Steffan Schulz

Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA, United States

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Publications (6)17.29 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To describe and compare the diagnosis, demographics and management of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) related versus idiopathic acute transverse myelitis during the initial presentation of the disease. We undertook a chart review of the hospital records of patients admitted to our hospital from 1994 until 2007 and had the diagnosis of SLE related and idiopathic acute transverse myelitis. Demographics, laboratory and imaging studies, diagnosis and treatment were recorded in both groups and analyzed in a case control fashion. We identified 15 patients with SLE-related acute transverse myelitis (SLE-ATM) and 39 idiopathic (I-ATM) cases between 1994 and 2007. Patients with SLE were more likely to be African American, have CNS demyelinating lesions on MRI, a high IgG% on their CSF analysis and a higher sedimentation rate on presentation. Treatment with high-dose steroids was instituted in both groups of patients, though SLE patients had a longer hospital stay by an average of 5 days. SLE-ATM patients were more likely to be African American as compared to I-ATM patients, have CNS demyelinating lesions on MRI, a high IgG% on CSF analysis and a higher sedimentation rate on presentation. The hospital stay for SLE patients was 5 days longer than the idiopathic patients. This study underlines the importance of early diagnosis of patients who develop ATM related to SLE.
    Rheumatology International 07/2011; 32(9):2623-7. · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    Rheumatology (Oxford, England) 04/2010; · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of mycophenolate mofetil for the treatment of SSc. We recruited 15 patients with dcSSc to take part in an open-label study using mycophenolate mofetil to treat their disease over a 12-month period. The primary outcome measure was the modified Rodnan skin score (mRSS), whereas secondary outcomes included the Medsger severity score, pulmonary function studies, 2D echocardiograms and the Short Form Health Survey (SF)-36 questionnaire. The mRSS significantly improved in those patients who tolerated the medication for >3 months (P < 0.0001), and there was a statistically significant improvement in the Medsger severity scores of the general (P = 0.05), peripheral vascular involvement (P = 0.05) and skin (P = 0.0003) scores. The SF-36 scores improved (P = 0.05) and the pulmonary function studies showed a trend towards improvement, though not of statistical significance. The mean pulmonary artery pressure by 2D echocardiography did not change. In this prospective open-label study of mycophenolate mofetil for the treatment of dcSSc, we observed significant improvements in skin scores, peripheral vascular involvement and patient-perceived health status. Pulmonary function studies did not worsen as expected, but instead showed a trend towards improvement. Controlled trials are needed to further investigate this trend for improved pulmonary function studies.
    Rheumatology (Oxford, England) 10/2009; 48(12):1595-9. · 4.24 Impact Factor
  • S W Schulz, C T Derk
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    ABSTRACT: Endothelial cell abnormalities and the effects on the surrounding microvasculature is a focal point in the pathogenesis of Systemic Sclerosis disease and may even be the sentinel event for the initiation of this disorder. A better understanding of these processes may improve our understanding of the pathophysiology of Systemic Sclerosis and more specifically the vasculopathy observed. Such knowledge will help us to further current treatments options and design novel therapies for Systemic Sclerosis and other fibrotic disorders.
    Current Medicinal Chemistry 09/2009; 16(30):3986-95. · 3.72 Impact Factor
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    Steffan W Schulz, Chris T Derk
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    ABSTRACT: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease associated with auto-antibody production and resulting widespread inflammation that has potential to affect and damage many organ systems. Gastrointestinal manifes-tations of SLE are well documented in the literature but the exact extent and frequency of their presence is likely grossly underestimated. Patients present with vague complaints such as abdominal pain and nausea with non-specific physical exam findings and inconclusive diagnostic tests and serologic analysis. Recent research has helped to better clarify these manifestations of SLE and has demonstrated distinct involvement of almost every portion of the GI tract. This article is based upon an exhaustive review of the literature from 1976 to present date and summarizes the major advances in the identification and differentiation of gastrointestinal incarnations related to systemic lupus erythematosus. The review also encompasses theories of etiology of the various manifestations, summarizes accepted and experimental treatment regi-mens, and highlights the differential diagnosis of each presented topic, including disorders of the oropharynx, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, liver and gallbladder and beyond.
    The Open Autoimmunity Journal 04/2009; 1:10-26.
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    ABSTRACT: Evaluation of: Tashkin, Elashoff, Clements PJ et al. Cyclophosphamide versus placebo in scleroderma lung disease. N. Engl. J. Med. 354(25), 2655-2666 (2006). Interstitial lung disease has become one of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in systemic sclerosis. Currently, there remains a void in proven effective treatment strategies to provide clinical benefit to affected patients. The article under evaluation pioneers the efforts of investigating oral cyclophosphamide in treating scleroderma lung disease by designing a prospective, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study examining the drug's effect on outcome measures of forced vital capacity, patient subjective health assessment questionnaire disability scores, among others. We review the methods, results and overall conclusion of the study, which shows a significant, yet modest, result demonstrating the benefit of oral cyclophosphamide in the context of this disease setting. We conclude that although the study provides an excellent starting point for examining the efficacy of cyclophosphamide in certain forms of scleroderma lung disease, the study's high drop-out rate, choice of forced vital capacity as a primary outcome, side-effect profile of the drug and overall significance of the results make the conclusions difficult to incorporate into clinical practice.
    Expert Review of Clinical Immunology 11/2006; 2(6):849-52. · 2.89 Impact Factor