[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A phase II randomized controlled trial of recombinant human relaxin suggested that a dosage of 25 microg/kg/day was safe and clinically effective in improving skin disease and reducing functional disability in scleroderma (systemic sclerosis; SSc). We undertook a large randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial to compare placebo with 10 microg/kg/day and 25 microg/kg/day recombinant human relaxin, given for 24 weeks in patients with stable, diffuse, moderate-to-severe SSc.
Men and women ages 18-70 years with diffuse cutaneous SSc (dcSSc) were administered recombinant human relaxin (10 microg/kg/day or 25 microg/kg/day) or placebo for 24 weeks as a continuous subcutaneous infusion. There was a followup safety visit at week 28.
The primary outcome measure, the modified Rodnan skin thickness score, was similar among the 3 groups at baseline and at weeks 4, 12, and 24. Secondary outcomes such as functional disability were similar in all 3 groups, while the forced vital capacity decreased significantly in the relaxin groups. The discontinuation of both doses of relaxin at week 24 led to statistically significant declines in creatinine clearance and serious renal adverse events (defined as doubling of serum creatinine, renal crisis, or grade 3 or 4 essential hypertension) in 7 patients who had received relaxin therapy but in none who had received placebo.
Recombinant relaxin was not significantly better than placebo in improving the total skin score or pulmonary function or in reducing functional disability in patients with dcSSc. In addition, relaxin was associated with serious renal adverse events, the majority of which occurred after stopping the infusion. If relaxin is used therapeutically for any conditions other than scleroderma, close monitoring of blood pressure and renal function must be performed.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To obtain a consensus on the minimal clinically relevant treatment effect in various scleroderma disease outcome measures to be used in future clinical trials.
A Delphi consensus building exercise using a survey was sent out to members of the Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium (SCTC). The 65 SCTC members were divided into 2 groups. Group 1 was informed, in a cover letter, of the usual American College of Rheumatology 20% response results in randomized trials using effective biologic treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, while Group 2 was not. The first round of the exercise presented the scleroderma experts with a survey composed of 95 questions/clinical scenarios divided into 8 categories. These included situations where the treatment group improved, or worsened, or where some outcome measures improved, while others worsened. From the responses of this first round, a mean, mode, median, and range of responses for each of the 95 questions was obtained. This information was sent out, in the second round of the Delphi exercise, only to those respondents who answered the first round. The respondent's previous answer and the mean and range from the first round were provided for each question. It gave respondents the option to change any of their initial responses. The median of their responses in the second round was used to calculate the values for the minimal clinically relevant treatment effect.
Thirty-two of the 65 SCTC members returned the first round of the Delphi exercise. Twenty-eight members returned the second round. Intraclass correlation coefficients between responses to round 1 and 2 were calculated for the questions. These varied from 0.99 (excellent agreement) to 0.02 (poor agreement). The p value was under 0.09 for 9 questions and under 0.19 for 20 questions. Standard deviations (SD) were calculated and were found to be lesser for each of the questions in round 2 when compared to the SD in responses from round 1, thus indicating a movement towards a consensus by the second round. An average of 33% of the responses were changed by the respondents in the second round of the Delphi exercise to a value closer to the median/average of the first round's responses. A range in required values for the minimal clinically relevant treatment effect for Modified Rodnan skin score is 3 to 7.5 units, Health Assessment Questionnaire Disability Index (HAQ-DI) 0.2 to 0.25 units, HAQ pain 0.2 to 0.3 units, MD global (100 mm visual analog scale) 8 to 13, patient global assessment 10 to 12, and diffusing capacity (percentage predicted) 9 to 10. The scenarios were especially weighted towards overall disease modification, thus organ-specific measures, such as 6 minute walk time (which has been used in many pulmonary artery hypertension trials), forced vital capacity, and a dyspnea rating (which may be important in scleroderma lung trials), were not included in the survey.
Our study begins to address the current deficiency in our knowledge of appropriate values for the minimal clinically relevant treatment effect in various scleroderma disease outcome measures. A consensus could be achieved, or at least a range of minimal clinically relevant treatment effect values could be found for several outcome measurements. Of course, this consensus statement will be modified by evidence as it accrues in each consensus area.
The Journal of Rheumatology 04/2007; 34(3):501-9. · 3.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To document disease activity and functional status in patients with scleroderma (systemic sclerosis [SSc]) and Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) and to determine the sensitivity to change, reliability, ease of use, and validity of various outcome measures in these patients.
Patients with SSc and moderate-to-severe RP participating in a multicenter RP treatment trial completed daily diaries documenting the frequency and duration of RP attacks and recorded a daily Raynaud's Condition Score (RCS). Mean scores for the 2-week periods prior to baseline (week 0), end of trial (week 6), and posttrial followup (week 12) were calculated. At weeks 0, 6, and 12, physicians completed 3 global assessment scales and performed clinical assessments of digital ulcers and infarcts; patients completed the Health Assessment Questionnaire (HAQ), the Arthritis Impact Measurement Scales 2 (AIMS2) mood and tension subscales, 5 specific SSc/RP-related visual analog scales (VAS), and 3 other VAS global assessments. We used these measures to document baseline disease activity and to assess their construct validity, sensitivity to change, and reliability in trial data.
