[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Opportunistic infection has been documented in systemic lupus erythematosus with special attention paid to Pneumocystis jirovecii because of the significant morbidity and high mortality.
The limited large-scale investigations covering P. jirovecii pneumonia (PCP) in systemic lupus erythematosus following biologics or immunosuppressants therapy prompted us to perform this study in southern Taiwan.
A retrospective study was completed in 858 hospitalized lupus patients from January 2000 to December 2011. The definite diagnosis of PCP was made by the laboratory detection of Pneumocystis organisms together with consistent clinical and radiological manifestations of PCP. Positive polymerase chain reaction results of sputum samples were not regarded as infection in this study, unless P. jirovecii was the sole pathogen found and pulmonary manifestations resolved following antibiotics for PCP treatment alone.
The laboratory identification of Pneumocystis organisms depended on lung biopsy in 2 cases and bronchoalveolar lavage in 3 patients. Five cases, 2 women and 3 men aged 30 to 50 years (41.8 ± 8.8 years), were identified with a 0.6% incidence. None received chemoprophylactics against P. jirovecii infection. All had lupus nephritis and lymphopenia with low CD4 T-cell counts. Prior usages of higher daily prednisolone dosages and concomitant biologics or immunosuppressants were observed in all patients. Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia contributed to a high mortality rate (60%).
We report the rare occurrence but high mortality of PCP infection in this study. A consensus guideline addressing prophylactic antibiotics against Pneumocystis organisms in highest-risk lupus patients on biologics or immunosuppressants could be helpful in guiding their management.
Journal of clinical rheumatology: practical reports on rheumatic & musculoskeletal diseases 07/2013; · 1.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Persistent pruritic eruptions (PPE) are common among our patients with adult-onset Still disease (AOSD). We aimed to characterize the clinicopathologic features of the AOSD-associated evanescent and persistent rashes. METHODS: We reviewed the clinicopathologic features of the skin lesions from all AOSD cases diagnosed in our hospital during 1988 to 2009. The diagnoses were based on Yamaguchi criteria for AOSD. RESULTS: Altogether, there were 36 patients (6 men and 30 women) with age of onset ranging from 17 to 67 years (average 35.7 years). Evanescent rash was recorded in 31 patients (86%) and PPEs in 28 (78%). PPEs usually appeared at the disease onset and manifested as widespread, pruritic, erythematous urticarial or violaceous to brownish flat-topped (lichenoid) papules and plaques over the trunk, neck, face, and extensor sides of the extremities. PPEs were classified clinically as urticarial papules (n = 21), lichenoid papules (n = 18), prominent linear and dermographism-like (n = 11), dermatomyositis-like (n = 7), prurigo pigmentosa-like (n = 4), and lichen amyloidosis-like (n = 2). The clinical activity score was 5.78 ± 1.11 (range 4 to 8) for the series and 6.57 ± 0.98 and 5.57 ± 1.07, respectively, for the groups with and without dermatomyositis-like PPE (P = 0.0314). Five patients died, 3 of them with dermatomyositis-like PPE. Histopathologically, the evanescent rash (8 specimens) showed a superficial perivascular infiltrate of lymphocytes and neutrophils, whereas the PPEs (32 specimens) revealed solitary or cluster necrotic keratinocytes in the superficial epidermis with infiltration of lymphocytes and neutrophils in the upper and mid dermis. CONCLUSIONS: PPEs were very common among our patients with AOSD. Recognition of the characteristic clinical and pathologic features of PPE can facilitate diagnosis of AOSD. Therefore, biopsy of atypical eruptions in AOSD patients is recommended because it is likely that the highly distinctive histopathologic features will allow these eruptions to be readily classified.
Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism 06/2012; · 4.72 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNA (miRNA) plays a role in autoimmune diseases. MiRNA-223 (miR-223) is up-regulated in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and is involved in osteoclastogenesis, which contributes to erosive disease. The aim of this study was to test the feasibility of using lentiviral vectors expressing the miR-223 target sequence (miR-223T) to suppress miR-223 activity as a therapeutic strategy in a mouse model of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA).
