durations were calculated. Besides, a novel semi-quantitative DECT scoring system was assessed for the measurement of urate deposition, and the correlation between the scores and the clinical and serological data were also evaluated. Moreover, the influences of artifacts on the diagnostic performance of DECT were also determined. Results: The sensitivity, specificity, and AUC of DECT in 196 patients were 38.10, 96.43%, and 0.673 in the early-stage group; 62.96, 100.00%, and 0.815 in the middle-stage group; and 77.55, 87.50%, and 0.825 in the late-stage group, respectively. The overall diagnostic accuracies in the AUC of DECT (Discovery CT750HD and Revolution CT) in the middle and late stages of gout were higher than that in the early stage of gout. Besides, the monosodium urate crystals were deposited on the first metatarsophalangeal joints and ankles/midfeet. Age, the presence of tophus, bone erosion, and disease duration considerably affected the total urate score. No statistical difference in the positive detection of nail artifact, skin artifact, vascular calcification, and noise artifact was found between the case and control groups. Conclusion: DECT (Discovery CT750HD and Revolution CT) showed promising diagnostic accuracy for the detection of urate crystal deposition in gout but had limited diagnostic sensitivity for short-stage gout. Longer disease duration, the presence of tophus, and bone erosion were associated with the urate crystal score system. The artifacts do not remarkably affect the diagnostic performance of DECT in gout.
  • Cardiovascular risk comorbidities in rheumatoid arthritis patients and the use of anti-rheumatic drugs: a cross-sectional real- life study Research

    Vicente, Gustavo Nogueira Schincariol; Pereira, Ivânio Alves; Castro, Gláucio Ricardo Werner de; Mota, Licia Maria Henrique da; Carnieletto, Ana Paula; Souza, Dhara Giovanna Santin de; Gama, Fabiana Oenning da; Santos, Ana Beatriz Vargas; Albuquerque, Cleandro Pires de; Bértolo, Manoel Barros; Louzada Júnior, Paulo; Giorgi, Rina Dalva Neubarth; Radominski, Sebastião Cezar; Guimarães, Maria Fernanda Brandão Resende; Bonfiglioli, Karina Rossi; Sauma, Maria de Fátima Lobato da Cunha; Brenol, Claiton Viegas; Pinheiro, Geraldo da Rocha Castelar

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune systemic inflammatory disease. In addition to joint involvement, RA patients frequently have other comorbidities, such as cardiovascular diseases. Drugs used for RA treatment may increase or decrease the risk of a cardiovascular event. This study aims to analyze cardiovascular risk comorbidities in patients with RA and the correlation with the use of anti-rheumatic drugs. Methods: Cross-sectional study conducted based on the real-life rheumatoid arthritis study database - REAL, a prospective observational cohort study. Associations between the use of anti-rheumatic drugs and the presence of comorbidities were represented by their prevalence ratio and evaluated using the Chi-square or Fisher’s Exact tests. Results: We assessed 1116 patients, 89.4% women, mean age of 55.15 years and predominance of seropositive disease. 63.3% had some cardiovascular comorbidity, predominantly hypertension (49.9%). The use of glucocorticoids was observed in 47.4% of patients and there was a significant tendency of lower use of these drugs in the presence of dyslipidemia (PR: 0.790; p = 0.007). We observed that the presence of cardiovascular comorbidities was associated with higher use of bDMARDs (PR:1.147; p = 0.003). Conclusions: The presence of cardiovascular risk comorbidities was confirmed to be higher in RA patients. Different treatment strategies using less glucocorticoids in the presence of dyslipidemia and more common use of bDMARDs in patients with cardiovascular comorbidities suggest that rheumatologists are aware of the potential influence of the DMARDs in the risk of cardiovascular event. Reinforcing these results, we highlight the need for a better baseline assessment to guide the choice of anti-rheumatic drugs in RA patients who have comorbidities.
  • The importance of lower extremity involvement type on exercise performances, function, and quality of life in peripheral predominant forms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis Research

    Kasman, Sevtap Acer; Karaahmet, Özgür Zeliha; Hastürk, Ajda Bal; Başaran, Özge; Acar, Banu Çelikel; Gezer, Halise Hande; Çakci, Aytül

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) can cause reduced exercise capacity, deterioration in functional activities, and poor health-related quality of life. This study aims to objectively reveal lower extremity involvement in the peripheral predominant forms of juvenile idiopathic arthritis through qualitative evaluations and to determine the effects of these involvements on exercise, function, and quality of life. Methods: Thirty-two patients with a history of peripheral arthritis and aged between 7 and 16 years participated in the study. Demographics, JIA subtype, disease duration, arthritis and deformities of the lower extremity, disease activity score, 6-min walk test (6MWT), cycling exercise test (CYC-E), childhood health assessment questionnaire (CHAQ), and pediatric quality of life inventory (PedsQoL) scores were recorded. In case of clinical suspicion of arthritis, an ultrasonographic examination was performed for a definitive diagnosis. Regression analyses were performed to explore the most associated lower extremity involvement and patient characteristics for each of the dependent variables including 6MWT, CYC-E, CHAQ, and PedsQoL. Results: Of the total number of patients, with a mean age of 12.91 (SD 2.37) years, 28.1% had knee arthritis, 15.6% foot arthritis, 12.5% hip arthritis, and 37.5% lower extremity deformity. The parameters that were most associated with CHAQ and PedsQoL were hip and knee arthritis, whereas CYC-E was found to be most associated with knee arthritis and height, and 6MWT was found to be most associated with hip arthritis, knee arthritis, and demographic characteristics. Conclusion: This study emphasizes the importance of hip and knee arthritis, which are among the determinants of walking endurance, function, and quality of life; and knee arthritis, which is among the determinants of cycling performance in JIA with lower extremity involvement.
  • What is the diagnostic value of dual-energy computed tomography in patients with clinical diagnosis of gout? Research

    Lee, Jung Sun; Seo, Wook Jang

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Objectives: To investigate the frequency of monosodium urate (MSU) crystal deposits on dual-energy computed tomography (DECT) in patients with clinical diagnosis of gout and the factors associated MSU crystal positivity. Methods: This study was conducted in patients with clinical diagnosis of gout who underwent DECT. Clinical features were compared between patients with positive and those with negative DECT results. A logistic regression analysis was performed to determine the factors associated with MSU crystal positivity on DECT. Results: A total of 148 patients with clinical diagnosis of gout were included, and MSU crystal deposition on DECT was observed in 64 patients (43.3%). The patients with positive DECT results were more likely to have renal insufficiency, longer disease duration, and higher serum urate level than those with negative. In the multivariable analysis, first gout attack (odds ratio 0.462; 95% confidence interval 0.229–0.931, p = 0.031) was associated with a less likely MSU crystal deposit-positive DECT result. In the subgroup analysis of patients with first attack, serum urate level > 8 mg/dL was associated with DECT positivity. Conclusion: Of the patients with clinical diagnosis of gout, those with renal insufficiency, longer disease duration, and high serum urate level were more likely to be positive of gout on DECT. First gout attack was associated with less likely to be positive for MSU crystal on DECT. Thus, performing DECT scan in the selected patients who had characteristics that highly probability of DECT positivity could increase positive predictive value.
  • The effects of COVID-19 fear and anxiety on symptom severity, sleep quality, and mood in patients with fibromyalgia: a pilot study Research

    Cankurtaran, Damla; Tezel, Nihal; Ercan, Buse; Yildiz, Sadik Yigit; Akyuz, Ece Unlu

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: During the COVID-19 pandemic, individuals faced psychological stress caused by fear and anxiety due to the high transmission and mortality rate of the disease, the social isolation, economic problems, and difficulties in reaching health services. Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic centralized pain sensitivity disorder. Psychological, physical and/or autoimmune stressors were found to increase FM symptoms. This pilot study aimed to evaluate the COVID-19 fear and anxiety level, and to examine their effect on disease severity, sleep quality, and mood in FM patients compared to control group. Methods: This pilot study conducted as a cross-sectional study, and included 62 participants. Participants were divided into two groups: FM patient group ( n = 31) and control group ( n = 31). Symptom severity, sleep quality, and mood were determined using the Revised Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQR), Pitsburg Sleep Quality Index (PSQI), and Hospital Anxiety Depression Scale (HADS), respectively. In order to evaluate the level of COVID-19 fear and anxiety, the Fear of COVID-19 Scale (FCV-19S) and Coronavirus Anxiety Scale (CAS) were used compared to control group. Results: FIQR, PSQI, HAD-A, HAD-D, FCV-19S and CAS scores were significantly higher in the FM group ( p = 0.01). A positive significant correlation was found between FCV-19S and CAS results and FIQR, PSQI, and HAD-anx results in FM patients ( p < 0.05). Conclusion: This pilot study showed that, the individuals with FM can be more affected by psychological stress, and this situation negatively affects the symptom severity, sleep quality, and mood in FM patients, so these patients should be closely monitored in terms of psychological stressors and their effects during pandemics. More studies with more participants are necessary to describe the challenges lived by fibromyalgia population.
  • Intestinal microbiota and active systemic lupus erythematosus: a systematic review Research

    Vieira, Juliana Rosa Pires; Rezende, Andréa Toledo de Oliveira; Fernandes, Marcos Rassi; Silva, Nilzio Antonio da