Two hundred eighty-one patients (248 women, 33 men; mean age 50.4 years [range 18-82 years]) from 14 centers participated. Forty-eight percent had limited cutaneous SSc; 52% had diffuse cutaneous SSc. Fifty-nine patients (21%) had digital ulcers at baseline. Patients had 3.89 +/- 2.33 (mean +/- SD) daily RP attacks (range 0.8-14.6), with a duration of 82.1 +/- 91.6 minutes/attack. RCS for RP activity (possible range 0-10) was 4.30 +/- 1.92. HAQ scores (0-3 scale) indicated substantial disability at baseline (total disability 0.86, pain 1.19), especially among the subscales pertaining to hand function (grip, eating, dressing). AIMS2 mood and tension scores were fairly high, as were many of the VAS scores. Patients with digital ulcers had worse RCS, pain, HAQ disability (overall, grip, eating, and dressing), physician's global assessment, and tension, but no significant difference in the frequency of RP, duration of RP, patient's global assessment, or mood, compared with patients without digital ulcers. VAS scores for digital ulcers as rated by the patients were not consistent with the physician's ratings. Factor analysis of the 18 measures showed strong associations among variables in 4 distinct domains: disease activity, RP measures, digital ulcer measures, and mood/tension. Reliability of the RCS, HAQ pain and disability scales, and AIMS2 mood and tension subscales was high. The RP measures demonstrated good sensitivity to change (effect sizes 0.33-0.76).
Our findings demonstrate that the significant activity, disability, pain, and psychological impact of RP and digital ulcers in SSc can be measured by a small set of valid and reliable outcome measures. These outcome measures provide information beyond the quantitative metrics of RP attacks. We propose a core set of measures for use in clinical trials of RP in SSc patients that includes the RCS, patient and physician VAS ratings of RP activity, a digital ulcer/infarct measure, measures of disability and pain (HAQ), and measures of psychological function (AIMS2).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Early diffuse scleroderma (systemic sclerosis; SSc) has no proven treatment. This study was undertaken to examine the efficacy of methotrexate (MTX) in improving the skin and other disease parameters in early diffuse SSc.
Seventy-one patients with diffuse SSc of <3 years' duration were enrolled in a multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. Thirty-five patients were treated with MTX and 36 with placebo. Treatment was administered for 12 months. The primary outcome measures were skin score (as determined with 2 different indices) and physician global assessment.
At baseline, there were no statistically significant differences in skin scores, carbon monoxide diffusing capacity (DLco), physician global assessment, or other secondary outcome measurements between the 2 treatment groups. At study completion, results slightly favored the MTX group (mean +/- SEM modified Rodnan skin score 21.4+/-2.8 in the MTX group versus 26.3+/-2.1 in the placebo group [P < 0.17]; UCLA skin score 8.8+/-1.2 in the MTX group versus 11.0+/-0.9 in the placebo group [P < 0.15]; DLco in the MTX group 75.7+/-4.6 versus 61.8+/-3.4 in the placebo group [P < 0.2]). In addition, physician global assessment results favored MTX (P < 0.035), whereas patient global assessment did not differ significantly between groups. When between-group differences for changes in scores from baseline to 12 months were examined using intent-to-treat methodology, MTX appeared to have a favorable effect on skin scores (modified Rodnan score -4.3 in the MTX group versus 1.8 in the placebo group [P < 0.009]; UCLA score -1.2 in the MTX group versus 1.2 in the placebo group [P < 0.02]), but differences in the degree of change in the DLco and physician global assessment were not significant. For the UCLA skin score, these differences in results were not statistically significant after adjustment for baseline differences in sex distribution and steroid use. Dropout rates were similar in the 2 groups.
Although results of this trial demonstrated a trend in favor of MTX versus placebo in the treatment of early diffuse SSc, the between-group differences were small and the power to rule out false-negative results was only 50%. Our findings do not provide evidence that MTX is significantly effective in the treatment of early diffuse SSc.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Four patients with Crohn's disease arthritis, who were unresponsive to conventional treatment, improved very rapidly and safely with the use of infliximab, the chimeric antibody directed against tumor necrosis factor alpha. The patients were able to stop or significantly decrease other antirheumatic medications after the infliximab infusions. It is likely that tumor necrosis factor plays a major role in the arthritis as well as the bowel involvement that is seen in Crohn's disease. Suppression of this cytokine may effectively ameliorate Crohn's disease arthritis in some patients.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of an oral preparation of iloprost, a prostacyclin analog, in patients with Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) secondary to systemic sclerosis (scleroderma).
