Z Balogh

Hospital General de Niños Pedro de Elizalde, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires F.D., Argentina

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Publications (35)100.42 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES: Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a chronic inflammatory joint disease affecting children. Even if remission is successfully induced, about half of the patients experience a relapse after stopping anti-inflammatory therapy. The present study investigated whether patients with JIA at risk of relapse can be identified by biomarkers even if clinical signs of disease activity are absent. METHODS: Patients fulfilling the criteria of inactive disease on medication were included at the time when all medication was withdrawn. The phagocyte activation markers S100A12 and myeloid-related proteins 8/14 (MRP8/14) were compared as well as the acute phase reactant high-sensitivity C reactive protein (hsCRP) as predictive biomarkers for the risk of a flare within a time frame of 6 months. RESULTS: 35 of 188 enrolled patients experienced a flare within 6 months. Clinical or standard laboratory parameters could not differentiate between patients at risk of relapse and those not at risk. S100A12 and MRP8/14 levels were significantly higher in patients who subsequently developed flares than in patients with stable remission. The best single biomarker for the prediction of flare was S100A12 (HR 2.81). The predictive performance may be improved if a combination with hsCRP is used. CONCLUSIONS: Subclinical disease activity may result in unstable remission (ie, a status of clinical but not immunological remission). Biomarkers such as S100A12 and MRP8/14 inform about the activation status of innate immunity at the molecular level and thereby identify patients with unstable remission and an increased risk of relapse.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 06/2012; · 8.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hereby, we report the case of a 12-year-old girl developing oligoarthritis and progressing into a polyarticular form. Rheumatoid factor was positive, and juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) was diagnosed. After a poor response to DMARDs, an anti-TNF agent (infliximab) was initiated, but to be discontinued due to an allergic reaction. The same complication was observed with the fully human derivative, adalimumab. At the age of 22, the patient presented septicemia with severe anemia and subsequent development of leukopenia, myocarditis with heart failure, and ANA, aSm, aSS-A, aCL positives, and nephrotic syndrome. These new clinical manifestations fulfilled the classification criteria for the diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus. Due to the poor therapeutic responses for both diseases, alternative medical options have to be considered, such as targeted therapy with anti-CD20 or interleukin-6 receptor antagonist monoclonal antibodies. This patient may also be a candidate for autologous hemopoietic stem cell transplantation.
    Rheumatology International 05/2011; 31(5):695-8. · 2.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To report the efficacy and safety of TNF-α inhibitors (etanercept and adalimumab) in a cohort of patients with JIA treated in a single paediatric rheumatological centre. Patients with JIA under the age of 18 years, treated with TNF-α blockers at the Paediatric Rheumatologic Centre of the National Institute of Rheumatology and Physiotherapy (Budapest, Hungary) from 2002, were enrolled in an open, observational study. At baseline, patient and disease characteristics were registered. Disease activity was evaluated (before the start of the treatment and after every 3 months) according to the JIA core set of the ACR paediatric definition of improvement (ACR Pedi). Adverse events (AEs) were documented. In all, 72 patients were evaluated. Mean (S.D.) age at onset was 5.5 (3.8) years, mean disease duration was 7.4 (3.9) years. All disease activity parameters improved significantly in the first 3 months of treatment. After 3 and 12 months of treatment, 88 and 76% of patients, respectively, achieved the criteria of the ACR Pedi 30. AEs were uncommon. After 12 months, >85% of patients continued the therapy. Anti-TNF-α agents (etanercept and adalimumab) are effective, safe and well tolerated in JIA patients. Extension of this study for a longer follow-up period and to the patients with JIA after the age of 18 years (with validated and comparable disease activity parameters) is needed to evaluate the long-term effectiveness and safety of the TNF-α inhibitors.
