Monica Todoerti

University of Pavia, Ticinum, Lombardy, Italy

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Publications (9)30.83 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: To compare drug survival of different anti-TNF drugs (infliximab, INF, etanercept, ETA, and adalimumab, ADA) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and spondyloarthritis (SpA) by analysing data collected from an Italian multicenter observational cohort study. All patients with RA or SpA registered in the MonitorNet database who started their first course of anti-TNF therapy were included. Overall drug survival was measured, along with specific reasons of discontinuation (inefficacy or adverse events). A first set of analyses using RA as reference category assessed the relationship between diagnosis and drug survival. A second set of analyses stratified by diagnosis (RA and SpA) used INF as reference drug. Adjustment for confounders was performed. The results are presented as adjusted hazard ratios (adjHR) and 95% confidence intervals (95%CI). 2640 RA patients and 1220 SpA patients with a median follow-up of 17 months (IQR 7.2-33.4) were included in the analyses. Patients with a diagnosis of SpA showed a lower risk of drug discontinuation with an adjHR (95%CI) of 0.81 (0.73, 0.90). In SpA, the subset of patients with ankylosing spondylitis (AS) showed the best survival on treatment. In RA, both ETA and ADA showed a significantly lower probability of withdrawal when compared to INF [adjHR (95%CI) 0.46 (0.38, 0.56) and 0.68 (0.57, 0.81), respectively]. Similar results were found in SpA. Drug survival for SpA is longer than that in RA mainly due to the AS subgroup. In both RA and SpA, ETA and ADA showed a better retention on treatment when compared to INF.
    Clinical and experimental rheumatology 08/2013; · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Interest in the numerous benefits of corticosteroid medication in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) goes back to the mid-1950s, and has recently been renewed. The established evidence of their rapid symptomatic effects, along with the growing recognition of their long-lasting disease-modifying properties and preliminary data about their sub-clinical action, led us to reconsider the potential of corticosteroids in the treatment of RA, given their acceptable safety profile, especially when used at low dosages. Over time, several corticosteroid-based therapeutic approaches have been explored in order to optimize their clinical benefits, while limiting the adverse effects. Clinical data reported with initial high-dosage corticosteroid schedules with subsequent step-down schemes suggest clinical efficacy, but are not applicable to patient management in a real-life setting. Encouraging results on the clinical and sub-clinical effects of low dosages have led to a shift in usual daily practice. We present past and recent efforts to clarify the role of corticosteroids in the treatment of RA, focusing on the best approach in terms of dose and timing of corticosteroid administration. Additional information about different routes of administration, step-down schedules and adverse effects are also considered.
    Drugs 01/2013; · 4.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The objective of this review is to update the recommendations of the 2010 Italian Consensus on the use of methotrexate (MTX) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other rheumatic diseases. The literature published between 2008 and 2012 was systematically reviewed and updated recommendations on MTX use in rheumatic diseases, particularly RA, were formulated. These recommendations were approved by a panel of expert Italian Rheumatologists. A total of 10,238 references were identified, among which 70 studies were selected for critical evaluation. Sufficient evidence had accumulated to warrant changes to several of the recommendations in the new version. A new recommendation for patients with RA who are in MTX-induced clinical remission was also proposed and approved by the panel. Updated recommendations for the use of MTX in patients with RA or other rheumatologic disease are proposed.
    Reumatismo 01/2013; 65(5):207-18.
