Ami A Shah

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, United States

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Publications (34)152.22 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Systemic sclerosis (SSc)-related interstitial lung disease (ILD) has phenotypic similarities to lung involvement in idiopathic interstitial pneumonia (IIP). We aimed to assess whether genetic susceptibility loci recently identified in the large IIP genome-wide association studies (GWASs) were also risk loci for SSc overall or severity of ILD in SSc. A total of 2571 SSc patients and 4500 healthy controls were investigated from the US discovery GWAS and additional US replication cohorts. Thirteen IIP-related selected single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped and analyzed for their association with SSc. We found an association of SSc with the SNP rs6793295 in the LRRC34 gene (OR = 1.14, CI 95 % 1.03 to 1.25, p value = 0.009) and rs11191865 in the OBFC1 gene (OR = 1.09, CI 95 % 1.00 to 1.19, p value = 0.043) in the discovery cohort. Additionally, rs7934606 in MUC2 (OR = 1.24, CI 95 % 1.01 to 1.52, p value = 0.037) was associated with SSc-ILD defined by imaging. However, these associations failed to replicate in the validation cohort. Furthermore, SNPs rs2076295 in DSP (β = -2.29, CI 95 % -3.85 to -0.74, p value = 0.004) rs17690703 in SPPL2C (β = 2.04, CI 95 % 0.21 to 3.88, p value = 0.029) and rs1981997 in MAPT (β = 2.26, CI 95 % 0.35 to 4.17, p value = 0.02) were associated with percent predicted forced vital capacity (FVC%) even after adjusting for the anti-topoisomerase (ATA)-positive subset. However, these associations also did not replicate in the validation cohort. Our results add new evidence that SSc and SSc-related ILD are genetically distinct from IIP, although they share phenotypic similarities.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2016 · Arthritis research & therapy
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Our aim was to examine the association between anti-interferon inducible protein 16 (IFI16) antibodies and clinical features of scleroderma. Methods: Sera from a discovery sample of 94 scleroderma patients and 47 healthy controls were assayed for anti-IFI16 antibodies by ELISA, and associations were examined using regression analyses. As anti-IFI16 autoantibodies strongly associated with digital gangrene in the discovery sample, a subsequent 1:1 disease-duration matched case-control study was designed for further exploration. Cases were patients with scleroderma and digital gangrene, while controls had scleroderma and Raynaud's alone (n=39 pairs). Nonparametric unadjusted matched-pair analyses, univariate and multivariable conditional logistic regression were performed. Results: Anti-IFI16 antibodies in the discovery sample were more prevalent in scleroderma than controls (18% vs. 2%; p=0.01). Patients with anti-IFI16 antibodies were more likely to have limited scleroderma (77% vs. 46%; p=0.03), longer disease duration (15.2 [10.6-18.3] vs. 6.0 [3.4-13.8] years; p <0.01), digital gangrene (24% vs. 4%; p=0.02), and a low DLCO (p <0.01). In the case-control study, 35/78 (45%) were anti-IFI16 positive. Anti-IFI16 antibody levels were significantly higher in cases than matched controls (p=0.02). Adjusted for age, cutaneous subtype, smoking, and DLCO, high anti-IFI16 antibody levels associated with digital gangrene (adjusted OR 2.3; 95% CI 1.0, 5.6; p = 0.05). The odds of digital gangrene increased with higher antibody titers in a dose dependent manner. Conclusion: Anti-IFI16 antibodies are associated with digital gangrene in scleroderma. Longitudinal prospective studies exploring anti-IFI16 antibodies as a disease biomarker, and biological studies investigating the pathogenicity of these antibodies, are warranted. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Arthritis and Rheumatology
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: Determine the prevalence of peripheral neuropathy in scleroderma. Methods: The prevalence of length dependent peripheral neuropathy was rigorously assessed using signs and symptoms of neuropathy derived from the Total Neuropathy Score (TNS), and standardized nerve conduction study (NCS). All subjects underwent TNS and NCS. Those who were symptomatic or had NCS evidence of peripheral neuropathy underwent laboratory evaluation for secondary causes of neuropathy. Results: 130 subjects were approached for participation and 60 enrolled. Of the 60 subjects, 50 (83.3%) were female, 37(61.7%) were of the limited cutaneous subtype. The mean age was 55 ± 11.1 years and mean disease duration was 15.3 ± 10.1 years. A total of 17 of 60 (28%) had evidence of a