[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to investigate apolipoprotein (apo) A-I, apo B, lipoprotein (Lp) (a), HDL-cholesterol (C), LDL-C, triglycerides (TG) and total cholesterol (TC) values in the serum and synovial fluid (SF) of untreated rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and osteoarthritis (OA) patients.
Paired SF and serum samples were collected simultaneously from 14 patients with RA, 14 with PsA, and 16 with OA and tested for apo A-I, apo B, HDL-C, LDL-C, Lp(a), TC and TG. Serum C reactive protein (CRP) and amyloid A (SAA) levels were also determined.
The inflammatory arthritis patients had higher SF lipid levels with the exception of HDL. Reflecting increased synovial permeability, the lipid SF/serum ratio was always higher in RA and PsA with respect to OA patients. The positive correlation between serum and SF apo A-I, apo B, HDL-C, TG, and Lp(a) levels confirmed that there is lipoprotein diffusion into the SF. RA and PsA patients had lower concentrations of all serum lipids except for Lp(a) with respect to OA patients. The levels in the RA patients were similar to those in healthy matched controls, while the PsA patients had significantly lower apo A-I and HDL levels and higher apo B and LDL values.
Lipid diffusion into the joint cavity, which largely depends on the degree of inflammation, may contribute to modulating local inflammatory processes.
Clinica chimica acta; international journal of clinical chemistry 01/2012; 413(1-2):303-7. · 2.54 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We evaluated both the efficacy and safety of anakinra in daily routine rheumatoid arthritis clinical practice.
We studied 60 cases, including patients with previous anti-TNFalpha exposure, treated with anakinra (100 mg/daily s.c.) in combination with methotrexate (7.5-10 mg/week i.m.) or leflunomide (20 mg/die) in a two year observational study. Efficacy measures were assessed using the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) response criteria. Safety was evaluated according to a modified World Health Organization adverse reaction term dictionary.
At week 14, ACR 20% response criteria have been fulfilled by 53 (91.3%) out of 58 patients, 51 (87.9%) of them achieving also an ACR 50%and 15 (25.8%) an ACR 70%response. Thirteen patients touched 102 weeks of treatment: ACR 20% response was achieved in 92.3%, while ACR 50% and ACR 70% were respectively found in 84.6% and 38.4% of the cases. The mean decrease in HAQ score was 0.38, p<0.001. Of the 16 patients who were previously treated with anti-TNFalpha blockers, 81.2% responded to anakinra. There was no significant difference in the ACR response between groups with and without previous anti-TNFalpha exposure. Seventeen patients (28.3%) stopped anakinra because of side-effects (5%) or failure to respond (23.3%). Only 4 cases of pulmonitis, of which 2 have been hospitalised, and 1 case with tuberculosis (previously treated with infliximab) were observed.
Our clinical experience confirms that anakinra is effective and safe in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Anakinra seems also useful in patients with previous anti-TNFalpha blockers failures. Even though major adverse events were rare, clinicians should be aware of such a possibility.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diffuse-type tenosynovial giant cell tumors, also known as pigmented villonodular synovitis, are unique mesenchymal lesions that arise from the synovial tissue of the joints. They are predominantly intraarticular, aggressive, infiltrative processes, characterized by both inflammatory or neoplastic properties and local destructive progression. The pattern of synovial gene and protein expressions in pigmented villonodular synovitis, similar to those in activated macrophages in rheumatoid arthritis, and the phenotype of multinucleated giant cells, characteristic of osteoclasts, suggest that there is a common autocrine mechanism in osteoclast differentiation in both diseases and indicate the potential utility of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha blockade. High synovial colony stimulating factor 1 (CSF1) messenger RNA (m RNA) expression in pigmented villonodular synovitis, unrelated to a chromosomal translocation involving CSF1 locus, may indicate that there is a synergic paracrine loop mediated by TNF-alpha and CSF1, as shown in both inflammatory and neoplastic conditions. The effects of a new therapeutic approach consisting in intraarticular TNF-alpha blockade were studied in four pigmented villonodular synovitis knees. Knee injections produced a rapid reduction in clinical and sonographic indexes and immunohistological alterations, confirmed by arthroscopic synovectomy. A delayed relapse in one of the four knees and unaltered synovial CSF1 expression were other important findings. In the light of these observations, CSF1/CSF1R interaction probably represents a more sensible therapeutic target than TNF-alpha blockade in the diffuse form of pigmented villonodular synovitis.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate whether high density lipoproteins (HDL) affect monosodium urate (MSU) crystal-induced inflammation in the murine air pouch model.
