[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We sought to investigate the characteristics, survival and risk factors for mortality in Chinese patients with connective tissue disease (CTD)-associated pulmonary arterial hypertension (APAH) in modern therapy era.129 consecutive adult patients who visited one of three referral centres in China with a diagnosis of CTD-APAH confirmed by right heart catheterisation during the previous 5 years were enrolled. The end-point was all-cause death or data censoring.Systemic lupus erythematosus was the most common underlying CTD (49%) and systemic sclerosis just accounted for 6% in this cohort. The overall survival at 1 and 3 years was 92% and 80%, respectively. Pericardial effusion, a shorter 6-min walk distance, lower mixed venous oxygen saturation, higher pulmonary vascular resistance (PVR) and alkaline phosphatase (ALP), and lower total cholesterol levels were all associated with a higher risk of death among the study population. Higher PVR and ALP were independent predictors of mortality.In conclusion, unlike in western patients, systemic lupus erythematosus is the most common underlying disease in Chinese patients with CTD-APAH. The survival of Chinese patients with CTD-APAH in the modern treatment era is similar to that in western countries. Elevated PVR and ALP are independent risk factors for poor outcomes.
No preview · Article · May 2014 · European Respiratory Journal
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Rheumatoid arthritis is characterized by type 17 helper T cell (Th17)/regulatory T cell (Treg) imbalance. The objective of this article is to study whether insufficient apoptosis contributes to the imbalance of Th17/Treg in rheumatoid arthritis.
Twenty-one rheumatoid arthritis patients and eight healthy volunteers were involved in this study. The percentage of CD4(+) interleukin (IL)-17(+) T cells and CD4(+) transcription factor-forkhead box protein 3 (Foxp3)(+) T cells were measured by flow cytometry, and active caspase-3 labeling was used to detect early apoptosis. The number of T cell subtypes in peripheral blood between the two groups was compared, as well as the apoptotic ratio.
Neither the number of Th17 nor Treg cells was significantly different between rheumatoid arthritis patients and healthy controls. However, the number of regulatory T cells positively correlated with erythrocyte sedimentation rate, Disease Activity Score of 28 joints and rheumatoid factor. For the apoptosis of T cell subtypes, the percentage of apoptotic Th17 cells was higher in peripheral blood of rheumatoid arthritis patients compared to controls. Furthermore, peripheral Th17 cells were more sensitive to apoptosis than Treg cells, but there was no difference between rheumatoid arthritis patients and controls.
It seemed that there was no relationship between the number and apoptosis ratio of peripheral Th17/Treg cells. But the number of Treg cells positively correlated with disease activity. Furthermore, Th17 cells are more sensitive to apoptosis after freezing, especially in RA patients. This serendipitous finding may provide new areas for the further study of these two cell populations.
No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To investigate the similarities and differences in clinical features between the sero-negative and sero-positive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients. Two hundred and sixty-two RA patients who fulfilled the 1987 ACR RA Classification Criteria were enrolled into this study. They were divided into sero-negative and sero-positive group depending on the presence or absence of rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-cyclic citrullinate peptide (anti-CCP). The clinical features were compared between these two groups. Forty-six (17.6%) RA patients were classified as sero-negative group. The disease onset of sero-negative RA patients was later than that of sero-positive RA patients (52.4 ± 15.9 vs. 47.4 ± 15.5 years, P < 0.05). At the end of the first 2 years after disease onset, bone erosion shown in the hand X-ray occurred in 4 out of 24 (16.7%) patients with sero-negative RA. However, only 5.2% (5/97) patients with sero-positive RA developed bone erosion (P < 0.05). In the sero-positive RA patients, the titer of RF was correlated with swollen joint counts (SJC), tender joint counts (TJC), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), and disease activity score in 28 joints (DAS28) (P < 0.05), but anti-CCP was not. Sero-negative and sero-positive RA are probably two distinct disease subtypes driven by different mechanisms.
No preview · Article · Dec 2011 · Rheumatology International
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Addison's disease is an autoimmune process. However, Addison's disease associated with connective tissue diseases (CTD) is only occasionally reported. Here, we report six cases of Addison's disease secondary to a variety of CTD, which include systemic lupus erythematosus, Takayasu arteritis, systemic sclerosis, ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. The association of Addison's disease with Takayasu arteritis and AS is reported for the first time. We also found high prevalence of hypothyroidism as concomitant autoimmune disorder. Our case series highlight the autoimmune features of Addison's disease. Therefore, we suggest considering adrenal dysfunction in patients with CTD.
No preview · Article · Nov 2008 · Rheumatology International