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease, characterized by being multi-systemic and, therefore, reaching various organs and affecting mainly young women. Its pathogenesis comprehends many factors, including the interaction between microbiota and immune system. This systematic review assessed the relationship between intestinal microbiota and SLE in activity, highlighting microbiota representative patterns regarding quantity and diversity. Methods: This study considered researches carried out in patients with SLE, with no restriction of age or gender, which fulfilled the classification criteria of either Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinic (SLICC), American College of Rheumatology (ACR) or European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) and used the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index (SLEDAI) to classify disease in activity or remission were included. The search was carried out from October, 2020 to January, 2021 using the following databases: Medline via Pubmed, Scopus, and Embase. Five papers were included with a total of 288 participants with SLE. Results: Regarding microbiota in patients with SLE in activity, there was significant increase in the following genera: Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Megasphaera, Fusobacterium, Veillonella, Oribacterium, Odoribacter, Blautia, and Campylobacter. On the other hand, decrease in Faecalibacterium and Roseburia genera as well as Ruminococcus gnavus species was observed in remission cases, showing differences between the microbiota profile in SLE in activity and in remission. Conclusions: Results suggest that dysbiosis may be involved in the disease activity process. Trial registration: CRD42021229322 .
  • Risk factors for the flare of systemic lupus erythematosus and its influence on prognosis: a single-center retrospective analysis Research

    Zeng, Xiaohong; Zheng, Ling; Rui, Hongbing; Kang, Rihui; Chen, Junmin; Chen, Huaning; Liu, Jizan

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Objectives: To explore the risk factors for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) flare and their impact on prognosis. Methods: The clinical characteristics, laboratory results, and treatment plans of 121 patients with SLE flare were retrospectively analyzed. Ninety-eight SLE outpatients with sustained remission during the same period were selected as controls. Logistic multivariate regression analysis was employed to screen for risk factors for SLE flare. Results: Infection, thrombocytopenia, arthritis, anti-nucleosome antibodies positive, anti-β2-glycoprotein I (IgG) antibodies positive, and patient's self-discontinuation of medicine maintenance therapy might be risk factors for SLE flare. Patients who discontinued medicine maintenance therapy by themselves had a significantly higher rate of severe SLE flare than patients with regular medicine maintenance therapy ( P = 0.033). The incidence of anemia associated with SLE ( P = 0.001), serositis ( P = 0.005), and pulmonary hypertension ( P = 0.003) in patients who discontinued medicine maintenance therapy were significantly higher than patients with regular medicine maintenance therapy. SLE patients with regular medicine maintenance therapy for less than 3years had a higher risk of pulmonary hypertension than those with regular medicine maintenance therapy longer than 3years ( P = 0.034). Conclusions: The accompanying thrombocytopenia, arthritis, anti-nucleosome antibodies positive and anti-β2-glycoprotein I (IgG) antibodies positive at the onset of SLE may affect the prognosis of SLE. Patient's self-discontinuation of medicine maintenance therapy is the main cause of SLE flare, which may induce severe flare in SLE patients and lead to a significantly higher incidence of pulmonary hypertension.
  • High YKL-40 serum levels and its expression in the muscle tissues of patients with antisynthetase syndrome Research

    Carboni, Renata Casseb de Souza; Pinto, Gustavo Luiz Behrens; Shinjo, Samuel Katsuyuki

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: The protein chitinase-3-like-1 (YKL-40) is rarely analyzed in patients with myositis. Therefore, we aimed to evaluate YKL-40 serum levels; correlate them with laboratory and clinical parameters, disease status, and treatment schemes; and analyze the YKL-40 expression in the muscle tissues of patients with antisynthetase syndrome (ASSD). Methods: This cross-sectional single-center study included 64 adult patients with ASSD who were age-, gender-, and ethnicity-matched to 64 healthy control individuals. Their YKL-40 serum levels were analyzed using the Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) kit method, while YKL-40 expression in muscle tissues was analyzed using an immunohistochemical technique. Disease status was assessed using the International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies Group (IMACS) set scores. Results: The patients’ mean age was 44.8 ± 11.8 years, and median disease duration was 1.5 (0.0-4.0) years. These patients were predominantly female (82.8%) and Caucasian (73.4%). Most patients had stable disease. The median YKL-40 serum level was significantly higher in patients with ASSD when compared to the healthy individuals: 538.4 (363.4-853.1) pg/mL versus 270.0 (201.8-451.9) pg/mL, respectively; P < 0.001. However, YKL-40 serum levels did not correlate with any clinical, laboratory, disease status, or therapeutic parameters (P > 0.050), except tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) serum levels (Spearman’s correlation, rho = 0.382; P = 0.007). YKL-40 was highly expressed by inflammatory cells found in muscle biopsy specimens. Conclusions: High YKL-40 serum levels were observed in patients with ASSD and correlated positively with TNF-α serum levels. Moreover, YKL-40 was expressed by the inflammatory cells of the muscle tissue.
  • Influenza and pneumococcal vaccination coverage in Latin American patients with systemic lupus erythematosus: a cross-sectional and comparative study Research

    Chiganer, Edson Hernán; Ochi, Bruno Camargo; Lessa, Carmen Flora

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Infections are a major cause of morbidity and mortality in systemic lupus (SLE). Vaccination would be an effective method to reduce infection rate. Coverage for influenza and pneumococcus appears to be low in Latin America. The objective of this study was to evaluate vaccination coverage for influenza and pneumococcus in Latin America, causes of non-vaccination and to compare it with European patients. Methods: A survey was conducted through social networks targeting Latin American lupus patients. A self-report was used to assess the demographics, risk factors for pneumonia, vaccination status, and causes of non-vaccination. The same method was used for European patients. We used binary logistic regression to identify factors associated with pneumococcal and influenza vaccination. Results: There were 1130 participants from Latin America. Among them, 97% were women with an average of 37.9 years (SD: 11.3) and 46.5% had more than 7 years of disease duration. Two or more risk factors for pneumonia were found in 64.9%. Coverage for influenza and pneumococcal was 42.7 and 25% respectively, being lower than in Europe. Tetanus coverage was the most important predictor for receiving influenza and pneumococcal vaccination. Lack of prescription was the most common cause of non-application (64.6%). Conclusions: Vaccination coverage for influenza and pneumonia is low in Latin America, especially compared to Europe. It is necessary to make specialists aware of their role in vaccine control and to implement measures to improve coordination between them and general practitioners.
  • Quality of referrals to a rheumatology service before and after implementation of a triage system with telemedicine support Research

    Piovesan, Deise Marcela; Busato, Vanessa Barrili; Silveira, Romulo Gomes da; Prado, Aline Defaveri do; Molina-Bastos, Cynthia Goulart; Hickmann, Sheila; Bongiorno, Guilherme Kopik; Cruz, Camila de David; Zamboni, Sheron; Simon, Julio César; Gongalves, Marcelo Rodrigues; Bredemeier, Markus

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Purpose: To evaluate the quality of referrals for a first Rheumatology consultation at a tertiary care center in a southern Brazilian capital (Porto Alegre, RS), having as background findings from a similar survey performed in 2007/2008. Since then, our state has implemented referral protocols and a triage system with teleconsulting support exclusively for referrals from locations outside the capital, permitting a comparison between patients screened and not screened by the new system. Methods: Physicians of the Rheumatology Service at Hospital Nossa Senhora da Conceição prospectively collected information regarding first visits over a 6-month period (Oct 2017 to March 2018). We recorded demographic characteristics, diagnostic hypotheses, date of referral, and the municipality of origin (within the state of Rio Grande do Sul). We considered adequate referrals from primary health care when a systemic autoimmune inflammatory disease (SIRD) was suspected at first evaluation by the attending rheumatologist. Results: Three hundred fifty-seven patients/appointments were eligible for analysis (193 from the capital and 164 from small and medium towns). In 2007/2008, suspected SIRD occurred in 76/260 (29.2%) and 73/222 (32.9%) among patients from the capital and outside counties, respectively (P = 0.387). In 2017/2018, suspected SIRD occurred in 75/193 (38.9%) and 111/164 (67.7%) in patients from the capital and outside counties, respectively (difference: 28.8, 95% CI: 19.0 to 38.9, P < 0.001), indicating a marked improvement in referrals submitted to the new triage system. Conclusion: The quality of Rheumatology referrals in our state improved over the 10-year interval under study, particularly among patients from locations submitted to referral protocols and teleconsulting support.
  • Ultrasonographic and resistance index evaluation of nails in psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and control groups: a cross-sectional study Research

    Rossi, Samanta Daiana De; Mendonça, José Alexandre; Palominos, Penelope Estere; Kohem, Charles Lubianca; Cestari, Tania Ferreira; Chakr, Rafael Mendonça da Silva