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    ABSTRACT: In early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), low-dose oral prednisone (PDN) co-medication yields better clinical results than monotherapy with disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (DMARDs). In addition, ultrasonography (US) evaluation reveals rapid and significant effects of glucocorticosteroids on subclinical synovitis. No data currently exist that examine the clinical and US results offered by glucocorticoid co-medication over DMARD monotherapy in early RA patients. Two hundred and twenty patients with early RA (< 1 year from clinical onset) were treated according to a low disease activity (LDA) targeted step-up protocol including methotrexate (MTX) and, in the active treatment arm, low-dose (6.25 mg/day) oral PDN over 12 months. Clinical disease activity measures were collected at baseline, 2, 4, 6, 9 and 12 months, and US examination of hands was performed at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Grey-scale and power Doppler (PD) synovitis were scored (0 to 3) for each joint. At 12 months, clinical remission according to the disease activity score among 28 joints was defined as the clinical outcome, and a total joint PD score of 0 (PD negativity) as the imaging outcome. Each group included 110 patients with comparable demographic, clinical, laboratory and US characteristics. At 12 months, the LDA rate was similar in the two groups, whilst the clinical remission rate (risk ratio = 1.61 (95% confidence interval = 1.08, 2.04)) and PD negativity rate (risk ratio = 1.31 (95% confidence interval = 1.04, 1.64)) were significantly higher in the MTX+PDN group. In early RA, despite a similar response rate in terms of LDA, low-dose oral PDN co-medication led to a higher proportion of clinical remission and PD negativity compared with MTX monotherapy, thus ensuring a better disease activity control. Current Controlled Trials ISRCTN2486111.
    Arthritis research & therapy 05/2012; 14(3):R112. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Biological markers specifically reflecting pathological processes may add value in the assessment of inter-individual variations in the course of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The current study was undertaken to investigate whether baseline serum levels of the chemokine CXCL13 might predict clinical and ultrasonographic (US) outcomes in patients with recent-onset RA. The study included 161 early RA patients (disease duration < 12 months) treated according to a disease activity score (DAS) driven step-up protocol aiming at DAS < 2.4. Clinical disease activity measures were collected at baseline, 2, 4, 6, 9 and 12 months, and US examination of the hands was performed at baseline, 6 and 12 months. Grey-Scale (GS) and Power Doppler (PD) synovitis were scored (0 to 3), with overall scores as the sum of each joint score. CXCL13 levels were measured at baseline by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and evaluated in relation to the achievement of low disease activity (LDA, DAS < 2.4) and US residual inflammation (PD ≤ 1) at 12 months. Baseline levels of CXCL13 were significantly higher in RA compared to healthy controls (n = 19) (P = 0.03) and correlated with measures of synovitis, such as the swollen joint count (R 0.28, P < 0.001), the US-GS (R 0.27, P = 0.003) and US-PD (R 0.26, P = 0.005) score. Although CXCL13 did not predict the likelihood of achieving clinical LDA at 12 months within a structured treat-to-target protocol, elevated levels of CXCL13 were associated with more frequent increases of methotrexate dosage (P < 0.001). Using adjusted analyses, the highest levels of CXCL13 (> 100 pg/ml) were the only independent predictor of residual imaging inflammation (P = 0.005), irrespective of initial US-PD scores, disease activity status, acute phase reactants and autoantibodies. Among the patients in clinical LDA at 12 months, US-PD scores ≤ 1 were less frequently achieved in the high baseline CXCL13 (> 100 pg/ml) group, with an adjusted OR = 0.06 (95% CI 0.01 to 0.55, P = 0.01). CXCL13 emerges as a new biological marker in early RA, accurate in assessing the severity of synovitis and the persistence of US-PD activity over time in response to conventional treatments.