peripheral neuropathy as defined by the presence of neuropathic symptoms on the TNS (12 of 60) and/or electrophysiologic evidence of neuropathy (5 subjects with neuropathic symptoms and 5 without neuropathic symptoms). Subjects with neuropathy were more likely to be male (60% vs. 40%, p=0.02), African-American (41% vs. 4.6%, p=0.001), have diabetes (17.7% vs 0%, p=0.02), have limited cutaneous scleroderma (82.3% vs. 53.5%, p=0.04), and have anti-U1 RNP antibodies (23.5% vs 0%, p=0.009) than those without neuropathy. A potential non-scleroderma etiology for the peripheral neuropathy such as diabetes was found in 82.3% (14/17) of subjects with neuropathy. Conclusion: While symptoms or objective evidence of peripheral neuropathy are common among patients with scleroderma, the cause may often be attributed to co-morbid non-scleroderma related conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2015
  • Ami A Shah · Livia Casciola Rosen
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose of review: Recent data suggest a paraneoplastic mechanism of scleroderma pathogenesis in unique subsets of scleroderma patients. In this article, we review these data, explore potential links between cancer and scleroderma, and propose an approach to malignancy screening in scleroderma. Recent findings: Emerging data have demonstrated that patients with scleroderma and RNA polymerase III autoantibodies have a significantly increased risk of cancer within a few years of scleroderma onset. Genetic alterations in the gene encoding RNA polymerase III (POLR3A) have been identified, and patients with somatic mutations in POLR3A have evidence of mutation specific T-cell immune responses with generation of cross-reactive RNA polymerase III autoantibodies. These data strongly suggest that scleroderma is a by-product of antitumor immune responses in some patients. Additional epidemiologic data demonstrate that patients developing scleroderma at older ages may also have a short cancer-scleroderma interval, suggestive of paraneoplastic disease. Summary: Scleroderma may be a paraneoplastic disease in unique patient subsets. Aggressive malignancy screening in these patients may aid in early cancer detection. Further study is required to determine whether cancer therapy could improve scleroderma outcomes in this patient population.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · Current opinion in rheumatology
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    ABSTRACT: A key mediator in cold-sensation is the protein transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8), which is expressed on sensory nerves and cutaneous blood vessels. These receptors are activated by cold temperatures and play a key role in body thermoregulation. Cold sensitivity and Raynaud's phenomenon are frequent clinical features in scleroderma, and are thought to be secondary to a local defect in cutaneous thermoregulation. We investigated whether autoantibodies targeting TRPM8 were present in the sera of patients with scleroderma as evidence for a possible mechanism for an acquired immune mediated defect in thermoregulation. Sera from 50 well-characterised scleroderma patients with Raynaud's phenomenon were studied. TRPM8 autoantibodies were assayed as follows: 1. immunoprecipitation with 35S-methionine-labelled TRPM8 generated by in vitro transcription and translation, 2. immunoblotting lysates made from cells transiently transfected with TRPM8 cDNA, 3. Immunoprecipitation of TRPM8 transfected lysates with detection by blotting and 4. flow cytometry. Fifty scleroderma patients with Raynaud's phenomenon (41 female, 39 Caucasian, 23 with limited scleroderma, and 20 with history of cancer) were studied. Four different methods to assay for TRPM8 antibodies were set up, optimised and validated using commercial antibodies. All 50 scleroderma patients' sera were assayed using each of the above methods, and all were negative for TRPM8 autoantibodies. Antibodies against TRPM8 are not found in scleroderma patient sera, suggesting that the abnormal cold sensitivity and associated abnormal vascular reactivity in scleroderma patients is not the result of an immune process targeting TRPM8.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2015 · Clinical and experimental rheumatology