    Rheumatology (Oxford, England) 03/2011; 50(7):1337-40. · 4.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To develop a provisional definition for the evaluation of response to therapy in juvenile dermatomyositis (DM) based on the Paediatric Rheumatology International Trials Organisation juvenile DM core set of variables. Thirty-seven experienced pediatric rheumatologists from 27 countries achieved consensus on 128 difficult patient profiles as clinically improved or not improved using a stepwise approach (patient's rating, statistical analysis, definition selection). Using the physicians' consensus ratings as the "gold standard measure," chi-square, sensitivity, specificity, false-positive and-negative rates, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, and kappa agreement for candidate definitions of improvement were calculated. Definitions with kappa values >0.8 were multiplied by the face validity score to select the top definitions. The top definition of improvement was at least 20% improvement from baseline in 3 of 6 core set variables with no more than 1 of the remaining worsening by more than 30%, which cannot be muscle strength. The second-highest scoring definition was at least 20% improvement from baseline in 3 of 6 core set variables with no more than 2 of the remaining worsening by more than 25%, which cannot be muscle strength (definition P1 selected by the International Myositis Assessment and Clinical Studies group). The third is similar to the second with the maximum amount of worsening set to 30%. This indicates convergent validity of the process. We propose a provisional data-driven definition of improvement that reflects well the consensus rating of experienced clinicians, which incorporates clinically meaningful change in core set variables in a composite end point for the evaluation of global response to therapy in juvenile DM.
    Arthritis care & research. 11/2010; 62(11):1533-41.
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    ABSTRACT: To assess the long-term efficacy and safety of infliximab plus methotrexate in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). Patients eligible for the open-label extension (OLE, weeks 52-204) received infliximab 3-6 mg/kg every 8 weeks plus methotrexate. Of the 78/122 (64%) children entering the OLE, 42 discontinued infliximab, most commonly due to consent withdrawal (11 patients), lack of efficacy (eight patients) or patient/physician/sponsor requirement (eight patients). Infliximab (mean dose 4.4 mg/kg per infusion) was generally well tolerated. Infusion reactions occurred in 32% (25/78) of patients, with a higher incidence in patients positive for antibodies to infliximab (58%, 15/26). At week 204, the proportions of patients achieving ACR-Pedi-30/50/70/90 response criteria and inactive disease status were 44%, 40%, 33%, 24% and 13%, respectively. In the limited population of JRA patients remaining in the study at 4 years, infliximab was safe and effective but associated with a high patient discontinuation rate.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 04/2010; 69(4):718-22. · 8.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In the present report the authors describe four cases with megacolon and arthritis. The etiology of these unique associations is known in only one case. The musculoskeletal pictures belong to the group of seronegative spondyloarthritis. A huge resistance with great scibalas was detected in the left iliac region by physical examination in all cases. Surgical procedures of the colon resulted in complete remission of arthritis in one case, in the others, chronic obstipation with intermittent relapse of arthritis persisted.
    Orvosi Hetilap 07/2009; 150(23):1083-7.
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the possible association between polymorphisms of the mannose-binding lectin gene (MBL2) and susceptibility to juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). We performed a case-control association study including 118 Hungarian patients with JIA and 118 sex-matched healthy controls. MBL genotyping for the 3 mutant structural alleles at codons 54 (B), 57 (C), and 52 (D) in exon 1 and the promoter polymorphisms at position -550 (HL) and -221 (YX) were carried out by real-time PCR allelic discrimination. Serum level of MBL was determined by ELISA. Variant allele frequencies of both codon 52 and 57 polymorphisms in the MBL2 gene were significantly overrepresented in JIA (p=0.001 and p=0.004, respectively). The frequency of low MBL genotypes (XA/XA, YA/YO, XA/YO, and YO/YO) in JIA was higher than that in healthy controls (p=0.001). Serum MBL concentrations were found to be significantly lower in JIA patients versus control subjects (p=0.001). The 2 promoter polymorphisms and codon 54 SNP of the MBL2 gene were not associated with JIA. Our findings suggest that genetically determined low MBL levels may predispose children to JIA in a Hungarian population. These data warrant further research to investigate the role of the lectin-dependent complement system in the pathogenesis of JIA.