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Nail psoriasis occurs frequently in patients with psoriatic disease, it can lead to functional impairment, pain, discomfort, decreased quality of life and can also be a predictor for the development of arthritis. Early recognition of this condition can provide early and effective treatment and prevent structural impairment. This study aims to identify nail ultrasonographic characteristics in three groups: psoriasis (PsO), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and controls patients, to determine if the ultrasonography (US) can identify early signs of nail psoriatic impairment or local inflammation. We conducted nail US to determine nail matrix resistance index (NMRI), nail bed resistance index (NBRI), and power Doppler (PD) and grayscale (GS) parameters in these 3 groups. Methods: Single-center, cross-sectional study. GS, PD, and spectral doppler images of bilateral 2nd and 3rd fingernails were acquired from 35 PsO, 31 PsA, and 35 controls patients. An US equipment with an 18 MHz linear transducer for GS and 8.0 MHz for PD was used. PD, NMRI, NBRI, nail plate thickness (NPT), nail bed thickness (NBT), nail matrix thickness (NMT), and morphostructural characteristics of the trilaminar structure (TS) were evaluated in saved images, blind. Results: Mean NMRI and NBRI did not differ between groups. Linear regression analysis detected no relationships between PsO or PsA and NMRI or NBRI. Nail PD grade did not differ between groups. Type I and IV TS changes were more frequent in PsO; types II and III changes were more frequent in PsA (p < 0.001). NPT was greater in PsA and PsO groups than controls: PsA 0.73 ± 0.14 mm, PsO 0.72 ± 0.15 mm, Controls 0.67 ± 0.10mm (p = 0.001). Conclusion: Echographic TS characteristics of the nail plate and NPT evaluated by GS are useful and can distinguish PsO and PsA nails from controls. NMRI, NBRI, and US nail microcirculation parameters could not distinguish psoriatic nails. Trial registration: 72762317.4.0000.5327 (Certificate of Presentation of Ethical Appreciation – CAAE -Plataforma Brasil) Avaiable in https://plataformabrasil.saude.gov.br/login.jsf
  • Dentists’ knowledge about osteoporosis and their ability to identify the disease Research

    Ferreira, Renato Vicente; Roizenblatt, Suely; Szejnfeld, Vera Lucia

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Osteoporosis is an underdiagnosed condition, and its seriousness is not considered until severe complications arise. This study aimed to evaluate general dentists’ knowledge about osteoporosis and their ability to identify patients with this disease by assessing mandibular cortical width (MCW) and mandibular cortical index (MCI) on panoramic dental radiographs using a visual method. Methods: In this cross-sectional study, an email questionnaire regarding the diagnosis and prevention of osteoporosis was sent to 20,773 dentists in 2016. Those who completed the questionnaire were invited to participate in radiomorphometric training and then to analyze the MCI and MCW of 114 panoramic radiographs of postmenopausal women who underwent both panoramic radiography and bone densitometry. Based on the radiomorphometric indices and while blinded to the densitometry results, the dentists determined whether they would indicate densitometry for these patients. Results: The response rate was 2.3%: 485 dentists completed the questionnaire, and 50 evaluated panoramic radiographs using the MCW and MCI. All of them reported some knowledge about osteoporosis, but 41.6% demonstrated a misleading conceptualization of the disease. Approximately 90% reported minimal access to this information during graduation, and only 27.0% were exposed to the topic during their postgraduate studies. Interest in osteoporosis prevention was expressed by 70.7% of the respondents, and interest in learning the radiomorphometric indices was expressed by 99.0%. The sensitivity in the detection of low bone mineral density through the MCW and MCI was 52.9%, and the specificity was 64%. Conclusions: Brazilian dentists demonstrated insufficient knowledge about osteoporosis and a low ability to detect osteopenia or osteoporosis by applying radiomorphometric indices.
  • Social media use in patients with fibromyalgia and its effect on symptom severity and sleep quality Research

    Külekçioğlu, Sevinç; Çetin, Alp

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: The aim of this study was to evaluate social media use in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and determine the effect of social media use on disease severity and sleep quality. Materials and methods: In total, 205 social media using patients with similar characteristics were included in the study. The study group consisted of 103 patients with FMS, and the control group consisted of 102 patients without FMS. The FMS symptom severity scale and diffuse pain index were used to determine the disease severity in FMS patients, the sleep disorder short form questionnaire (PROMIS) was used to evaluate sleep quality, and the Social Media Addiction Scale-Adult Form was used to evaluate social media addiction. A visual analog scale was applied to evaluate pain in both the patient and control groups, and social media usage times were recorded. Results: We found that pain severity, sleep disturbance and social media addiction were higher in patients with FMS than in the control group, and there was no relationship between the rates of social media use in patients with FMS and the severity and prevalence of the disease. Conclusion: The use of social media is more frequent in patients with FMS, which can motivate healthcare professionals to evaluate social media habits in individuals with FMS.
  • Lung involvement prevalence in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis without known pulmonary disease: a multicentric cross sectional study Research

    Paulin, Francisco; Secco, Anastasia; Benavidez, Federico; Moncalvo, Juan José Rodríguez; Carballo, Orlando Gabriel; Ingenito, Fernanda; Fernández, Martin Eduardo; Cáceres, Agustina; Caro, Fabian; Sasaki, Patricia; Alberti, María Laura; Orausclio, Paola; Riopedre, Augusto; Rossi, Santiago; Vega, María Celina de la

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Clinically evident interstitial lung disease (ILD) affects between 10 and 42% of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Airway involvement seems to be even more common. Most of the available evidence comes from studies performed in established RA patients. The aim of our study was to know the prevalence of non-diagnosed lung disease (airway and interstitial involvement) in patients with early RA and look for associated factors. Methods: We designed an observational, multicenter, cross-sectional study, and included patients with RA of less than two years since diagnosis. We performed a structured questionnaire, HRCT and lung functional tests looking for lung disease, together with joint disease evaluation. We analyzed which variables were associated with the presence of lung disease on HRCT. Results: We included 83 patients, 83% females. The median (IQR) of time since RA diagnosis was 3 (1–6) months. In the HRCT, 57 patients had airway compromisea (72%), and 6 had interstitial abnormalities (7.5%). The most common altertion found in lung functional tests was a reduced DLCO (14%). The presence of at least one abnormality in the physical exam was associated with lung involvement on HRCT [13 (21.6%) vs 0 (0%); p = 0.026]. Also, patients with lung involvement presented significantly lower values of FVC% and DLCO%, and higher values of RV/TLC. No variable related to joint involvement was found associated with alterations in HRCT. Conclusion: Our study shows that a large proportion of early RA patients has abnormal findings in HRCT. Further studies are required to confirm these findings.
  • Assessment of gait in patients with fibromyalgia during motor and cognitive dual task walking: a cross-sectional study Research

    Radunović, Goran; Veličković, Zoran; Rašić, Melanija; Janjić, Saša; Marković, Vladana; Radovanović, Saša

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: The aim of the study was to assess gait pattern of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia (FM) while performing demanding motor and/or cognitive dual tasks while walking. Further, idea was to explore possible correlations of dual task gait pattern alterations to patients’ functional status and presence or absence of clinical symptoms associated with FM. Methods: Twenty-four female FM patients and 24 healthy female subjects performed a basic walking task, a dual motor, a dual mental (cognitive) and a combined, dual motor and cognitive task simultaneously. Quantitative spatial (stride length) and temporal (cycle time, swing time and double support time) gait parameters were measured using GAITRite walkway system and their variability was assessed. Patients underwent clinical examination including assessment of functional status, pain and fatigue level, psychiatric and cognitive manifestations. Results: The motor, cognitive and combined dual tasks affect gait performance in FM patients. Difference in tasks between FM and healthy subjects was found as double support time prolongation. Comparison of tasks showing that cycle time in FM was longer than controls and stride length was shorter in patients for all conditions, while no changes were found in any of the gait parameters variability. Further, mental/cognitive dual tasks had a larger effect than motor tasks. Correlations were also found between depression and functional status of the patients and the gait parameters. Conclusion: Gait is affected in FM patients while dual task walking. No changes in stride-to-stride variability point that patients preserve stability in complex walking situations. Analysis of gait may provide additional information for the FM identification based on presence of clinical features and cognitive status. Correlation of dual task gait alterations with occurrence of clinical symptoms and influence of cognitive changes on gait pattern could additionally define FM subgroups.
  • Predictors of response to etanercept-methotrexate treatment: a post hoc logistic regression analysis of a randomized, open-label study in Latin American patients with rheumatoid arthritis Research

    Vega, Maria de la; Bautista, Generoso Guerra; Xavier, Ricardo Machado; Pacheco-Tena, César; Solano, Gastón; Pedersen, Ronald D.; Szumski, Annette Eva; Borlenghi, Cecilia; Santana, Karina; Vlahos, Bonnie

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Determining potential predictors of clinical response would allow a more personalized rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment approach in heterogeneous populations such as Latin American (LA) patients. Methods: Post hoc analysis to identify baseline characteristics predictive of clinical remission in response to treatment with etanercept (ETN) plus methotrexate (MTX) in LA patients with moderate to severe MTX-resistant RA. We report data from the group of patients who received ETN 50 mg/week plus MTX (ETN + MTX, n = 281) in a clinical trial consisting of an initial 24-week open-label phase, followed by a 104-week extension. Remission was defined as 28-joint Disease Activity Score with erythrocyte sedimentation rate (DAS28-ESR) score < 2.6. Cutoff values to dichotomize baseline variables maximizing the detection of remission were obtained from Receiver Operator Curve analyses. Baseline dichotomized and categorical variables were analyzed altogether in a stepwise logistic regression model. Odds of attaining response at Weeks 24 and 128 were estimated for each significant predictor. Results: At Week 24 and Week 128, 27% (66/241) and 42% (91/219) of patients in the ETN + MTX group achieved remission. On average, patients achieving remission were younger and had lower baseline ESR, lower Physician Global Assessment (PGA) scores, lower total Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ) scores, and lower visual analog scale (VAS) Pain scores compared with patients who did not achieve remission. The best subset of baseline variables predicting Week 24 remission in the stepwise regression model were age ≤ 49 years (odds ratio [OR] 2.93), body mass index (BMI) > 28.5 kg/m2 (OR 3.24), disease duration > 3.7 years (OR 2.22), ESR ≤ 42 mm/h (OR 2.72), PGA ≤ 6 (OR 3.21), tender joint count ≤ 14 (OR 2.25), and total HAQ score ≤ 1.6 (OR 2.86). At Week 128, age ≤ 42 years (OR 2.21), SF-36 Mental Health Scale score > 39.6 (OR 2.16), White race (OR 4.07), > 18 swollen joints (OR 2.11), and VAS Pain ≤ 41 (OR 6.05) at baseline were the best subset of significant predictors of remission. Conclusions: In LA patients with RA, younger age, higher BMI, longer disease duration, higher SF-36 Mental Health Scale score, higher swollen joint count, and overall lower disease activity predicted clinical response to ETN + MTX therapy. Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT00848354.
  • Functioning in the fibromyalgia syndrome: validity and reliability of the WHODAS 2.0 Research