Levels of miR-223 in the synovial tissue of patients with RA or osteoarthritis (OA), as well as in the ankle joints of mice with CIA, were determined by quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Lentiviral vectors expressing miR-223T (LVmiR-223T) or luciferase short hairpin RNA (LVshLuc) as a control vector were injected intraperitoneally into mice with CIA. Treatment responses and disease-related bone mineral density were monitored. Levels of nuclear factor 1A (NF-1A), a direct target of miR-223, and macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor (M-CSFR), which is critical for osteoclastogenesis, were measured by immunohistochemistry and quantitative RT-PCR. Osteoclasts were assessed by tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase staining.
MiR-223 expression was significantly higher in the synovium of RA patients and in the ankle joints of mice with CIA as compared to OA patients and normal mice. LVmiR-223T treatment reduced the arthritis score, histologic score, miR-223 expression, osteoclastogenesis, and bone erosion in mice with CIA. Down-regulation of miR-223 with concomitant increases in NF-1A levels and decreases in M-CSFR levels was detected in the synovium of LVmiR-223T-treated mice.
This study is the first to demonstrate that lentivirus-mediated silencing of miR-223 can reduce disease severity of experimental arthritis. Furthermore, our results indicate that inhibition of miR-223 activity should be further explored as a therapeutic strategy in RA.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nontyphoidal Salmonella (NTS) is a crucial pathogen in immunocompromised patients, especially those with connective tissue disease (CTD) and corticosteroid or immunosuppressant therapy. The aim of this study is to identify the clinical characteristics and outcomes of patients with CTD and NTS bacteremia, and the clinical variations between systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and other CTDs.
During a 15-year study period, from 1994 to 2009, NTS bacteremia patients were reviewed from the database of clinical microbiology laboratory. Medical records were reviewed for clinical information and only patients with underlying CTD were included.
From 1994 to 2009, there were 299 patients with NTS bacteremia. Forty-six (15.4%) patients had certain connective tissue diseases, and SLE was the major CTD, accounting for 73.9% (34) of 46 patients. In comparison with patients without CTD, the patients with CTD were younger (p<0.0001), had a predominance of female gender (p<0.0001), fewer extra-intestinal focal infections (p=0.011), and a lower mortality rate (p=0.008). Overall, there were four fatal cases, accounting for a mortality rate of 8.7% of those afflicted with CTD. The factors of old age (p<0.006), shock at presentation (p=0.033), acute renal failure (p=0.001), and presence of any extra-intestinal focal infection (p<0.0001) were associated with mortality in the univariate analysis.
Nontyphoidal Salmonella bacteremia causes substantial morbidity and mortality in patients with connective tissue disease, especially in the elderly population. The aggressive detection of extra-intestinal infections may be beneficial.
Journal of microbiology, immunology, and infection = Wei mian yu gan ran za zhi 05/2012; 45(5):350-5. · 1.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) are at a higher risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL). However, little is known with regard to the risk of developing cancers other than NHL. The authors aimed in this study to compare the incidence of cancer in various sites among patients with pSS with the general population of Taiwan.
The authors used National Health Insurance claims data to establish a nationwide population cohort of 7852 patients with pSS from 2000 to 2008 who did not have cancer prior to diagnosis of pSS. Incidence and standardised incidence ratios (SIRs) for cancer in various sites were calculated.
Among patients with pSS, 277 (2.9%) developed cancer. The SIR for cancer was 1.04 (95% CI 0.91 to 1.18) among patients of all ages with pSS and was 2.19 (95% CI 1.43 to 3.21) for patients aged 25-44 years. Female patients with pSS had a higher risk of NHL (SIR 7.1, 95% CI 4.3 to 10.3), multiple myeloma (SIR 6.1, 95% CI 2.0 to 14.2) and thyroid gland cancer (SIR 2.6, 95% CI 1.4 to 4.3) and a lower risk of colon cancer (SIR 0.22, 95% CI 0.05 to 0.65). In contrast, male patients with pSS were not at a higher risk of developing cancer in particular sites.