MSU crystals were prepared by Denko's method and sterilized by heating at 180°C for 2 h before each experiment. Human HDL were isolated from peripheral blood of healthy volunteers. MSU crystals (2 mg in 1 ml of PBS) were injected into subcutaneous air pouches in mice in the presence or absence of HDL (0.1 mg). Negative control pouches received 1 ml of PBS. To recover pouch fluid, the pouches were washed with 2 ml of PBS after the animals were sacrificed. The leukocyte count in the lavage fluids was obtained using a hemocytometer and differential leukocyte count was determined by May-Grunwald-Giemsa staining. IL-6, KC, CCL2 and TNF-α levels were measured in exudates by ELISA.
MSU crystals increased the number of leukocytes and the neutrophil migration, as well as the concentrations of IL-6, KC and CCL2 in pouch fluids, while the TNF-α levels were not detectable. The treatment with HDL led to a reduction in all inflammatory parameters: the leukocyte count decreased by 73%; the neutrophil density decreased by 35%; the IL-6, KC and CCL2 concentration decreased by 4-, 6- and 5-fold respectively.
This study shows that HDL may limit the inflammatory process by inhibiting leukocyte recruitment and cytokine release. HDL are likely to represent a mechanism of control of crystal-induced inflammation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MonitorNet is a database established by the Italian Society of Rheumatology (SIR) in January 2007 and funded by the Italian Medicines Agency (AIFA), for the active long-term follow-up of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis treated with biologic agents. All hospital Rheumatology Units in Italy were invited to participate in a non-interventional, observational, epidemiological study. The study is conducted in a routine clinical setting (real-world practice) where biologics are prescribed on the basis of current recommendations. In this report we describe the design, methodology, and present preliminary data of the study. At the time of the analysis (April 2009) the database included 3510 patients: 2469 (70.3%) with established RA, 675 (19.2%) with PsA and 366 (10.4%) with AS. The cumulative follow up period was 8,787 patient-years (RA: 8,388, PsA: 157; AS: 242). There were 1,538 adverse events in 938 (26.7%) patients. Infections were recorded in 630 patients, skin-related adverse events in 142 and post-infusion reactions in 90. A total of 30 malignancies were reported. An interim analysis of efficacy was conducted on 2,148 RA patients. Seven hundred and thirty-one patients (35.8%) achieved EULAR remission (defined as DAS28<2.4). When assessed with the more restrictive CDAI and SDAI criteria, the frequency of remission was lower (17.9% and 14.7% respectively). Availability of funding for this study provided an opportunity to organize a collaborative national network of rheumatology clinics to develop a large multicentre observational study.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:
To investigate lipid and apolipoprotein (Apo) levels in synovial fluid (SF) and serum of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and osteoarthritis (OA).
SF of 44 patients (14 RA, 14 PsA, 16 OA) was tested for Apo A-I, HDL-C, total cholesterol (TC), IL-1Beta, TNF-alpha, white blood cell count (WBC) and polymorphonucleate (PMN) percentage. Blood samples, collected simultaneously to the SF, were examined for Apo A-I, HDL-C, TC, TNF-alpha, serum amyloid A (SAA) and C-reactive protein (CRP). Thirty-three healthy donors served as a control group.
Serum levels of Apo A-I, HDL-C and TC were higher in OA as compared with RA, PsA and the control group. The patients with inflammatory arthritis had lower serum levels of Apo A-I and HDL-C than did the controls. Apo A-I concentrations were higher in SF of RA patients, while PsA showed the highest concentration of TC, though not reaching statistical significance. A negative correlation was found between serum Apo A-I and synovial WBC (r=-0.48 p=0.002) and IL-1Beta (r=-0.42 p=0.016). There was a strong positive correlation between the Apo A-I SF/serum ratio and synovial WBC (r=0.73 p<0.001), IL-1Beta (r=0.68 p<0.001) and a weak, yet significant, correlation with serum CRP (r=0.49 p=0.002) and SAA (r=0.41 p=0.008).