    Barreto, Marina Carvalho Arruda; Moraleida, Fabianna Resende Jesus; Graminha, Cristiane Vitaliano; Leite, Camila Ferreira; Castro, Shamyr Sulyvan; Nunes, Ana Carla Lima

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is both a challenging and disabling condition. The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) classifies FMS as chronic primary pain, and it can negatively impact individuals’ functioning including social, psychological, physical and work-related factors. Notably, while guidelines recommend a biopsychosocial approach for managing chronic pain conditions, FMS assessment remains clinical. The WHODAS 2.0 is a unified scale to measure disability in the light of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Thus, this study aimed to evaluate the reliability and validity of the Brazilian version of WHODAS 2.0 for use in individuals with FMS. Methods: Methodological study of the validity and reliability of the Brazilian version of the 36-item WHODAS 2.0 with 110 individuals with FMS. The instrument gives a score from 0 to 100, the higher the value, the worse the level of functioning. We assessed participants with Medical Outcomes Study 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36) (0–100), Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire (FIQ) (0–10) and Beck Depression Inventory instrument (BDI) (0–63). The construct validity, internal consistency, and test–retest stability. We used SF-36, FIQ and BDI to study construct validity analysis. For statistical analysis, we performed the intraclass correlation (ICC), Spearman correlation, and Cronbach's alpha, with a statistical level of 5%. Results: Most participants were female (92.27%), aged 45 (± 15) years. The test–retest reliability analysis (n = 50) showed stability of the instrument (ICC = 0.54; ρ = 0.84, p < 0.05). The test–retest correlation between the domains was moderate to strong (ρ > 0.58 and < 0.90). Internal consistency was satisfactory for total WHODAS 2.0 (0.91) and also for domains, ranging from 0.44 to 0.81. The construct validity showed satisfactory values with all moderately correlated with WHODAS 2.0 instruments (> 0.46 and < 0.64; p < 0.05). WHODAS 2.0 evaluates the functioning encompassing components of health-related quality of life, functional impact, and depressive symptoms in those with FMS. Conclusions: WHODAS 2.0 is a reliable and valid instrument to evaluate functioning of Brazilians with FMS. It provides reliable information on individuals’ health through of a multidimensional perspective, that allows for individual-centered care.
  • Attitudes of patients with a rheumatic disease on drug use in the COVID-19 pandemic Research

    Coskun, Belkis Nihan; Yagiz, Burcu; Pehlivan, Yavuz; Dalkilic, Ediz

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Anti-rheumatic drugs can increase the predisposition to infection, and patients may be unaware of continuing their treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic. Objective: This study aimed to assess whether patients maintain their treatment for rheumatic conditions during the pandemic period and determine the factors responsible for discontinuation. Methods: Patients were randomly selected from the prospectively collected database of our tertiary referral center. The patients were interviewed by telephone through a standardized closed-ended questionnaire, which is targeting the continuity of the treatment plan and the considerations related to the individual choice. The patients were asked whether they hesitated to visit the hospital for follow-up or intravenous drug administration. Results: A total of 278 patients completed the questionnaire. While 62 of the patients (22.3%) had reduced or interrupted the treatment, only 11 patients (3.9%) stopped the treatment completely. A significant difference was observed between the duration of illness and the discontinuation of treatment. (p = 0.023) There was a significant difference in disease activity between the group that stopped treatment and continued treatment. (p = 0.001) There was no statistically significant difference in other demographic characteristics. One hundred thirty-five patients (48.6%) made the treatment decision by themselves, and 80% continued the treatment. Reasons for stopping the treatment were anxiety (48.4%), not being able to go to the hospital for intravenous treatment (45.1%), and not being able to find the drug (6.5%). Conclusion: Since patients with long-term illnesses were found to be significantly more likely to stop their treatment, this group of patients should be monitored.
  • Depression is associated with increased disease activity and higher disability in a large Italian cohort of patients with rheumatoid arthritis Research

    Pezzato, Sara; Bonetto, Chiara; Caimmi, Cristian; Tomassi, Simona; Montanari, Ilaria; Gnatta, Maria Giulia; Fracassi, Elena; Cristofalo, Doriana; Rossini, Maurizio; Carletto, Antonio; Tosato, Sarah

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Introduction: Depression is a quite common comorbidity in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and is thought to influence its severity. This study aims to estimate, in a large cohort of Italian patients with RA, the prevalence of depression and to investigate the clinical correlates of depression in terms of disease activity and disability. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study enrolling 490 outpatients with RA (80% female, mean age 59.5). The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) was used to assess the presence of depression with a cut-off of 11. We collected data about disease activity and disability with DAS28, TJC-68, PhGA, PGA, VAS, DAS28, SDAI, CDAI and HAQ. Results: Prevalence of depression was 14.3% (95% CI: 11-17%). Depressed patients, when compared with not depressed ones, were found to have higher scores for TJC-68 ( p = 0.011), PhGA ( p = 0.001), PGA ( p = 0.001), VAS ( p = 0.001), DAS28 ( p = 0.007), SDAI ( p = 0.001), CDAI ( p = 0.001) and HAQ ( p = 0.001). Out of the 70 depressed patients, 30 subjects, already known to be depressed in the past, were still depressed at the time of the assessment, with only 11 (15.7%) under antidepressants. A multivariate analysis showed that male sex, higher PGA score, use of antidepressants and higher HAQ score were significantly associated with an increased risk of depression. Conclusions: Our study shows that depression is common in RA and may affect its activity mainly via an alteration in the perception of the disease. Although its important implications, depression is still under-diagnosed and its management is inadequate.
  • Association of TNFSF4 polymorphisms with systemic lupus erythematosus: a meta-analysis Research

    Fu, Yu; Lin, Qing; Zhang, Zhi-rong

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Objective: To more precisely estimate the association between the tumor necrosis factor ligand superfamily member 4 (TNFSF4) gene polymorphisms and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) susceptibility, we performed a metaanalysis on the association of the following single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of TNFSF4 with SLE: rs1234315, rs844648, rs2205960, rs704840, rs844644, rs10489265. Methods: A literature-based search was conducted using PubMed, MEDLINE, Embase, Web of Science databases, and Cochrane Library databases to identify all relevant studies. And the association of TNFSF4 gene polymorphisms and SLE susceptibility was evaluated by pooled odds ratio (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI). Results: The meta-analysis produced overall OR of 1.42 (95% CI 1.36-1.49, P < 0.00001), 1.41 (95% CI 1.36-1.46, P < 0.00001) and 1.34 (95% CI 1.26-1.42, P < 0.00001) for the rs2205960, rs1234315 and rs704840 polymorphisms respectively, confirming these three SNPs confer a significant risk for the development of SLE. On the other hand, the meta-analysis produced overall OR of 0.92 (95% CI 0.70-1.21, P = 0.54) for the rs844644 polymorphism, suggesting no significant association. And no association was also found between either rs844648 1.11 (OR 1.11, 95% CI 0.86-1.43, P = 0.41) or rs10489265 (OR 1.17,95% CI 0.94-1.47, P = 0.17) polymorphism with SLE susceptibility, respectively. Conclusions: Our meta-analysis demonstrated that the TNFSF4 rs2205960, rs1234315 and rs844840 SNPs was significantly associated with an increased risk of SLE.
  • Chronic use of hydroxychloroquine did not protect against COVID-19 in a large cohort of patients with rheumatic diseases in Brazil Research

    Pileggi, Gecilmara Salviato; Ferreira, Gilda Aparecida; Gomides Reis, Ana Paula Monteiro; Reis Neto, Edgard Torres; Abreu, Mirhelen Mendes; Albuquerque, Cleandro Pires; Araújo, Nafice Costa; Bacchiega, Ana Beatriz; Bianchi, Dante Valdetaro; Bica, Blanca; Bonfa, Eloisa Duarte; Borba, Eduardo Ferreira; Brito, Danielle Christinne Soares Egypto; Duarte, Ângela Luzia Branco Pinto; Santo, Rafaela Cavalheiro Espírito; Fernandes, Paula Reale; Guimarães, Mariana Peixoto; Gomes, Kirla Wagner Poti; Kakehasi, Adriana Maria; Klumb, Evandro Mendes; Lanna, Cristina Costa Duarte; Marques, Claudia Diniz Lopes; Monticielo, Odirlei André; Mota, Licia Maria Henrique; Munhoz, Gabriela Araújo; Paiva, Eduardo Santos; Pereira, Helena Lucia Alves; Provenza, José Roberto; Ribeiro, Sandra Lucia Euzébio; Rocha Junior, Laurindo Ferreira; Sampaio, Camila Santana Justo Cintra; Sampaio, Vanderson Souza; Sato, Emília Inoue; Skare, Thelma; de Souza, Viviane Angelina; Valim, Valeria; Lacerda, Marcus Vinícius Guimarães; Xavier, Ricardo Machado; Pinheiro, Marcelo Medeiros