A multicenter, randomized, parallel-group, placebo-controlled double-blind study was performed at university and community-based medical centers. Patients were randomly assigned to receive either 50 microg of iloprost orally twice daily or an identical gelatin-coated capsule containing placebo for 6 weeks. Outcome measures included average total daily duration of RP attacks, average number of RP attacks, and RP condition scored via a standardized daily diary.
Three hundred eight patients with scleroderma (272 women, 36 men, mean age 49 years [range 18-80]) were enrolled. One hundred fifty seven were assigned to receive iloprost and 151 to receive placebo. One hundred forty-three patients in the iloprost group (91.1%) and 144 in the placebo group (95.4%) completed the 6-week treatment phase. Fifteen of these treated patients (8 iloprost, 7 placebo) failed to complete all of the followup visits. The mean reduction in the average duration of attacks from baseline to week 5-6 was 24.32 minutes in the iloprost group and 34.34 minutes in the placebo group (P = 0.569). Likewise, the mean reduction from baseline to week 5-6 in the daily frequency of attacks was 1.02 in the iloprost group and 0.83 in the placebo group (P = 0.459). The Raynaud's condition score, a patient-completed assessment of the severity of RP attacks, was reduced by 1.32 in the iloprost group and 1.00 in the placebo group (P = 0.323). The lack of significant difference between treatment groups did not change when a variety of factors, including use of other vasodilators, duration of disease, classification of scleroderma (limited versus diffuse), or number of baseline digital ulcers were taken into account. Premature withdrawal from the study due to adverse events occurred in 10 patients (6.4%) in the iloprost group and 3 (2.0%) in the placebo group (P = 0.058).
Oral iloprost at a dosage of 50 microg twice daily is no better than placebo for management of RP secondary to scleroderma, either during 6 weeks of treatment or during 6 weeks of posttreatment followup.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of iloprost, a prostacyclin analog, administered intravenously in patients with Raynaud phenomenon secondary to systemic sclerosis.
Multicenter, randomized, parallel placebo-controlled, double-blind study.
University medical centers.
131 patients with systemic sclerosis (101 women, 30 men) ages 20 to 79 years.
Patients were randomly assigned to receive one of two parallel treatments of five daily sequential, 6-hour intravenous infusions of iloprost (0.5 to 2.0 ng/kg per min) or to receive a similar volume of placebo.
Frequency of Raynaud attacks, Raynaud severity score, physician's overall rating of treatment effect, and digital cutaneous lesion healing.
Of the 131 patients enrolled, 126 completed the 5-day infusion and 114 (87%) completed at least 6 weeks of follow-up. Sixty-four patients were randomly assigned to receive iloprost and 67 patients, to receive placebo. The mean weekly number of Raynaud attacks decreased 39.1% with iloprost and 22.2% with placebo (P = 0.005). In addition, the mean percentage of improvement in a global Raynaud severity score during the entire 9-week follow-up was greater in patients given iloprost (34.8%) than in those receiving placebo (19.7%) (P = 0.011). The physician's overall rating of treatment effect showed greater improvement with iloprost than with placebo at week 6 (52.4% compared with 27.4%; P = 0.008) and week 9 (60.9% compared with 26.9%; P < 0.001). At week 3, 14.6% more patients receiving iloprost had 50% or more lesions heal compared with those given placebo (95% CI, 0.9% to 30%). During the infusion, 59 (92%) of the patients receiving iloprost had one or more side effects compared with 38 (57%) of the patients receiving placebo.
Iloprost is effective for the short-term palliation of severe Raynaud phenomenon in patients with systemic sclerosis.
Annals of internal medicine 02/1994; 120(3):199-206. · 17.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective. Scoring poorly on the health assessment questionnaire (HAQ) has recently been shown to be a strong predictor of morbidity and mortality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), while a good HAQ score is predictive of a better outcome. In patients presenting with early diffuse scleroderma prognosis is variable. Our goal was to determine possible baseline predictors of future good outcomes. Methods. We used the raw data from two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in early diffuse scleroderma: methotrexate (Pope et al.) and D-penicillamine (Clements et al.). Subjects in the methotrexate trial were divided into the following groups: (1) those with at least 20% improvement in the primary outcome measurements (patient global assessment, physician global assessment, UCLA skin tethering score, modified Rodnan skin score (MRSS), DLCO as % predicted and HAQ disability) at 1y rvs (2) the others. Baseline factors (including age, gender, skin scores, physician and patient global assessments, HAQ disability and pain scores, DLCO and physical parameters) were analysed to find baseline variables strongly correlated with later improvement. These variables were explored in the D-penicillamine trial to determine if (in a separate trial) they were still predictive of improved outcome at 1 and 2 yr. Adjusted models were used to find baseline predictors of good outcome. The median HAQ-DI was 1.3 (methotrexate) and 1.0 (D-penicillamine). Results. A baseline HAQ disability score of less than the median was predictive of at least a 20% improvement at 1 and 2 yr with odds ratios of 1.77 to 5.05, in four of the five outcome measurements (in both groups); with strongly significant P values for 3 of 5 outcomes (UCLA skin score, MRSS, patient global skin score; P