Patients with pSS, overall, did not have higher risk of cancer, and only patients aged 25-44 years were at an increased risk of cancer compared with their counterparts in the general population. Cancer screening for patients with pSS, especially female patients, should focus on NHL and multiple myeloma and thyroid gland cancer.
Annals of the rheumatic diseases 11/2011; 71(4):524-7. · 8.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To estimate the incidence and mortality of treated primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS) by sex and age group in Taiwan.
We used claims data of the Bureau of National Health Insurance (NHI) of Taiwan from 2005 to 2007 for analysis. According to the NHI, pSS is classified as one of the financially catastrophic illnesses and patients with pSS could be exempted from copayment of all medical costs. To obtain a catastrophic illness certificate (CIC) for pSS, patients are required to meet the criteria of the American-European Consensus Group for pSS, and are reviewed by a committee. Patients approved for receipt of a CIC for pSS for the first time were defined as incident cases of treated pSS.
A total of 3352 incident cases occurred between 2005 and 2007. The estimated mean annual incidence was 6.0 per 100,000 inhabitants (95% CI 5.8-6.2) for both sexes, 11.0 (95% CI 10.6-11.4) for women and 1.1 (95% CI 1.0-1.2) for men, with a female/male ratio of 9.9 (95% CI 8.8-11.1). Incidence increased with age, peaking at age 55-64 years in women and 65-74 years in men. The mortality rate was 33.4 per 1000 case person-years for men and 11.4 for women, with a male/female rate ratio of 2.9 (95% CI 1.7-5.3).
The incidence of treated pSS in women is 10 times that in men. Nevertheless, pSS mortality in men is 3 times that in women.
The Journal of Rheumatology 04/2011; 38(4):706-8. · 3.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Tuberculous myositis, which mimics rheumatic symptoms, is an extremely rare disease. Clinical ambiguity easily leads to misdiagnosis and delayed initial treatment. We present the case of a 55-year-old man who had primary Sjögren's syndrome and active cutaneous vasculitis treated with steroid and immunosuppressive drugs. He presented with a swollen, painful, hot left thigh. Although anti-tuberculosis medications were administered soon after a positive acid-fast stain of incisional muscular tissue, he died of rapidly progressive tuberculous myositis and multiorgan failure following 18 days of hospitalization. This case is presented to increase the awareness of this rare entity in clinical practice.
Journal of the Formosan Medical Association 09/2010; 109(9):680-3. · 1.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) has recently been introduced as an immunosuppressive agent for the treatment of glomerulonephritis with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and the data have been encouraging. However, response to MMF treatment appears to differ ethnically. Therefore, we determined efficacy and safety of low-dose MMF for Taiwanese patients with lupus nephritis. We studied 36 lupus nephritis patients who were treated with MMF. The dose started at 0.5 g/day and we collected the data from patients who received up to 1 g/day MMF. Outcome measures were 24 h for proteinuria, serum creatinine, C3/C4 levels, and anti-dsDNA titers collected at the baseline and at 3-month treatment intervals. Daily urinary protein significantly decreased from 6.15 +/- 4.28 g to 2.69 +/- 2.36 g at the last visit (P < 0.01) in spite of the significant absence of changes in serum creatinine levels. The response rate was 65.7% including five (14.3%) cases of complete remission and 18 (51.4%) cases of partial remission. The concomitant oral prednisolone dose decreased significantly from 20.07 +/- 11.78 mg/day to 13.93 +/- 6.79 mg/day at 6 months (P < 0.01). The level of C3 increased significantly from 59.46 +/- 32.73 to 71.99 +/- 25.81 (P < 0.01) and the anti-dsDNA antibody titer decreased from 161.71 +/- 221.42 to 46.57 +/- 117.47 (P < 0.01). No severe adverse effects were observed in the study. Low-dose MMF (0.5 to 1 g/day) combined with glucocorticoids appears to be a safe and effective therapy for lupus nephritis in Taiwanese patients. Our results suggest that lupus nephritis in Oriental patients might respond to lower doses of MMF than Caucasians.