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: There is a lack of information on the role of chronic use of hydroxychloroquine during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak. Our aim was to compare the occurrence of COVID-19 between rheumatic disease patients on hydroxychloroquine with individuals from the same household not taking the drug during the first 8 weeks of community viral transmission in Brazil. Methods: This baseline cross-sectional analysis is part of a 24-week observational multi-center study involving 22 Brazilian academic outpatient centers. All information regarding COVID-19 symptoms, epidemiological, clinical, and demographic data were recorded on a specific web-based platform using telephone calls from physicians and medical students. COVID-19 was defined according to the Brazilian Ministry of Health (BMH) criteria. Mann-Whitney, Chi-square and Exact Fisher tests were used for statistical analysis and two binary Final Logistic Regression Model by Wald test were developed using a backward-stepwise method for the presence of COVID-19. Results: From March 29th to May 17st, 2020, a total of 10,443 participants were enrolled, including 5166 (53.9%) rheumatic disease patients, of whom 82.5% had systemic erythematosus lupus, 7.8% rheumatoid arthritis, 3.7% Sjögren’s syndrome and 0.8% systemic sclerosis. In total, 1822 (19.1%) participants reported flu symptoms within the 30 days prior to enrollment, of which 3.1% fulfilled the BMH criteria, but with no significant difference between rheumatic disease patients (4.03%) and controls (3.25%). After adjustments for multiple confounders, the main risk factor significantly associated with a COVID-19 diagnosis was lung disease (OR 1.63; 95% CI 1.03-2.58); and for rheumatic disease patients were diagnosis of systemic sclerosis (OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.19-6.63) and glucocorticoids above 10 mg/ day (OR 2.05; 95% CI 1.31-3.19). In addition, a recent influenza vaccination had a protective effect (OR 0.674; 95% CI 0.46-0.98). Conclusion: Patients with rheumatic disease on hydroxychloroquine presented a similar occurrence of COVID-19 to household cohabitants, suggesting a lack of any protective role against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Trial registration Brazilian Registry of Clinical Trials (ReBEC; RBR - 9KTWX6).
  • Translation and cross-cultural adaptation of “Trapeziometacarpal Arthrosis Symptoms and Disability—TASD” into Brazilian Portuguese Research

    Almeida, Vinícius Alexandre de Souza; Fernandes, Carlos Henrique; Meireles, Lia Miyamoto; Faloppa, Flavio; Ejnisman, Benno; Cohen, Moises

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Osteoarthritis is the most common form of hand arthritis and arthritis of the carpometacarpal joint of the thumb is a potentially limiting disease. There is no homogeneity in the evaluation of outcomes for the rhizarthrosis treatment. In an attempt to standardize the evaluation of results, some subjective questionnaires, non-specific, were used to evaluate rhizarthrosis. Trapeziometacarpal Arthrosis Symptoms and Disability (TASD) was described by Becker et al.with the purpose of evaluating symptom intensity and degree of disability, as to compare results after treatment. Our objective is to translate, validate and do the cultural adaptation of the questionnaire TASD into the Brazilian Portuguese. Methods: The questionnaire was translated, with reverse translation. The translations were evaluated and synthesized by a committee, arriving at TASD-BR. Thirty-one patients with a diagnosis of rhizarthrosis answered the questionnaire. We evaluated, the internal consistency, reliability, agreement and ceiling and floor effect for validation. Results: The questionnaires were translated and adapted according to defined protocols. The internal consistency, through Cronbach's α coefficient for TASD-BR, was 0.927. The questionnaire's reliability, through the Intraclass Correlation Coefficient, was also shown to be quite high, with κ = 0.961 (0.954–0.967). The agreement, measured through the Standard Error Measurement, remained with standardized values below 5%. There was no ceiling and floor effect. Conclusion: Through specific methodology we consider TASD-BR translated and valid for the Brazilian Portuguese.
  • Effects of photobiomodulation and a physical exercise program on the expression of inflammatory and cartilage degradation biomarkers and functional capacity in women with knee osteoarthritis: a randomized blinded study Research

    Vassão, Patricia Gabrielli; Souza, Ana Carolina Flygare de; Campos, Raquel Munhoz da Silveira; Garcia, Livia Assis; Tucci, Helga Tatiana; Renno, Ana Claudia Muniz

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: The knee osteoarthritis (OA) is a joint disease characterized by degradation of articular cartilage that leads to chronic inflammation. Exercise programs and photobiomodulation (PBM) are capable of modulating the inflammatory process of minimizing functional disability related to knee OA. However, their association on the concentration of biomarkers related to OA development has not been studied yet. The aim of the present study is to investigate the effects of PBM (via cluster) with a physical exercise program in functional capacity, serum inflammatory and cartilage degradation biomarkers in patients with knee OA. Methods: Forty-two patients were randomly allocated in 3 groups: ESP: exercise + sham PBM; EAP: exercise + PBM and CG: control group. Six patients were excluded before finished the experimental period. The analyzed outcomes in baseline and 8-week were: the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis (WOMAC) and the evaluation of serum biomarkers concentration (IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10 e TNF-α, and CTX-II). Results: An increase in the functional capacity was observed in the WOMAC total score for both treated groups (p < 0.001) and ESP presents a lower value compared to CG (p < 0.05) the 8-week post-treatment. In addition, there was a significant increase in IL-10 concentration of EAP (p < 0.05) and higher value compared to CG (p < 0.001) the 8-week post-treatment. Moreover, an increase in IL-1β concentration was observed for CG (p < 0.05). No other difference was observed comparing the other groups. Conclusion: Our data suggest that the physical exercise therapy could be a strategy for increasing functional capacity and in association with PBM for increasing IL-10 levels in OA knee individuals. Trial registration: ReBEC (RBR-7t6nzr).
  • The effect of rehabilitation protocol using mobile health in overweight and obese patients with knee osteoarthritis: a clinical trial Research

    Rafiq, Muhammad Tariq; Hamid, Mohamad Shariff Abdul; Hafiz, Eliza

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Objective: The objective of this randomized controlled trial (RCT) was to investigate the effectiveness of the lower limb rehabilitation protocol (LLRP) combined with mobile health (mHealth) applications on knee pain, mobility, functional activity and activities of daily living (ADL) among knee osteoarthritis (OA) patients who were overweight and obese. Methods: This study was a single-blind, RCT conducted at Teaching Bay of Rehmatul-Lil-Alameen Post Graduate Institute of Cardiology between February and November 2020. 114 knee OA patients who were overweight and obese were randomly divided by a computer-generated number into the rehabilitation group with mHealth (RGw-mHealth) to receive LLRP + instructions of daily care (IDC) combined with mHealth intervention, rehabilitation group without mHealth (RGwo-mHealth) to receive LLRP + IDC intervention and control group (CG) to receive IDC intervention. All three groups were also provided leaflets explaining about their intervention. The primary outcome measure was knee pain measured by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index score. The secondary outcome measures were mobility measured by the Timed up and go (TUG) test, functional activity measured by the patient-specific functional scale (PSFS), and ADL measured by the Katz Index of independence in ADL scores. Results: Among the 114 patients who were randomized (mean age, 53 years), 96 (84%) completed the trial. After 3-months of intervention, patients in all three groups had statistically significant knee pain reduction (RGw-mHealth: 2.54; RGwo-mHealth: 1.47; and CG: 0.37) within groups ( P < 0.05). Furthermore, patients in the RGw-mHealth and RGwo-mHealth had statistically significant improvement in mobility, functional activity, and ADL within groups ( P < 0.05), but no improvement was noted in the CG ( p > 0.05). As indicated in the overall analysis of covariance, there were statistically significant differences in the mean knee pain, mobility, functional activity, and ADL changes between groups after 3-months ( p < 0.001). The pairwise between-group comparisons (Bonferroni post hoc analysis) of the knee pain, mobility, functional activity, and ADL scores at 3-months revealed that patients in the RGw-mHealth had significantly higher mean change in the knee pain, TUG test, functional activity, and ADL scores compared to patients in the RGwo-mHealth or CG. Conclusion: Reduction in knee pain, improvement in mobility, functional activity, and ADL were more among patients in the RGw-mHealth compared with the RGwo-mHealth or CG. Trial registration National Medical Research Registry: NMRR-20-1094-52911. Date of registration: 05-05-2020. URL: https://www.nmrr.gov.my.
  • Clinical and laboratory characteristics of Brazilian versus non-Brazilian primary antiphospholipid syndrome patients in AntiPhospholipid Syndrome Alliance for Clinical Trials and InternatiOnal Networking (APS ACTION) clinical database and repository Research

    Lopes, Erivelton de Azevedo; Balbi, Gustavo Guimarães Moreira; Tektonidou, Maria G.; Pengo, Vittorio; Sciascia, Savino; Ugarte, Amaia; Belmont, H. Michael; Gerosa, Maria; Fortin, Paul R.; Lopez-Pedrera, Chary; Ji, Lanlan; Cohen, Hannah; Jesús, Guilherme Ramires de; Branch, D. Ware; Nalli, Cecilia; Petri, Michelle; Rodriguez, Esther; Kello, Nina; Ríos-Garcés, Roberto; Knight, Jason S.; Atsumi, Tatsuya; Willis, Rohan; Bertolaccini, Maria Laura; Erkan, Doruk; Andrade, Danieli; ,