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    ABSTRACT: Objective: The impact and natural history of connective tissue disease related interstitial lung disease (CTD-ILD) are poorly understood; and have not been previously described from the patient's perspective. This investigation sought insight into CTD-ILD from the patients' perspective to add to our knowledge of CTD-ILD, identify disease-specific areas of unmet need and gather potentially meaningful information towards development of disease-specific patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs). Methods: A mixed methods design incorporating patient focus groups (FGs) querying disease progression and life impact followed by questionnaires with items of importance generated by >250 ILD specialists were implemented among CTD-ILD patients with rheumatoid arthritis, idiopathic inflammatory myopathies, systemic sclerosis, and other CTD subtypes. FG data were analyzed through inductive analysis with five independent analysts, including a patient research partner. Questionnaires were analyzed through Fisher's Exact tests and hierarchal cluster analysis. Results: Six multicenter FGs included 45 patients. Biophysiologic themes were cough and dyspnea, both pervasively impacting health related quality of life (HRQoL). Language indicating dyspnea was unexpected, unique and contextual. Psycho-social themes were Living with Uncertainty, Struggle over Self-Identity, and Self-Efficacy - with education and clinician communication strongly emphasised. All questionnaire items were rated 'moderately' to 'extremely' important with 10 items of highest importance identified by cluster analysis. Conclusion: Patients with CTD-ILD informed our understanding of symptoms and impact on HRQoL. Cough and dyspnea are central to the CTD-ILD experience. Initial FGs have provided disease-specific content, context and language essential for reliable PROM development with questionnaires adding value in recognition of patients' concerns.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Current Respiratory Medicine Reviews
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    ABSTRACT: Diffuse systemic sclerosis is associated with high mortality; however, the pathogenesis of cardiac death in these patients is not clear. A 56-year-old Caucasian female patient presented with dyspnea and requested to donate her body to science in order to improve understanding of diffuse systemic sclerosis pathogenesis. She had extensive testing for dyspnea including pulmonary function tests, an echocardiogram, cardiac magnetic resonance imaging, and right heart catheterization to characterize her condition. Her case highlights the morbidity seen in this disease, including the presence of extensive skin thickening, digital ulcerations, and scleroderma renal crisis. In this case report, we present the finding of cardiac tissue metabolomics, which may indicate a problem with vasodilation as a contributor to cardiac death in diffuse systemic sclerosis. The use of autopsy and tissue metabolomics in rare disease may help clarify disease pathogenesis.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Journal of Medical Case Reports
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    ABSTRACT: Sjögren's syndrome (SS) is an autoimmune disease targeting salivary and lacrimal glands. While all patients demonstrate inflammatory infiltration and abnormal secretory function in target tissues, disease features, pathology and clinical course can vary. Activation of distinct inflammatory pathways may drive disease heterogeneity. We investigated whether interferon (IFN) pathway activation correlates with key phenotypic features. Clinical data and one frozen labial salivary gland were obtained from each of 82 participants (53 primary SS, 29 controls) in the Sjögren's International Collaborative Clinical Alliance registry. Salivary gland lysates were immunoblotted with markers of type I or II IFN and patterns of IFN activity were determined by hierarchical clustering. Correlations were defined between SS phenotypic features and IFN activity in the salivary gland. 58% of SS participants had high IFN activity and differed significantly from those with low activity (higher prevalence of abnormal sialometry, leukopenia, hyperglobulinemia, high titer ANA, anti-SSA, and high focus score). Furthermore, distinct patterns of IFN were evident: type I-predominant; type II-predominant; and type I/II IFN. These groups were clinically indistinguishable except for focus score which was highest in type II-predominant participants. The SS phenotype includes distinct molecular subtypes, segregated by the magnitude and pattern of IFN responses. Associations between IFN pathways and disease activity suggest that IFNs are relevant therapeutic targets in SS. Patients with distinct patterns of high IFN activity are clinically similar, demonstrating that IFN-targeting therapies must be selected based on prior analyses of which specific pathway(s) are active in vivo in individual patients. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2015, American College of Rheumatology.