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hemophagocytic syndrome (HS) that occurs in the course of adult-onset Stills disease (AOSD) has been reported only rarely in the literature. HS and AOSD share overlapping clinical and laboratory features, therefore, it is difficult to recognize HS as a complication of AOSD. Here, we report the case of a 46-year old woman with classical features of AOSD. Severe pancytopenia and jaundice associated with extreme hyperferritinemia occurred during high-dose steroid treatment. Bone marrow biopsy showed typical pathological features of hemophagocytosis, which confirmed the coexistence of HS with AOSD. The patient was treated with methylprednisolone pulse therapy of 500 mg/day for 3 days, as recommended in cases of HS complicating AOSD, and her condition improved gradually. During the disease course, extensive studies could not identify any viral infection or other known underlying etiology for the reactive hemophagocytosis. Currently, the patient is in remission on low-dose prednisolone and azathioprine.
Journal of the Formosan Medical Association 01/2010; 109(1):85-8. · 1.00 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Programmed death-1 (PD-1) was shown to deliver an inhibitory signal after binding to its ligands, PD-L1 (B7-H1) or PD-L2 (B7-DC). Recently, up-regulated expression of PD-1 molecule and/or its ligands was demonstrated in human diseases including rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory colitis. The study aimed to investigate the expression and function of PD-1 and PD-1 ligands on circulating T cells, B cells and monocytes from patient with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). The results showed that patients with SLE had significantly increased percentages of PD-1-expressing CD3+T cells and CD19+B cells, PD-L1-expressing CD19+B cells and PD-L2-expressing CD14+B monocytes. In selected SLE patients and normal subjects, functional study of PD-1/ PD-1 ligands pathway on the production of cytokines by stimulated PBMC was examined. Blockages of PD-1 or PD-1 ligands substantially increased the production of IL-2, IFN-gamma and IL-10, the amplitude of increase roughly ranged from one to three times. There were no significant differences of the enhancing effects on cytokine production by blockage of PD-1/PDL pathway between SLE patients and normal subjects. The study indicates that there are no intrinsically defective expression and function of PD-1 and PD-1 ligands on PBMC in patients with SLE.
BioMed Research International 01/2009; 2009:406136. · 2.71 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase)/Akt pathway is known to be activated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovial tissue, which impacts cell growth, proliferation, survival, and migration. Phosphatase and tensin homolog deleted from chromosome 10 (PTEN) functions as a negative regulator of PI 3-kinase signaling, thus blocking Akt activation. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of PTEN gene transfer in rats with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA).
Adenoviral vectors encoding human PTEN (AdPTEN) or beta-galactosidase (AdLacZ) were injected intraarticularly into rats with CIA, and their treatment responses were monitored by measures of clinical, radiographic, and histologic changes. The expression of phosphorylated Akt, total Akt, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), proinflammatory cytokines, and chemokines, as well as the extent of microvessel density in the ankle joints were determined.
AdPTEN treatment reduced Akt phosphorylation and decreased VEGF production in human RA synovial fibroblasts. Compared with AdLacZ treatment of the rats with CIA, AdPTEN treatment significantly reduced ankle circumference, articular index scores, radiography scores, and histology scores, and also decreased microvessel density and levels of VEGF and interleukin-1beta. Furthermore, PTEN gene transfer led to down-regulation of Akt activation and increased apoptosis in the ankle joints.