    Arthritis research & therapy 02/2012; 14(1):R34. · 4.27 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the suitability of power Doppler ultrasonography (PD-US) for the assessment of lymph node (LN) status in RA, evaluating the existence of structural and dynamic modifications in well-characterized stages of the disease. Ten patients with active disease and five patients in clinical remission underwent complete clinical and PD-US examination of hands, wrists, axillary and cervical LNs on the same day. Synovitis and PD were graded 0-3. LN assessment included maximum short axis, cortical hypertrophy (CH) and PD signal distribution. All patients with active disease were re-evaluated prospectively 3 months after initiation of therapy. PD-US signs of axillary LN remodelling were observed in 7 out of 10 patients with active disease despite the absence of clinical lymphoadenopathy. Subclinical alterations were detected in both early untreated RA and in established disease. Characteristic structural changes consisted of hypertrophy of the LN cortex and PD signal amplification in cortical and hilar regions. Cervical LNs in active disease and axillary LNs in clinical remission were unaffected. LN PD amplification returned to normal ranges in patients with baseline alterations re-evaluated 3 months after therapy with TNF-α blocking agents and/or MTX. Draining LNs in RA are subjected to subclinical intra-parenchymal changes and vascular flow modulation detectable by PD-US. Sonographic signs of LN involvement associate with disease activity and are reversible upon treatment. These data point at LN reactivity as a dynamic component of RA inflammatory cascade and an attractive platform to be explored in prognostic and response to therapy evaluations.
    Rheumatology (Oxford, England) 03/2011; 50(8):1395-400. · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In order to identify rate and stability of remission induced by low-dose prednisone comedication in early rheumatoid arthritis (RA), we evaluated patients with early RA (<1 year) who were randomized to receive (P) or not (non-P) low-dose prednisone in association with step-up disease-modifying antirheumatic drug therapy over 2 years. Prevalence and duration of clinical remission were evaluated in the first and second year. Each treatment group included 105 patients; no significant differences were found at baseline. During the first year, P patients achieved higher rates of clinical remission with a time-averaged odds ratio (OR) of 1.965 (CI 95% 1.214-3.182, P= 0.006). Moreover, they showed a higher probability of sustained remission during the second year (OR 4.480, CI 95% 1.354-14.817, P= 0.014). In conclusion, we found as in early RA low-dose prednisone comedication is associated with higher rate of clinical remission, earlier disease activity control and more stable remission over time.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 04/2010; 1193:139-45. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to evaluate the usefulness of a systematic musculoskeletal ultrasonographic (US) assessment in the detection of residual disease activity in patients with early RA who achieved clinical remission. We prospectively studied 106 early RA patients receiving conventional DMARDs according to a disease activity score (DAS)-steered therapeutic protocol over a 24-month period. Standard evaluation included clinical, laboratory, functional and systematic (44 joints) US assessment. US indexes of grey scale (GS) and power Doppler (PD) synovitis were correlated with clinical evaluation, laboratory indexes and clinical outcome. Clinical remission was defined when DAS was <1.6 at two consecutive visits 3 months apart. US examination was significantly more sensitive than clinical examination, both in active disease and in remission. In patients with an active disease, both clinical and US indexes correlated with CRP, whereas in remission only PD still remained significantly correlated. In clinical remission, 95% of the patients showed residual GS synovitis, and 41% of them showed a positive PD signal. Positive PD signal, even in a single joint, resulted the main predictor of relapse within 6 months, both in univariable and multivariable logistic regression analysis. In a cohort of early RA patients treated with conventional DMARDs, US-GS can detect residual disease activity more sensitively than clinical examination both in active disease and in remission. Moreover, PD-positive synovial hypertrophy identifies an ongoing inflammation even during remission and predicts short-term relapse.
    Rheumatology (Oxford, England) 07/2009; 48(9):1092-7. · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The advent of biological agents has provided further opportunities to treat resistant or relapsing rheumatic diseases, with robust data for rheumatoid arthritis and spondyloarthritis coming from randomised controlled trials. However there are data also on other rare inflammatory rheumatic diseases even if the evidence available may be heterogeneous and/or controversial. Another challenging scenario is represented by diseases that are not uncommon, but that may present with multiple manifestations and prove resistant to conventional therapies, thus requiring the use of biological agents. To assist physicians in making correct therapeutic choices in such cases, the Italian Society for Rheumatology (SIR) has developed specific recommendations for the use of biological agents in rare disease or for the off-label use of such agents in refractory inflammatory disorders.
    Clinical and experimental rheumatology 29(3 Suppl 66):S42-62. · 2.66 Impact Factor