    No preview · Article · May 2015 · Arthritis and Rheumatology
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To determine if distinct muscle pathologic features exist in scleroderma subjects with weakness. Methods This retrospective study included weak scleroderma subjects with muscle biopsies available for review. Biopsies were systematically assessed for individual pathologic features, including inflammation, necrosis, fibrosis, and acute neurogenic atrophy. Based on the aggregate individual features, biopsies were assigned a histopathologic category of polymyositis, dermatomyositis, necrotizing myopathy, nonspecific myositis, "acute denervation," "fibrosis only," or "other." Clinical data analyzed included autoantibody profiles, scleroderma subtype and disease duration, Medsger muscle severity scores, creatine kinase, electromyography, and muscle magnetic resonance imaging. Results A total of 42 subjects (79% female and 64% diffuse scleroderma) were included in this study. Necrosis (67%), inflammation (48%), acute neurogenic atrophy (48%), and fibrosis (33%) were the most prevalent pathologic features. The presence of fibrosis was strongly associated with anti-PM-Scl antibodies. Histopathologic categories included nonspecific myositis (36%), necrotizing myopathy (21%), dermatomyositis (7%), "acute denervation" (7%), "fibrosis only" (7%), and polymyositis (5%). Disease duration of scleroderma at the time of muscle biopsy was shorter in polymyositis than other histopathologic categories. Patients with anti-PM-Scl and Scl-70 antibodies also had a shorter disease duration than those with other autoantibody profiles. Conclusion Nonspecific myositis and necrotizing myopathy were the most common histopathologic categories in weak scleroderma subjects. Surprisingly, nearly half of the subjects studied had histologic evidence of acute motor denervation (acute neurogenic atrophy); this has not been previously reported. Taken together, these observations suggest that a variety of pathologic mechanisms may underlie the development of myopathy in scleroderma.
    No preview · Article · May 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives: To determine perceived barriers and facilitators to a career in rheumatology research, examine factors leading rheumatologists to leave an academic research career, and solicit ways to best support young physician-scientists. Methods: A web-based survey was conducted among the domestic American College of Rheumatology (ACR) membership from January-March 2014. Inclusion criteria were ACR membership and an available email address. Non-rheumatologists were excluded. The survey assessed demographics, research participation, barriers and facilitators to a career in research, reasons for leaving a research career (when applicable), and ways in which the ACR could support junior investigators. Content analysis was used to extract relevant themes. Results: Among 5,448 ACR domestic members, 502 responses were obtained (9.2% response rate). After exclusions (38 incomplete, 2 duplicates, 32 non-rheumatologists), 430 responses were analyzed. Participants included fellows, young investigators, established investigators, mentors, clinicians, and those who previously pursued a research career but have chosen a different career path. Funding and mentoring were the most highly ranked barriers and facilitators. Protection from clinical and administrative duties, institutional support and personal characteristics such as resilience and persistence were also ranked highly. The most commonly cited reasons for leaving an academic research career were difficulty obtaining funding and lack of department or division support. Conclusion: This is the first study to examine barriers and facilitators to a career in rheumatology research from the perspectives of diverse groups of rheumatologists. Knowledge of such barriers and facilitators may assist in designing interventions to support investigators during vulnerable points in their career development. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2015 American College of Rheumatology.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction: We previously reported a contemporaneous onset of cancer and scleroderma in patients with RNA polymerase III (pol) antibodies and identified a biological link between cancer and scleroderma. This investigation was designed to further evaluate whether autoantibody status and other characteristics associate with cancer and a clustering of cancer with scleroderma onset. Methods: Logistic regression analysis was performed to assess the relationship between two outcomes, cancer (model-1) and a close (±2 years) cancer-scleroderma interval (model-2), as a function of autoantibody status and scleroderma covariates. Results: Of 1044 scleroderma patients, 168 (16.1%) had cancer. In the adjusted model-1, only older age at scleroderma onset (OR 1.04, 95% CI 1.02,1.05) and white race (OR 2.71, 95% CI 1.22,6.04) were significantly associated with cancer risk overall. In the adjusted model-2, only pol positivity (OR 5.08; 95% CI 1.60,16.1) and older age at scleroderma onset (OR 1.04; 95% CI 1.00,1.08) were significantly associated with a close cancer-scleroderma interval. While pol was associated with a short cancer-scleroderma interval independent of age of scleroderma onset, the cancer-scleroderma interval shortened with older age at scleroderma onset in other antibody groups (Spearman's p<0.05), particularly among patients with anti-topoisomerase-1 (topo) and patients negative for centromere, topoisomerase-1 and pol antibodies. Conclusions: Increased age at scleroderma onset is strongly associated with cancer risk overall. While pol status is an independent marker of coincident cancer and scleroderma at any age, a clustering of cancer with scleroderma is also seen in patients developing scleroderma at older ages with topo and other autoantibody specificities. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. © 2015 American College of Rheumatology.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2015 · Arthritis and Rheumatology