Our study confirms that in RA Apo A-I and TC levels are decreased in plasma and increased in SF, thus suggesting infiltration of HDL particles in the inflamed joint with inhibition of the local production of proinflammatory cytokines. On the other hand, it can be hypothesized that the sequestration of Apo A-I in the inflamed tissue may, in part, account for the reduction of circulating HDL and the excess cardiovascular risk in RA and PsA patients.
Clinical and experimental rheumatology 01/2009; 27:79-83. · 2.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) is a life-threatening and debilitating complication of several connective tissue diseases. We aimed to evaluate the effects of long-term treatment with bosentan, an oral dual endothelin ET(A)/ET(B) receptor antagonist, in a cohort of patients with PAH related to connective tissue diseases.
In the present prospective, noncontrolled study, 13 patients (nine with systemic sclerosis, two with systemic lupus erythematosus, one with mixed connective tissue disease and one with overlap syndrome including scleroderma and myositis), mostly nonresponders to prostanoids therapy, were treated for 1 year with bosentan. Cardiac haemodynamics and the diagnosis of PAH were performed by Doppler ultrasound examination. Exercise capacity was assessed by 6-min walking test at baseline and at 3, 6 and 12 months of therapy.
During bosentan treatment, progressive improvement of exercise capacity was observed. Walk distance increased in seven patients, remained unchanged in three and slightly decreased in three patients. A progressive significant decrease of right ventricular systolic pressure was also observed, whereas pulmonary artery mean pressure remained unchanged. Adverse effects related to bosentan (elevation of hepatic aminotransferases) were noted in two patients.
Long-term treatment with bosentan was effective in improving exercise capacity and pulmonary haemodynamics in patients with PAH related to connective tissue diseases.
European Journal of Clinical Investigation 10/2006; 36 Suppl 3:49-53. · 3.37 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS) is a rare pre-malignant disease that require aggressive treatment as surgical synovectomy, eventually followed by radiosynovectomy. Nevertheless, the disease often reoccurs after these treatments. To determine the safety and efficacy of intra-articular (IA) TNFalpha blockade with etanercept (ETN), before extended arthroscopic synovectomy, in severe PVNS of the knee, two patients, (a 26-year-old man with B27+ undifferentiated spondylarthropathy and a 32-year-old femal with seronegative oligoarthritis), affected by diffuse knee PVNS (diagnosis made by histological examination), resistant to IA corticosteroid injections and to repeated arthroscopic synovectomy, were submitted, after protocol approval by human research committee and patient's written informed consent to intra-articular etanercept (IA-ETN) treatment with a different dosage schedule: 12.5 mg weekly IA-ETN injection for 4 weeks, followed by extended arthroscopic synovectomy and of 25 mg IA-ETN injection for 4 weeks, respectively. Previous DMARDs treatment was continued in stable appropriate doses. Any adverse events were recorded throughout the study. The following parameters were considered as clinical endpoints: 1) Knee Joint Index (KJI: range 0-14); 2) Thompson index (THI: range 0-9) At the study entry and at the end of follow-up, high frequency ultrasound grey scale synovial thickening (US-ST) was also assessed. No adverse events were observed due to IA-ETN and to arthroscopic synovectomy. Marked improvement of knee disease activity over time and sustained functional recover was obtained. US-ST evaluation before treatment initiation and at the end of follow-up confirmed the regression of knee joint synovial proliferation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To determine the effect of tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) blockade with etanercept in refractory knee joint synovitis (KJS) in rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis, by local and systemic disease activity assessment and combined grey scale and power Doppler ultrasonographic monitoring.
27 knees affected by rheumatoid KJS (n = 12) and psoriatic KJS (n = 8) were assessed before receiving treatment and at 3 and 12 months' follow up. Time dependent clinical changes in disease activity were monitored by C reactive protein, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), global health status (GHS), and Ritchie (RAI) and knee joint articular (KJAI) indices; synovial changes were monitored by ultrasonographic and power Doppler indices for grey scale synovial thickening and for distinct intrasynovial vessel power Doppler flow configurations (fluid/synovium interface (F/SI-PD) and pannus/cartilage interface (P/CI-PD)). Interobserver and intraobserver variability of grey scale and power Doppler ultrasonographic was evaluated. Response to treatment was assessed by analysis of variance for repeated measures on clinical and ultrasonographic variables.