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) is characterized by episodes of thrombosis, obstetric morbidity or both, associated with persistently positive antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL). Studying the profile of a rare disease in an admixed population is important as it can provide new insights for understanding an autoimmune disease. In this sense of miscegenation, Brazil is characterized by one of the most heterogeneous populations in the world, which is the result of five centuries of interethnic crosses of people from three continents. The objective of this study was to compare the clinical and laboratory characteristics of Brazilian vs. non-Brazilian primary antiphospholipid syndrome (PAPS) patients. Methods: We classified PAPS patients into 2 groups: Brazilian PAPS patients (BPAPS) and PAPS patients from other countries (non-BPAPS). They were compared regarding demographic characteristics, criteria and non-criteria APS manifestations, antiphospholipid antibody (aPL) profile, and the adjusted Global Antiphospholipid Syndrome Score (aGAPSS). Results: We included 415 PAPS patients (88 [21%] BPAPS and 327 [79%] non-BPAPS). Brazilian patients were significantly younger, more frequently female, sedentary, obese, non-white, and had a higher frequency of livedo (25% vs. 10%, p < 0.001), cognitive dysfunction (21% vs. 8%, p = 0.001) and seizures (16% vs. 7%, p = 0.007), and a lower frequency of thrombocytopenia (9% vs. 18%, p = 0.037). Additionally, they were more frequently positive for lupus anticoagulant (87.5% vs. 74.6%, p = 0.01), and less frequently positive to anticardiolipin (46.6% vs. 73.7%, p < 0.001) and anti-ß2-glycoprotein-I (13.6% vs. 62.7%, p < 0.001) antibodies. Triple aPL positivity was also less frequent (8% vs. 41.6%, p < 0.001) in Brazilian patients. Median aGAPSS was lower in the Brazilian group (8 vs. 10, p < 0.0001). In the multivariate analysis, BPAPS patients still presented more frequently with livedo, cognitive dysfunction and sedentary lifestyle, and less frequently with thrombocytopenia and triple positivity to aPL. They were also less often white. Conclusions: Our study suggests a specific profile of PAPS in Brazil with higher frequency of selected non-criteria manifestations and lupus anticoagulant positivity. Lupus anticoagulant (not triple positivity) was the major aPL predictor of a classification criteria event.
  • Factors associated with anxiety and depression in rheumatoid arthritis patients: a cross-sectional study Research

    Uda, Miyabi; Hashimoto, Motomu; Uozumi, Ryuji; Torii, Mie; Fujii, Takao; Tanaka, Masao; Furu, Moritoshi; Ito, Hiromu; Terao, Chikashi; Yamamoto, Wataru; Sugihara, Genichi; Nakagami, Yukako; Mimori, Tsuneyo; Nin, Kazuko

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: The management of anxiety and depression symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients is vital. Previous study findings on this topic are conflicting, and the topic remains to be thoroughly investigated. This study aimed to clarify the association of RA disease activity with anxiety and depression symptoms after controlling for physical disability, pain, and medication. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of RA patients from the XXX Rheumatoid Arthritis Management Alliance cohort. We assessed patients using the Disease Activity Score (DAS28), Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI), and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS). Anxiety and depression symptoms were defined by a HADS score ≥ 8. We analyzed the data using multivariable logistic regression analyses. Results: Of 517 participants, 17.6% had anxiety symptoms and 27.7% had depression symptoms. The multivariable logistic regression analysis demonstrated that DAS28 was not independently associated with anxiety symptoms (odds ratio [OR] [95% confidence interval; CI] 0.93 [0.48–1.78]; p = 0.82) and depression symptoms (OR [95% CI] 1.45 [0.81–2.61]; p = 0.22). However, DAS28 patient global assessment (PtGA) severity was associated with anxiety symptoms (OR [95% CI] 1.15 [1.02–1.29]; p = 0.03) and depression symptoms (OR [95% CI] 1.21 [1.09–1.35]; p < 0.01). Additionally, HAQ-DI scores ≤ 0.5 were associated with anxiety symptoms (OR [95% CI] 3.51 [1.85–6.64]; p < 0.01) and depression symptoms (OR [95% CI] 2.65 [1.56–4.50]; p < 0.01). Patients using steroids were more likely to have depression than those not using steroids (OR [95% CI] 1.66 [1.03–2.67]; p = 0.04). Conclusions: No association was found between RA disease activity and anxiety and depression symptoms in the multivariable logistic regression analysis. Patients with high PtGA scores or HAQ-DI scores ≤ 0.5 were more likely to experience anxiety and depression symptoms, irrespective of disease activity remission status. Rather than focusing solely on controlling disease activity, treatment should focus on improving or preserving physical function and the patient's overall sense of well-being.
  • Neuropathic pain in knee osteoarthritis Research

    Demir, Uğur Güngör; Demir, Ali Nail; Toraman, Naciye Füsun

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the neuropathic pain in knee osteoarthritis with the body composition, anthropometric and postural features, physical function, and quality of life. Methods: Patients with primary knee osteoarthritis, 50–70 years of age, were included in the study and divided into Group 1 with neuropathic pain and Group 2 with no neuropathic pain according to Douleur Neuropathique-4. The groups were compared in terms of demographic, clinical, radiological, laboratory findings and anthropometric measurements, body composition, physical function tests, osteoarthritis severity, quality of life, and posturography. Results: 200 patients were included in the study. 98 (82.6% female) were in Group 1 and 102 (74.5% female) in Group 2. Age was higher in Group 1 compared to Group 2 [61 (50–70) and 57.5 (50–70), respectively, p= 0.03]. Symptom duration was also longer in Group 1 (5.21 ± 4.76 and 3.38 ± 3.58, p= 0.002). Body mass indices were 31.9 ± 5.6 and 30.1 ± 4.8 (p= 0.015). Kellgren–Lawrence class, Western Ontario and McMaster Osteoarthritis Index and Short Form-36 scores were more unfavorable in Group 1. Although fall risk was similar, stability and Fourier harmony indices were impaired in Group 1 compared to Group 2 especially when the visual and proprioceptive input was blocked. Conclusions: Almost half of the patients with knee osteoarthritis had neuropathic pain which was associated with longer symptom duration and higher age, lower education, higher body mass index, more severe radilogical findings, worse pain perception, lower physical function and quality of life, and lower stability.
  • Correlation and agreement between physical and ultrasound examination after a training session dedicated to the standardization of synovitis assessment in rheumatoid arthritis patients Research

    Quintana-López, Gerardo; Maldonado-Cañón, Kevin; Flórez-Suárez, Jorge Bruce; Méndez-Patarroyo, Paul; Coral-Alvarado, Paola; Calvo, Enrique

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Objectives: Assessing disease activity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients requires comprehensive quantification of tender and swollen joints. We aimed to evaluate the correlation and agreement between rheumatologists after a training session dedicated to the standardization of synovitis assessment and compare its performance with a reference imaging modality such as musculoskeletal ultrasonography (MSUS). Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a total of 28 and 10 joints in RA patients were evaluated by physical examination and ultrasound (US), respectively. After participating in a training session, individual joint assessment for tenderness and swelling was performed by three rheumatologists. MSUS examination was performed separately by an experimented radiologist in a standardized manner, evaluating findings according to the Outcome Measures in Rheumatology Clinical Trial (OMERACT) guidelines. Results: A total of 80 RA patients were included, with a mean Disease Activity Score based on 28 joints (DAS28)-ESR of 4.02. The interobserver overall agreement and concordance rate in a total of 2240 joints assessed was 81.7% (k = 0.449, p < 0.0001) for tender joints and 66% (k = 0.227, p < 0.0001) for swollen joints. The overall concordance rate was fair (Fleiss’ kappa = 0.21, p = 0.027) with an overall agreement of 67.18% yet, more joints were found to be swollen by the US assessment, compared to the physical examination (43% vs 39%). Conclusion: In our study population, joint tenderness showed better interobserver agreement, correlation, and concordance rate than joint swelling. When comparing the US assessment to the physical examination, a fair overall concordance rate supports the need for the implementation of training sessions dedicated to standardization in rheumatology clinics.
  • Performance of 4 methods for screening of latent tuberculosis infection in patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis under TNFα inhibitors: a 24-month prospective study Research

    Gomes, Carina M. F.; Terreri, Maria Teresa; Moraes-Pinto, Maria Isabel; Pinheiro, Marcelo M.