    The Journal of Rheumatology 05/2009; 36(4):843-7. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Assess long-term efficacy and safety of infliximab plus methotrexate (MTX) in juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). METHODS: Patients eligible for the open-label extension (OLE, weeks 52-204) received infliximab 3-6 mg/kg q8wks plus MTX. RESULTS: Of the 78/122 (64%) children entering the OLE, 42 discontinued infliximab, most commonly due to consent withdrawal (11 patients), lack of efficacy (8 patients) or patient/physician/sponsor requirement (8 patients). Infliximab (mean dose=4.4 mg/kg/infusion) was generally well tolerated. Infusion reactions occurred in 32% (25/78) of patients, with a higher incidence in patients positive for antibodies to infliximab (58%, 15/26). At week 204, the proportions of patients achieving ACR-Pedi-30/50/70/90 response criteria and inactive disease status were 44%, 40%, 33%, 24%, and 13%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: In the limited population of JRA patients remaining in the study through 4 years, infliximab was safe and effective but associated with a high patient discontinuation rate.
    Annals of the rheumatic diseases 05/2009; · 8.11 Impact Factor
  • International Journal of Clinical Rheumatology 01/2009; 4(6):673-680.
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    Pediatric Rheumatology 01/2008; 6. · 1.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The idiopathic inflammatory myopathies are systemic autoimmune diseases characterized by chronic muscle inflammation resulting progressive weakness and frequent involvement of internal organs, mainly the pulmonary, gastrointestinal and cardiac systems. To present clinical characteristics, disease course, frequency of relapses and survival of 79 patients with juvenile or adult dermatomyositis. A national registry of patients with juvenile dermatomyositis was elaborated by the authors in Hungary. The authors summarize data of the register such as signs and symptoms, disease course, frequency of relapses and survival of patients with juvenile dermatomyositis. Analysis was performed using data of 44 patients diagnosed between 1976 and 2004 according to Bohan and Peter's criteria. Survival probability was calculated by Kaplan-Meier method. Data of patients with juvenile dermatomyositis were compared with data of 35 patients with adult dermatomyositis. In view of the disease course, the authors found that more than the half of patients have monophasic disease, while one third of them suffered from polycyclic disease. The risk of the relapse was found to be higher during the first year after the remission. None of the juvenile patients died. Among adult patients, 4 disease-specific deaths occurred. There was no correlation between relapse free survival and initial therapeutic regimen. Many of the patients had polycyclic or chronic disease. As relapses can occur after a prolonged disease-free interval, patients should be followed up for at least 2 years. Despite favourable survival probability, further investigations are needed to assess functional outcome.
    Orvosi Hetilap 11/2007; 148(42):1989-97.
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    ABSTRACT: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of infliximab in the treatment of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). This was an international, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study. One hundred twenty-two children with persistent polyarticular JRA despite prior methotrexate (MTX) therapy were randomized to receive infliximab or placebo for 14 weeks, after which all children received infliximab through week 44. Patients received MTX plus infliximab 3 mg/kg through week 44, or MTX plus placebo for 14 weeks followed by MTX plus infliximab 6 mg/kg through week 44. Although a higher proportion of patients in the 3 mg/kg infliximab group than in the placebo group had achieved responses according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Pediatric 30 (Pedi 30) criteria for improvement at week 14 (63.8% and 49.2%, respectively), the between-group difference in this primary efficacy end point was not statistically significant (P = 0.12). By week 16, after the crossover from placebo to infliximab 6 mg/kg when all patients were receiving infliximab, an ACR Pedi 30 response was achieved in 73.2% of all patients. By week 52, ACR Pedi 50 and ACR Pedi 70 responses had been reached in 69.6% and 51.8%, respectively, of patients. Infliximab was generally well tolerated, but the safety profile of infliximab 3 mg/kg appeared less favorable than that of infliximab 6 mg/kg, with more frequent occurrences of serious adverse events, infusion reactions, antibodies to infliximab, and newly induced antinuclear antibodies and antibodies to double-stranded DNA observed with the 3 mg/kg dose. While infliximab at 3 mg/kg and 6 mg/kg showed durable efficacy at 1 year, achievement of the primary efficacy end point at 3 months did not differ significantly between infliximab-treated and placebo-treated patients. Safety data indicated that the 6-mg/kg dose may provide a more favorable risk/benefit profile. These results warrant further investigation in children with JRA.