This study is the first to demonstrate the in vivo effect of intraarticular gene delivery of PTEN on amelioration of arthritis symptoms in rats with CIA, which involved antiangiogenic, antiproliferative, and antiinflammatory effects of PTEN via inhibition of the PI 3-kinase/Akt signaling pathway. Our findings also implicate the PI 3-kinase/Akt pathway as a therapeutic target for the treatment of RA or other inflammatory diseases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) reflects an ongoing imbalance between proinflammatory and antiinflammatory cytokines. Interleukin-20 (IL-20) has proinflammatory properties for keratinocytes. In this study, we sought to determine whether IL-20 is involved in RA.
We analyzed IL-20 levels in synovial fluid from RA patients. IL-20 and its receptors were detected in RA synovial fibroblasts (RASFs), using immunohistochemical staining. The effect of IL-20 on endothelial cells, neutrophils, and RASFs was investigated using MTT and migration assays. The expression of IL-20 and its receptors in healthy rats and in rats with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) was also analyzed. Soluble IL-20 receptor type I (sIL-20RI) or sIL-20RII was administered to rats with CIA by intramuscular electroporation, and the severity of arthritis was monitored.
RA patients expressed significantly higher levels of synovial fluid IL-20 than did the rheumatic disease controls. IL-20 and its receptors were expressed in the synovial membranes and RASFs. IL-20 induced RASFs to secrete monocyte chemoattractant protein 1, IL-6, and IL-8, and it promoted neutrophil chemotaxis, RASF migration, and endothelial cell proliferation. Both IL-20 and IL-20RI were up-regulated in the rat CIA model. In vivo, electroporated sIL-20RI plasmid DNA decreased the severity of arthritis in the rats with CIA.
IL-20 was up-regulated in the synovial fluid of RA patients and acted as a chemokine that attracted the migration of neutrophils and RASFs in vitro. The rat CIA model demonstrated that IL-20 was involved in the pathogenesis of arthritis, because sIL-20RI significantly reduced arthritis in rats with CIA. Thus, IL-20 may modulate the incidence and severity of arthritis and play important roles at local sites of inflammation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aims: This study investigates the relationship between β2GPI gene polymorphism and antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) in Chinese subjects.Methods: Twenty-five APS patients, 80 lupus patients and 100 healthy individuals were enrolled into the study. The genetic polymorphism of position 247 of β2GPI gene was analyzed by the restriction fragment length polymorphism polymerase chain reaction.Results: Low frequency of V allele was noted in these Chinese. The frequency of V allele was similar among healthy individuals, lupus patients and APS patients. There was statistically significant correlation between the V allele expression and the presence of anti-β2GPI antibodies.Conclusion: The inter-population differences exist in β2GPI gene polymorphism. Although there was no association of V allele at the position 247 with the Chinese APS patients, significant correlation was found between the V allele expression and the presence of anti-β2GPI antibodies.
APLAR Journal of Rheumatology. 11/2005; 8(3):188 - 192.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several autoimmune diseases have been reported to be associated with common variable immunodeficiency disease (CVID), including rheumatoid arthritis and Sjögren's syndrome. On the other hand, approximately 20-30% of patients with rheumatoid arthritis develop secondary Sjögren's syndrome. A 26-year-old woman had a 6-year history of chronic symmetric polyarthritis and 3-year history of sicca syndrome prior to admission for pneumonia. Rheumatoid arthritis with secondary Sjögren's syndrome had been diagnosed 1 year before. The patient had experienced 3 episodes of pneumonia during the previous 3 years. Markedly depressed serum immunoglobulin levels prompted a suspicion of common variable immunodeficiency, and the impression was confirmed after a series of examinations. Monthly administration of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) alleviated the polyarthritis and improved the sicca syndrome. IVIG replacement therapy was ultimately successful in curing recurrent bacterial infections, chronic polyarthritis, and improving the severity of sicca syndrome.