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: The reactivation rate of tuberculosis in patients with chronic inflammatory arthritis (CIA) on TNFα inhibitors (TNFi) and baseline negative screening for latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) is higher than in the general population. Aim: To compare the performance of tuberculin skin test (TST), TST-Booster, ELISPOT (T-SPOT.TB) and QuantiFERON-TB Gold in tube (QFT-IT) to detect LTBI in patients with CIA on TNFi. Patients and methods: A total of 102 patients with CIA [rheumatoid arthritis (RA), n = 40; ankylosing spondylitis (AS), n = 35; psoriatic arthritis (PsA), n = 7; and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), n = 20] were prospectively followed-up for 24 months to identify incident LTBI cases. Epidemiologic data, TST, T-SPOT.TB, QFT-IT and a chest X-ray were performed at baseline and after 6 months of LTBI treatment. Results: Thirty six percent (37/102) of patients had positive TST or Interferon Gamma Release Assays (IGRAs) tests. Agreement among TST and IGRAs was moderate (k = 0.475; p = 0.001), but high between T-SPOT.TB and QFT-IT (k=0.785; p < 0.001). During the 24-Month follow-up, 15 (18.5%) incident cases of LTBI were identified. In comparison to TST, the IGRAs increased the LTBI diagnosis power in 8.5% (95% CI 3.16-17.49). TST-Booster did not add any value in patients with negative TST at baseline. After 6-Month isoniazid therapy, IGRAs results did not change significantly. Conclusions: Almost 20% of CIA patients had some evidence of LTBI, suggesting higher conversion rate after exposition to TNFi. TST was effective in identifying new cases of LTBI, but IGRAs added diagnostic power in this scenario. Our findings did not support the repetition of IGRAs after 6-Month isoniazid therapy and this approach was effective to mitigate active TB in 2 years of follow-up.
  • Cardiovascular risk assessment using ASCVD risk score in fibromyalgia: a single-centre, retrospective study using “traditional” case control methodology and “novel” machine learning Research

    Surendran, Sandeep; Mithun, C. B.; Moni, Merlin; Tiwari, Arun; Pradeep, Manu

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: In autoimmune inflammatory rheumatological diseases, routine cardiovascular risk assessment is becoming more important. As an increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk is recognized in patients with fibromyalgia (FM), a combination of traditional CVD risk assessment tool with Machine Learning (ML) predictive model could help to identify non-traditional CVD risk factors. Methods: This study was a retrospective case–control study conducted at a quaternary care center in India. Female patients diagnosed with FM as per 2016 modified American College of Rheumatology 2010/2011 diagnostic criteria were enrolled; healthy age and gender-matched controls were obtained from Non-communicable disease Initiatives and Research at AMrita (NIRAM) study database. Firstly, FM cases and healthy controls were age-stratified into three categories of 18-39 years, 40-59 years, and ≥ 60 years. A 10 year and lifetime CVD risk was calculated in both cases and controls using the ASCVD calculator. Pearson chi-square test and Fisher’s exact were used to compare the ASCVD risk scores of FM patients and controls across the age categories. Secondly, ML predictive models of CVD risk in FM patients were developed. A random forest algorithm was used to develop the predictive models with ASCVD 10 years and lifetime risk as target measures. Model predictive accuracy of the ML models was assessed by accuracy, fl-score, and Area Under ‘receiver operating Curve’ (AUC). From the final predictive models, we assessed risk factors that had the highest weightage for CVD risk in FM. Results: A total of 139 FM cases and 1820 controls were enrolled in the study. FM patients in the age group 40-59 years had increased lifetime CVD risk compared to the control group (OR = 1.56, p = 0.043). However, CVD risk was not associated with FM disease severity and disease duration as per the conventional statistical analysis. ML model for 10-year ASCVD risk had an accuracy of 95% with an f1-score of 0.67 and AUC of 0.825. ML model for the lifetime ASCVD risk had an accuracy of 72% with an f1-score of 0.79 and AUC of 0.713. In addition to the traditional risk factors for CVD, FM disease severity parameters were important contributors in the ML predictive models. Conclusion: FM patients of the 40-59 years age group had increased lifetime CVD risk in our study. Although FM disease severity was not associated with high CVD risk as per the conventional statistical analysis of the data, it was among the highest contributor to ML predictive model for CVD risk in FM patients. This also highlights that ML can potentially help to bridge the gap of non-linear risk factor identification.
  • Cardiac magnetic resonance imaging in patients with Behçet’s disease Research

    Ahmed, Ali A.; Tharwat, Samar; Batouty, Nihal M.; Bahy, Ahmed El; Tawfik, Ahmed M.; Shahin, Dina A.

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Behçet’s disease (BD) is a multisystemic vasculitis that may affect the heart. However, the incidence and nature of cardiac involvement in BD have not been clearly documented yet. The aim of this study was to delineate the cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) appearances of cardiac involvement in BD patients. Methods: This cross-sectional observational study was carried out 30 BD patients without known cardiac disease. Patients were subjected to history taking, physical examination, echocardiography and cardiac MRI. Results: At least one abnormality on cardiac MRI was observed in 20/30 patients (66.67%). Myocardial oedema was observed in 3 patients (10%) and late gadolinium enhancement in 1 patient (3.3%). Pericardial effusion was found in 3 patients (10.0%), global hypokinesia in 6 patients (20.0%) and intra-cardiac thrombosis in only 1 patient (3.3%). Pulmonary artery was dilated in 4 patients (13.3%). Left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) end diastolic volume were altered in 4 patients (13.3%) and 7 patients (23.3%) respectively. LV and RV end systolic volume were abnormal in 7 patients (23.3%) and 5 patients (16.7%) respectively. There was aortic valve regurge in 2 patients (6.7%), tricuspid valve regurge in 9 patients (30%), and mitral valve regurge in 9 patients (30%). Dilated left main coronary artery was found in 2 patients (6.7%) and arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia in only one patient 1 patient (3.3%). On logistic regression analysis, BD activity index score was a significant predictor of cardiac abnormalities. Conclusion: BD may cause cardiac abnormalities without clinical manifestations and cardiac MRI may represent a tool for early detection of these subtle abnormalities. Higher BD activity index scores are strongly linked to cardiac problems.
  • Brazilian recommendations for the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in patients with axial spondyloarthritis Position Article And Guidelines

    Lage, Ricardo da Cruz; Marques, Claudia Diniz Lopes; Oliveira, Thauana Luiza; Resende, Gustavo Gomes; Kohem, Charles Lubianca; Saad, Carla Gonçalves; Ximenes, Antônio Carlos; Gonçalves, Célio Roberto; Bianchi, Washington Alves; Meirelles, Eduardo de Souza; Keiserman, Mauro Waldemar; Chiereghin, Adriano; Campanholo, Cristiano Barbosa; Lyrio, André Marun; Schainberg, Cláudia Goldenstein; Pieruccetti, Lenise Brandao; Yazbek, Michel Alexandre; Palominos, Penelope Esther; Goncalves, Rafaela Silva Guimarães; Assad, Rodrigo Luppino; Bonfiglioli, Rubens; Lima, Sônia Maria Alvarenga Anti Loduca; Carneiro, Sueli; Azevedo, Valderílio Feijó; Albuquerque, Cleandro Pires; Bernardo, Wanderley Marques; Sampaio-Barros, Percival Degrava; Pinheiro, Marcelo de Medeiros

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Spondyloarthritis (SpA) is a group of chronic inflammatory systemic diseases characterized by axial and/or peripheral joints inflammation, as well as extra-articular manifestations. Over some decades, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have been the basis for the pharmacological treatment of patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA). However, the emergence of the immunobiologic agents brought up the discussion about the role of NSAIDs in the management of these patients. The objective of this guideline is to provide recommendations for the use of NSAIDs for the treatment of axSpA. A panel of experts from the Brazilian Society of Rheumatology conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials for 15 predefined questions. The Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation methodology to assess the quality of evidence and formulate recommendations were used, and at least 70% agreement of the voting panel was needed. Fourteen recommendations for the use of NSAIDs in the treatment of patients with axSpA were elaborated. The purpose of these recommendations is to support clinicians’ decision making, without taking out his/her autonomy when prescribing for an individual patient.
  • 2021 recommendations of the Brazilian Society of Rheumatology for the gynecological and obstetric care of patients with Sjogren’s syndrome Position Article And Guidelines

    Oliveira, Fabiola Reis; Valim, Valeria; Pasoto, Sandra Gofinet; Fernandes, Marilena Leal Mesquita Silvestre; Lopes, Maria Lucia Lemos; Souza Fialho, Sonia Cristina de Magalhães; Pinheiro, Aysa César; Santos, Laura Caldas dos; Appenzeller, Simone; Fidelix, Tania; Ribeiro, Sandra Lucia Euzébio; Brito, Danielle Christinne Soares Egypto de; Libório, Tatiana; Santos, Maria Carmen Lopes Ferreira Silva; Tanure, Leandro; Gennari, Juliana DAgostino; Civile, Vinicius Tassoni; Pinto, Ana Carolina Pereira Nunes; Rocha Filho, César Ramos; Miyamoto, Samira Tatiyama; Guedes, Lissiane Karine Noronha; Pugliesi, Alisson; Trevisani, Virginia Fernandes Moça

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Sjogren’s syndrome (SS) is an autoimmune disease characterized by lymphocytic infiltration of the exocrine glands and other organs. Women with SS often experience gynecological symptoms due to the disease and need extra care regarding their sexual activity, reproductive health and during pregnancy, conditions that are not properly conducted in the clinical practice. To cover this gap, a panel of experts from the Brazilian Society of Rheumatology conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis on the identification of symptoms, diagnosis, monitoring, prognosis, and treatment of these manifestations. A Focus Group meeting was held and included experts in the field and methodologists, based on a previously developed script, with themes related to the objective of the study. The most important topics were summarized and 11 recommendations were provided.
  • Recommendations of the Brazilian Society of Rheumatology for the use of JAK inhibitors in the management of rheumatoid arthritis Position Article And Guidelines

    Bonfiglioli, Karina Rossi; Mota, Licia Maria Henrique da; Ribeiro, Ana Cristina de Medeiros; Kakehasi, Adriana Maria; Laurindo, Ieda Maria Magalhães; Giorgi, Rina Dalva Neubarth; Duarte, Angela Luzia Branco Pinto; Reis, Ana Paula Monteiro Gomides; Souza, Mariana Peixoto Guimarães Ubirajara e Silva de; Brenol, Claiton Viegas; Pinheiro, Geraldo da Rocha Castelar; Albuquerque, Cleandro Pires de; Castro, Charlles Heldan de Moura; Pinto, Gustavo Luiz Behrens; Verztman, Jose Fernando; Muniz, Luciana Feitosa; Bertolo, Manoel Barros; Pinto, Maria Raquel da Costa; Louzada Júnior, Paulo; Cruz, Vitor Alves; Pereira, Ivanio Alves; Freitas, Max Vitor Carioca de; Cruz, Bóris Afonso; Paiva, Eduardo; Monticielo, Odirlei; Provenza, José Roberto; Xavier, Ricardo Machado

