[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although the existence of a motor defect in discogenic sciatica is a sign of severity, the literature does not provide evidence for an immediate requirement for surgery.
To assess the course of sciatica with discogenic paresis and to determine possible prognostic factors for recovery or improvement.
This open prospective multicenter study included patients with discogenic sciatica with paresis that had been developing for less than 1 month and was rated < or =3 on a 5-grade scale. Pain, the strength of 11 muscles, return to work, and analgesic intake were assessed at 1, 3, and 6 months. Recovery and improvement were defined by pain not exceeding 20 mm or < or =50% of the initial pain score and a score of either 5 (recovery) or 4 (improvement) for the weakest muscle at inclusion.
Sixty-seven patients were enrolled; 39 (58%) patients were treated surgically and 28 (42%) medically. Surgically treated patients differed from medically treated patients by a higher rate of extruded herniation, a higher number of paretic muscles (6.3 vs. 5; P = 0.051), and a longer course of sciatica (31.4 vs. 17.3 days; P = 0.034). At 6 months, 7 (10.4%) patients were lost to follow-up; 32 (53.3%) had improved, including 18 (30%) recovered, 33 (85%) back to work and having a professional activity, and 22 (39%) still taking analgesics. The only significant difference between recovered and not recovered patients was mean age at inclusion (43 vs. 51 years, P = 0.034). There were no significant differences between improved and not improved patients. Moreover, the outcome was not different in the two treatment groups: there were 17 (53%) improvements in surgically treated patients, including 8 (25%) recoveries, and 14 (56%) improvements in medically treated patients, including 8 (40%) recoveries.
This pilot study showed no difference between surgical or medical management for recovery or improvement in patients with discogenic paresis. These results need confirmation by a randomized study.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gout is a common disease. Although effective treatments are available for gout, there is some disagreement as to how they should be used. To study prescription patterns in gout, we conducted a questionnaire survey among 2520 rheumatologists. Seven hundred and fifty completed questionnaires were returned over a two-month period. Among respondents, 35.4% worked in a private office, 21% in a hospital and 43.6% in both. The most widely prescribed treatments in acute gout attack were colchicine alone (63%), colchicine with a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drug (NSAID) (31.7%) and NSAID alone (5.2%), with significant variations according to the type of practice. Mean duration of treatment in acute gout was 18 +/- 16.8 days (range, 3-180 days). Mean time interval between the attack and initiation of therapy with a xanthine oxidase inhibitor was 21.6 +/- 17.2 days (range 0-180); here also, significant variations were seen according to the type of practice. Concomitant symptomatic therapy was prescribed in 97.3% of cases, for a mean duration of 54 +/- 55.4 days (range 2-365). Thirty per cent of responders never prescribed uricosuric agents. The estimated rate of occurrence of treatment-induced attacks increased with the reported interval between the attack and initiation of urate-lowering therapy. Our data demonstrate that French rheumatologists have widely diverging views on how to treat gout. Whether a waiting period is needed between an acute attack and initiation of urate-lowering therapy, and how long this period should be, are unsettled issues that deserve to be studied.
No preview · Article · May 1996 · Revue du rhumatisme (English ed.)
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We prospectively studied all patients hospitalized for connective tissue disease (CTD) in our French rheumatology clinic from January 1979 to December 1989. Our aims were 1) to determine if CTDs associated with occupational exposure to silica (Si) are currently observed in a rheumatology clinic, and, if so, 2) to describe the major features of Si-associated CTD, and 3) to specify which individuals are affected by Si-associated CTD. Patients were divided into 2 groups based on their responses to a questionnaire: those who had been exposed to Si, and those who had no occupational exposure to Si. Among the 764 patients with CTD studied, 24 (3%) were patients with Si-associated CTD and 740 (97%) were patients with non-Si-associated CTD. The sex ratio between the 2 groups was significantly different with a high frequency of men and of immigrants in the Si-associated CTD group. Two thirds of the patients exposed to Si were male miners or sandblasters, but the other third had more unusual exposures to Si, which may involve members of all socio-economics sectors and both sexes, such as sculpture or exposure to abrasive powders. Progressive systemic sclerosis (PSS) was significantly more prevalent in the Si-associated CTD group. This group also consisted of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), dermatomyositis (DM), and other autoimmune diseases. Si-associated CTD was characterized by the frequency of radiologic lung fibrosis, impaired pulmonary function tests, secondary Sjögren syndrome, and antinuclear antibodies. The number of mineral particles and crystalline Si content were raised in all the bronchoalveolar lavage specimens of Si-exposed patients but in none of those of nonexposed patients. In some cases of Si-associated CTD, the disease was reversible after early cessation of Si exposure. Epidemiologic studies are required to confirm our hypothesis that not only PSS and RA but also SLE and DM are associated with occupational exposure to Si. Pending such results, exposure to Si should be sought in the history of any patient with CTD, especially in a male patient with pulmonary signs, and if present, exposure should be stopped. In the meantime, steps should be taken to ensure that workers exposed to Si in all environments have adequate protection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatological complications are sometimes disabling in heart transplant recipients and may negate the good results obtained with transplantation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the incidence of these complications. 365 consecutive heart transplant recipients (292 males and 73 females) were systematically interviewed and examined according to a standardized protocol. The mean age of the patients was 45.9 +/- 12.0 years (range: 11-68). The mean duration from transplantation to time of the study was 35.8 +/- 25.6 months (range: 1-115). The rheumatological disorders most frequently encountered were: gout, osteoporosis, osteonecrosis and myalgias. Early-onset polyarticular gout was diagnosed in 63/365 patients (17.3%). This diagnosis was significantly associated with patient's age, time since transplant, male sex, serum uric acid, serum creatinine, diuretics intake and inversely associated with the serum cyclosporin levels. Hyperuricemia was observed in 75.9% of transplant recipients with a mean of 507.5 +/- 132.5 mumol/l (range: 97-965). An osteoporotic fracture was present in 18/365 patients (4.9%) and was significantly associated with the patient's age, but not with the dose of corticosteroids. Osteonecrosis was detected in 10/365 patients (2.7%), always affected the hip, and was significantly associated with the patient's age, but not with the high doses of steroids. Myalgias were reported by 14/365 patients (3.8%). Laboratory, electromyographic and histological analysis were negative. Rheumatological complications are frequent in heart transplant recipients and justify preventive and therapeutic management.
No preview · Article · Feb 1993 · Revue du Rhumatisme