Rapid (3 months) reduction in F/SI-PD flow (p<0.001), parallel to reductions of C reactive protein (p<0.05), ESR (p<0.001), KJAI (p<0.002), RAI, and GHS (p<0.001), was sustained at 12 months when it was accompanied by reduction in both synovial thickening and P/CI-PD flow (p<0.001). No differences (ANOVA) were noted at baseline or at 12 months in clinical and ultrasonographic variables between either the rheumatoid or the psoriatic KJS groups.
Grey scale and power Doppler ultrasonography are reliable measures of long term change in rheumatoid and psoriatic KJS disease activity in response to anti-TNFalpha treatment with etanercept.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 06/2005; 64(6):899-905. · 9.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the value of serum C reactive protein (CRP) as a marker of erosive osteoarthritis (EOA) of the hand.
Ninety eight patients, 67 with EOA and 31 with non-EOA of the hand, were included in the study and analysed for radiographic score (RS), number of erosions, and joint count (JC) at clinical observation and at bone scintigraphy. CRP was assayed in a serum sample by a highly sensitive immunonephelometric method.
The median (interquartile range) CRP level was 4.7 (2.4-6.9) mg/l in the EOA and 2.1 (0.5-4.9) mg/l in the non-EOA group (p = 0.001). In all patients, CRP correlated with RS (r(s) = 0.43, p<0.001), and mainly with JC at clinical observation (r(s) = 0.72, p<0.001) and at bone scintigraphy (r(s) = 0.47, p<0.001). The correlation of CRP with RS and JC was confirmed at clinical observation and at bone scintigraphy in the EOA subgroup, but only with JC at clinical observation in the non-EOA subgroup.
CRP levels are higher in EOA than in non-EOA patients. These levels probably reflect the disease activity of EOA, as suggested by correlations between CRP and JC at clinical observation and at bone scintigraphy.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 06/2005; 64(6):955-7. · 9.11 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A case of an adult patient with vitamin D-resistant osteomalacia or X-linked hypophosphatemic osteomalacia (XLH) with diffuse calcification of entheses is reported. XLH is the most frequent cause of rickets in developed countries. It is characterized by an impaired renal transport of the phosphate and mutation of PFEX (phosphate regulating gene, with homologies to endopeptidase on the X-chromosome). In childhood, the classic clinical presentation includes short stature and bow leg. While at this age the main radiographic features are characterised by rickets, in adult life they are dominated by a generalised calcific enthesopathy. Concerning the pathogenesis of the enthesopathic lesions of XLH, no convincing hypothesis has yet been made. As in our patient, the extension and the severity of enthesopathy seems not related to the severity of the biochemical changes nor to the treatment with calcitriol. The calcified enthesopathy is an integral part of XLH and it is possible that it is found in adult because many years are necessary to produce it.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The real effects of mud-bath applications on the inflammatory process are still not clarified. We studied these effects on rat adjuvant-induced arthritis.
Arthritis was induced in 30 rats by subplantar injection of Freund's complete adjuvant (FCA) into the right hind paw. Ten days after FCA injection, the rats were randomized in 3 groups of 10 each: the first one was submitted to a cycle of mud-bath applications, the second one was treated with indomethacin, the third one received only saline per os (control group). The paw volume, measured by plethysmometry, and the serum levels of TNFalpha and IL-1beta were considered as evaluation parameters.
FCA injection caused a progressive enhancement of paw volume and a rapid increase of TNFalpha and IL-1beta serum levels. After the randomization, mud-bath applications reduced inflammation and at the end of the treatment the paw volume and the TNFa and IL-1beta serum levels were significantly tapered in comparison to the controls (p < 0.01).
The results of the study suggest an anti-inflammatory effect of mud-bath applications on adjuvant arthritis in rats. These results could explain the beneficial effects of thermal treatments observed in some inflammatory rheumatic diseases.
Clinical and experimental rheumatology 01/2004; 22(6):763-6. · 2.66 Impact Factor