Journal of microbiology, immunology, and infection = Wei mian yu gan ran za zhi 11/2005; 38(5):358-60. · 1.63 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By the late 1980s, acute rheumatic fever (ARF) had become a rare disease in Taiwan. The low prevalence rate in this area is attributed to a better economic status, which has led to improved public health and adequate medical services.
The increasing number of patients with adult-onset ARF in the United States described in the literature prompted us to evaluate the cases diagnosed in our medical center.
A retrospective chart review was performed for patients with arthritis from July 1988 to October 2004. To be included, patients had to meet revised Jones criteria.
Three adult patients with ARF have been diagnosed since June 2001, with no childhood ARF being diagnosed. All cases presented with migratory polyarthritis, whereas 1 had erythema marginatum and transient carditis. These patients responded well to treatment with antibiotics and nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs.
Clinicians must provide careful assessment and treatment to patients presenting with acute pharyngitis. A possible resurgence of ARF can be eradicated by primary prevention of streptococcal pharyngitis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Kallistatin has been shown to be an angiogenesis inhibitor. In this study, we investigated whether adenovirus-mediated kallistatin gene delivery has a prophylactic effect in a rat arthritis model.
Adenovirus containing the human kallistatin gene (AdHKBP) was injected intraarticularly into ankle joints before the onset of arthritis in a rat model. The effect of kallistatin gene transfer on endothelial cell proliferation in joint extracts was assayed. The response to kallistatin treatment was determined according to clinical parameters, including ankle circumference, articular index, and radiographic scores. Hematoxylin and eosin staining was performed in order to score joint tissues and count neutrophil numbers. In addition, small vessels were quantified by identification of von Willebrand factor-positive endothelial cells. The inflammatory responses were determined by measuring tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) levels in ankle homogenates.
The expression of recombinant human kallistatin in rat ankle joints after gene transfer was identified by immunohistochemical analysis and Western blotting. Significant reductions in the ankle circumference, articular index, and radiographic score were observed in AdHKBP-treated rats compared with control rats treated with the adenoviral plasmid carrying green fluorescent protein. Kallistatin gene transfer also significantly ameliorated the histologic scores in ankle joints and reduced vessel density and neutrophil numbers. The inhibitory effect of kallistatin on the accumulation of inflammatory cells in ankle joints was accompanied by reduced TNFalpha and IL-1beta levels in joint homogenates. Furthermore, an in vitro experiment showed that the proliferation of endothelial cells was markedly inhibited by the addition of AdHKBP-treated joint extract to the culture media, supporting a role of kallistatin in inhibiting angiogenesis.
This study demonstrates that kallistatin gene therapy has a prophylactic effect in inhibiting arthritis in the rat ankle. Kallistatin inhibits arthritis through its antiangiogenesis and antiinflammation activities. These results implicate potential therapeutic applications for suppression of arthritis by kallistatin gene therapy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chemokine receptor expression has been shown to be associated with the differentiation of T helper cells. The CCR3, CXCR4 and CCR5 expression on circulating T cells were studied in 30 house dust mite sensitive-patients with allergic diseases and in another 30 healthy controls. The expression was analyzed in CD4, CD8 and double negative (DN) T cells by triple fluorescence staining. In addition, intracellular cytokine staining was performed in the CCR3+ CD4+ T cells. Increased circulating portions of CCR3+ CD4+ T cells and CCR3+ DN T cells were found in these patients (p < 0.01). There was no statistically significant difference in the expression of CXCR4 and CCR5 on T cells. The follow-up data of the patients did not show a statistically significant change in the CCR3 expression. IL-4 was expressed within CCR3+ CD4+ T cells upon activation. The IL-4 secreting CCR3+ type 2 T helper cells may play a pathogenetic role in immune responses of house dust mite-sensitive Chinese patients with allergic diseases.
Asian Pacific journal of allergy and immunology / launched by the Allergy and Immunology Society of Thailand 12/2003; 21(4):205-10. · 0.79 Impact Factor