    Arthritis & Rheumatology 10/2007; 56(9):3096-106. · 7.48 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To compare health-related quality of life (HRQL) and to identify clinical determinants for poor HRQL of patients with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) coming from three geographic areas. The HRQL was assessed through the Child Health Questionnaire (CHQ). A total of 30 countries were included grouped in three geographic areas: 16 countries in Western Europe; 10 in Eastern Europe; and four in Latin America. Potential determinants of poor HRQL included demographic data, physician's and parent's global assessments, measures of joint inflammation, disability as measured by Childhood Health Assessment Questionnaire (CHAQ) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate. Poor HRQL was defined as a CHQ physical summary score (PhS) or psychosocial summary score (PsS) <2 S.D. from that of healthy children. A total of 3167 patients with JIA, younger than 18 yrs, were included in this study. The most affected health concepts (<2 S.D. from healthy children) that differentiate the three geographic areas include physical functioning, bodily pain/discomfort, global health, general health perception, change in health with respect to the previous year, self-esteem and family cohesion. Determinants for poor HRQL were similar across geographic areas with physical well-being mostly affected by the level of disability while the psychosocial well-being by the intensity of pain. We found that patients with JIA have a significant impairment of their HRQL compared with healthy peers, particularly in the physical domain. Disability and pain are the most important determinants of physical and psychosocial well-being irrespective of the geographic area of origin.
    Rheumatology 02/2007; 46(2):314-20. · 4.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIMs) are systemic autoimmune diseases characterized by chronic muscle inflammation resulting in progressive weakness and frequent involvement of internal organs, mainly the pulmonary, gastrointestinal and cardiac systems which considerably contribute to the morbidity and mortality of the IIMs. Aim of this study was to present clinical characteristics, disease course, frequency of relapses and survival in patients with juvenile dermatomyositis (DM). A national registry of patients with juvenile IIMs was elaborated by the authors in Hungary. We have summarized data of the register according to signs and symptoms, disease course, frequency of relapses and survival of patients with juvenile IIM. Analysis was performed using data of 44 patients with juvenile DM diagnosed between 1976 and 2004 according to Bohan and Peter's criteria. Survival probability was calculated by Kaplan-Meier method. Data of patients with juvenile DM were compared with data of 66 patients with adult DM. The most frequent cutaneous features were facial erythema and heliotrope rash. Extramuscular and extraskeletal manifestations of the disease were more frequent in adult patients. The most common extramuscular feature was arthralgia in both groups of patients with juvenile or adult DM. Cardiac manifestation of the disease was not observed in juvenile patients. Respiratory muscle involvement and interstitial lung disease (ILD) were more frequent among adult DM patients than cardiac manifestation of the myositis. In view of the disease course, the authors found that frequency of polycyclic and monophasic subtypes of the disease were mainly similar. The hazard of relapse was found higher during the first year after the remission. None of the juvenile patients died. Among adult patients four disease-specific deaths occurred. There was no correlation between relapse free survival and initial therapeutic regimen. Many of our patients had polycyclic or chronic disease. As relapses can occur after a prolonged disease-free interval, patients should be followed up for at least 2 years. Although we found favourable survival probability, further investigations are needed to assess functional outcome.
    Autoimmunity 06/2006; 39(3):223-32. · 2.77 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: To prepare a website for families and health professionals containing up to date information about paediatric rheumatic diseases (PRD). Firstly, paediatric rheumatology centres and family self help associations were surveyed to characterise current clinical practice of physicians providing care for children with PRD, research activities, and training facilities of each centre. Secondly, international consensus was reached on the content of the website. Finally, the website was developed and the texts translated. The web page contains three main sections: (a) description for families of the characteristics of 15 PRD; (b) list of paediatric rheumatology centres; (c) contact information for family self help associations. A version for 45 countries in 52 languages (with another three in progress) is now available on the web. 291 surveys from 171 centres and 102 family associations were received from 42 countries. The median proportion of time spent in paediatric practice in the centres examined was 100%, with 70% of this time dedicated to paediatric rheumatology. 90% of the centres were willing to perform clinical trials in the future. The PRINTO/PRES website provides a well defined and competent set of information about PRD, with appropriate multiple translated versions and easy web navigational direction.
    Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 08/2005; 64(7):1101-6. · 9.11 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Our aim is to present the disease course, frequency of relapses and survival of juvenile and adult dermatomyositis (JDM/DM) patients. Analysis was performed using data on 73 patients. The median follow-up for 38 JDM patients was 32 months and 78 months for 35 adult DM patients. 23/38 JDM patients (60%) had monophasic, 12/38 (31.6%) had polycyclic and 3/38 (7.9%) had chronic disease. Among children treated only with glucocorticoids, 12/20 (60%) had monophasic and 8/20 (40%) had polycyclic disease. 10/17 (58.8%) children, who required second-line immunosuppressive agents, had monophasic and 4/17 (23.5%) had polycyclic disease. 18/35 DM (51.4%) patients had monophasic, 13/35 (37.1%) had polycyclic, 1/35 (2.9%) had chronic disease and 3/35 (8.6%) had fulminant myositis. Among DM patients requiring only glucocorticoids, 12/20 (60%) were monophasic and 8/20 (40%) were polycyclic. In patients requiring second-line immunosuppressive agents, 6/15 patients (40%) had monophasic and 5/15 (33.3%) had polycyclic disease. Among patients with polycyclic disease, the risk of relapse was higher during first year than later in the disease course. None of the JDM patients have died, while 4 disease-specific deaths occurred in adult patients. There was no significant difference between the survival of JDM and DM patients. There was no correlation between relapse-free survival and the initial therapeutic regimen. Many of our patients had polycyclic or chronic disease. As relapses can occur after a prolonged disease-free interval, patients should be followed for at least 2 years. Although we found a favourable survival rate, further investigations are needed to assess functional outcome.
    Clinical and experimental rheumatology 01/2005; 23(1):50-6. · 2.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Relapsing polychondritis is a relatively rare disease characterized by episodic inflammation and progressive destruction of cartilage involving ears, nasal and laryngotracheal cartilage, cardiovascular system and the eyes. The increasing awareness of its clinically distinct has resulted in recognition of at least 550 reported cases. Six cases are reported to demonstrate the wide variety of clinical pattern. The most common features of the disease are auricular and nasal cartilage inflammation and nondeforming arthritis. Ocular symptoms and vasculitis is relatively rare. Two cases of relapsing polychondritis with laryngotracheobronchial manifestations illustrate the severe clinical features of the disease. Relapsing polychondritis may associate with diverse forms of connective tissue disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis. It seems interesting to note the onset in childhood. Treatment has been primarily symptomatic. In situations of mild symptoms, initial treatment is with nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs. For cases with serious manifestation, corticosteroids and immunosuppressants are indicated.
    Orvosi Hetilap 07/2000; 141(25):1397-401.
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    ABSTRACT: The concentration of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecules (sVCAM-1) of serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) was measured in clinically selected multiple sclerosis (MS) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, using an ELISA assay. The mean sVCAM-1 concentration in the serum of SLE patients was higher than normal. The mean CSF sVCAM-1 concentration was increased in the MS as in the SLE group. On analysis, the data suggests that there are some similarities in the immunological effects of these two different diseases of the central nervous system. A longitudinal analysis of the CSF is requested.
    Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 03/1999; 99(2):95-9. · 2.47 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The authors present the case of a 47-year old female patient. She suffered from a moderate activity SLE for two years. The outcome of SLE was changed by an ulcer because of leg injury, which was repeatedly infected. Severe polyarthritis, leucopenia, thrombocytopenia, clinical signs of vasculitis and in the last two months fever, high ESR, and pericarditis appeared. The angina pectoris, the cardiac decompensation, the electrocardiogram, the echocardiogram was suspect to diffuse myocardial lesion. Cardiac decompensation caused the death of the patient. Besides the activation of her autoimmune disease, infection was suspect in the patient taken immunosuppressive and steroid drugs, though it could not be verified. Autopsy verified besides the recent necrosis of heart without reaction, and multifocal myocardial abscess, which appeared possible in the terminal phase.
    Orvosi Hetilap 09/1993; 134(34):1869-74.