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic and autoimmune systemic inflammatory disease that can cause irreversible joint deformities, with increased morbidity and mortality and a significant impact on the quality of life of the affected individual. The main objective of RA treatment is to achieve sustained clinical remission or low disease activity. However, up to 40% of patients do not respond to available treatments, including bDMARDs. New therapeutic targets for RA are emerging, such as Janus kinases (JAKs). These are essential for intracellular signaling (via JAK-STAT) in response to many cytokines involved in RA immunopathogenesis. JAK inhibitors (JAKi) have established themselves as a highly effective treatment, gaining increasing space in the therapeutic arsenal for the treatment of RA. The current recommendations aim to present a review of the main aspects related to the efficacy and safety of JAKis in RA patients, and to update the recommendations and treatment algorithm proposed by the Brazilian Society of Rheumatology in 2017.
  • Prevalence, demographics, and clinical characteristics of Latin American patients with spondyloarthritis Review

    Citera, Gustavo; Bautista-Molano, Wilson; Peláez-Ballestas, Ingris; Azevedo, Valderilio F.; Perich, Risto A.; Méndez-Rodríguez, José A.; Cutri, Mariel S.; Borlenghi, Cecilia E.

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Large epidemiologic and clinical estimates of spondyloarthritis (SpA) in Latin America are not available. In this narrative review, our goal was to descriptively summarize the prevalence and features of SpA in Latin America, based on available small studies. A review of peer-reviewed literature identified 41 relevant publications. Of these, 11 (mostly based on Mexican data) estimated the prevalence of SpA and its subtypes, which varied from 0.28 to 0.9% (SpA), 0.02 to 0.8% (ankylosing spondylitis), 0.2 to 0.9% (axial SpA), and 0.004 to 0.08% (psoriatic arthritis). Demographic and/or clinical characteristics were reported in 31 of the 41 publications, deriving data from 3 multinational studies, as well as individual studies from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Data relating to treatment, disease manifestations (articular and extra-articular), and comorbidities were summarized across the countries. Available data suggest that there is a variability in prevalence, manifestations, and comorbidities of SpA across Latin America. Basic epidemiologic and clinical data are required from several countries not currently represented. Data relating to current treatment approaches, patient outcomes, and socioeconomic impact within this large geographic region are also needed.
  • Drug prices in Latin American countries: the case of rheumatoid arthritis Biosimilars Review

    Mosegui, Gabriela Bittencourt Gonzalez; Antõnanzas, Fernando; Vianna, Cid Manso de Mello; Rojas, Paula

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: The objective of this paper is to analyze the prices of biological drugs in the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) in three Latin American countries (Brazil, Colombia and Mexico), as well as in Spain and the United States of America (US), from the point of market entry of biosimilars. Methods: We analyzed products authorized for commercialization in the last 20 years, in Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, comparing them to the United States of America (USA) and Spain. For this analysis, we sought the prices and registries of drugs marketed between 1999 and October 1, 2019, in the regulatory agencies’ databases. The pricing between countries was based on purchasing power parity (PPP). Results: The US authorized the commercialization of 13 distinct biologicals and four biosimilars in the period. Spain and Brazil marketed 14 biopharmaceuticals for RA, ten original, four biosimilars. Colombia and Mexico have authorized three biosimilars in addition to the ten biological ones. For biological drug prices, the US is the most expensive country. Spain’s price behavior seems intermediate when compared to the three LA countries. Brazil has the highest LA prices, followed by Mexico and Colombia, which has the lowest prices. Spain has the lowest values in PPP, compared to LA countries, while the US has the highest prices. Conclusions: The economic effort that LA countries make to access these medicines is much higher than the US and Spain. The use of the PPP ensured a better understanding of the actual access to these inputs in the countries analyzed.
  • Pathogenic implications, incidence, and outcomes of COVID-19 in autoimmune inflammatory joint diseases and autoinflammatory disorders Review

    Ruscitti, Piero; Conforti, Alessandro; Cipriani, Paola; Giacomelli, Roberto; Tasso, Marco; Costa, Luisa; Caso, Francesco

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract As the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) continues to spread rapidly, there are still many unresolved questions of how this virus would impact on autoimmune inflammatory joint diseases and autoinflammatory disorders. The main aim of this paper is to describe the main studies focusing their attention on COVID-19 incidence and outcomes of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), spondylarthritis (SpA), and autoinflammatory disease cohorts. We also revised possible pathogenic mechanisms associated with. Available data suggest that, in patients with RA and SpA, the immunosuppressive therapy, older age, male sex, and the presence of comorbidities (hypertension, lung disease, diabetes, CVD, and chronic renal insufficiency/end-stage renal disease) could be associated with an increased risk of infections and high rate of hospitalization. Other studies have shown that lower odds of hospitalization were associated with bDMARD or tsDMARDs monotherapy, driven largely by anti-TNF therapies. For autoinflammatory diseases, considering the possibility that COVID-19 could be associated with a cytokine storm syndrome, the question of the susceptibility and severity of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients displaying innate immunity disorders has been raised. In this context, data are very scarce and studies available did not clarify if having an autoinflammatory disorder could be or not a risk factor to develop a more severe COVID-19. Taking together these observations, further studies are likely to be needed to fully characterize these specific patient groups and associated SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  • The impact of a low-calorie, low-glycemic diet on systemic lupus erythematosus: a systematic review Review

    Imoto, Aline Mizusaki; Gottems, Leila Bernarda; Salomon, Ana Lúcia; Silva, Helbert Eustáquio Cardoso e; Lombardi Júnior, Império; Peccin, Maria Stella; Amorim, Fábio Ferreira; Santana, Levy Aniceto

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Background: Diet plays a critical role in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) patients, impacting on the microbiota composition and, consequently, on the immune response. The objective was to analyze and verify the diet effect on SLE patients. Methods: This is a systematic review performed at the Evidences-based Health Lab, Escola Superior em Ciências da Saúde, Brasília (DF), Brazil. In March, 2021, five databases, and grey literature, through JSTOR, Open Grey, and Google Scholar were searched. Randomized Clinical Trials in which SLE patients with calorie restricted, low glycemic index or other diet involving the joint adequacy of these aspects, compared with placebo or different types of diet, were included. Results: It was identified in the databases 758 articles; 132 were duplicated; 616 references were screened, and 604 were excluded. After reading the title and abstract, 12 articles were included for full-text reading. After the full-text reading, three studies were included for quantitative analysis. The diet improved the quality of life at 6 (MD 16.30; 5.91;26.69) and 12 weeks (MD 14.60; 0.88;28.32). The GRADE was used to evaluate the quality of evidence. Conclusion: There is low evidence that the diet has a positive impact on the quality of life of SLE patients. Trial registration PROSPERO—CRD4202012208.
  • Brazilian Society of Rheumatology 2020 guidelines for psoriatic arthritis Review

    Carneiro, Sueli; Palominos, Penelope Esther; Anti, Sônia Maria Alvarenga; Assad, Rodrigo Luppino; Gonçalves, Rafaela Silva Guimarães; Chiereghin, Adriano; Lyrio, Andre Marun; Ximenes, Antônio Carlos; Saad, Carla Gonçalves; Gonçalves, Célio Roberto; Kohem, Charles Lubianca; Marques, Cláudia Diniz Lopes; Schainberg, Cláudia Goldenstein; Meirelles, Eduardo de Souza; Resende, Gustavo Gomes; Pieruccetti, Lenise Brandao; Keiserman, Mauro Waldemar; Yazbek, Michel Alexandre; Sampaio-Barros, Percival Degrava; Lage, Ricardo da Cruz; Bonfiglioli, Rubens; Oliveira, Thauana Luíza; Azevedo, Valderílio Feijó; Bianchi, Washington Alves; Bernardo, Wanderley Marques; Simões, Ricardo dos Santos; Pinheiro, Marcelo de Medeiros; Campanholo, Cristiano Barbosa

    Abstract in English:

    Abstract Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic and systemic immune disease characterized by inflammation of peripheral and/ or axial joints and entheses in patients with psoriasis (PsO). Extra-articular and extracutaneous manifestations and numerous comorbidities can also be present. These recommendations replace the previous version published in May 2013. A systematic review of the literature retrieved 191 articles that were used to formulate 12 recommendations in response to 12 clinical questions, divided into 4 sections: diagnosis, non-pharmacological treatment, conventional drug therapy and biologic therapy. These guidelines provide evidence-based information on the clinical management for PsA patients. For each recommendation, the level of evidence (highest available), degree of strength (Oxford) and degree of expert agreement (interrater reliability) are reported.
  • Letter to the editor re: prevalence, demographics, and clinical characteristics of Latin American patients with spondyloarthritis Letter

    Garcia-Salinas, Rodrigo; Scarafia, Santiago; Sommerfleck, Fernando
Sociedade Brasileira de Reumatologia Av. Brigadeiro Luís Antônio, 2466, Jardim Paulista, 01402-000 - São Paulo, SP, Tel.: +551132897165 - São Paulo - SP - Brazil
E-mail: rbreumatol@terra.com.br