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    ABSTRACT: We sought to retrospectively review a single-center experience using intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) for the treatment of refractory, active diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis (dcSSc). The mean modified Rodnan Skin score (mRSS) at baseline was compared to the mRSS at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months post-IVIG initiation by the paired Student t test. Changes in mRSS at 6 and 12 months were also compared to data from historical controls of 3 large, negative, multicenter, randomized clinical trials of other medications [D-penicillamine (D-pen), recombinant human relaxin (relaxin), and oral bovine type I collagen (collagen)] and to patients treated with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) alone using the Student t test. Thirty patients were treated with adjunctive IVIG (2 g/kg/mo) for refractory, active dcSSc. The mean baseline mRSS of our cohort was 29.6 ± 7.2, and this significantly decreased to 24.1 ± 9.6 (n = 29, p = 0.0011) at 6 months, 22.5 ± 10.0 (n = 25, p = 0.0001) at 12 months, 20.6 ± 11.8 (n = 23, p = 0.0001) at 18 months, and 15.3 ± 6.4 (n = 15, p < 0.0001) at 24 months. The mean change in mRSS at 6 months was not significantly different in the IVIG group (-5.3 ± 7.9) compared to the relaxin trial (-4.8 ± 6.99, p = 0.74) or MMF group (-3.4 ± 7.4, p = 0.26); however, at 12 months, the mean change in mRSS was significantly better in the IVIG group (-8 ± 8.3) than in the D-pen (-2.47 ± 8.6, p = 0.005) and collagen (-3.4 ± 7.12, p = 0.005) groups, and was comparable to the group of primary MMF responders (-7.1 ± 9, p = 0.67). Our observational study suggests that IVIG may be an effective adjunctive therapy for active dcSSc in patients failing other therapies.
    No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · The Journal of Rheumatology
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    Preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Arthritis and Rheumatology
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    ABSTRACT: Rationale: Clinical trial design in interstitial lung diseases (ILDs) has been hampered by lack of consensus on appropriate outcome measures for reliably assessing treatment response. In the setting of connective tissue diseases (CTDs), some measures of ILD disease activity and severity may be confounded by non-pulmonary comorbidities. Methods: The Connective Tissue Disease associated Interstitial Lung Disease (CTD-ILD) working group of Outcome Measures in Rheumatology-a non-profit international organisation dedicated to consensus methodology in identification of outcome measures-conducted a series of investigations which included a Delphi process including >248 ILD medical experts as well as patient focus groups culminating in a nominal group panel of ILD experts and patients. The goal was to define and develop a consensus on the status of outcome measure candidates for use in randomised controlled trials in CTD-ILD and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Results: A core set comprising specific measures in the domains of lung physiology, lung imaging, survival, dyspnoea, cough and health-related quality of life is proposed as appropriate for consideration for use in a hypothetical 1-year multicentre clinical trial for either CTD-ILD or IPF. As many widely used instruments were found to lack full validation, an agenda for future research is proposed. Conclusion: Identification of consensus preliminary domains and instruments to measure them was attained and is a major advance anticipated to facilitate multicentre RCTs in the field.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Thorax
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    ABSTRACT: We assessed the profile and frequency of malignancy subtypes in a large single centre UK cohort for patients with scleroderma (systemic sclerosis; SSc). We evaluated the cancer risk among SSc patients with different antibody reactivities and explored the temporal association of cancer with the duration between onset of SSc and cancer diagnosis. A retrospective study of a well-characterised cohort of SSc cases attending a large tertiary referral centre was undertaken with clinical data collected through our clinical database and review of patient records. We evaluated development of all cancers in this cohort and comparison was assessed with the SSc cohort without cancer. The effect of demographics and clinical details including antibody reactivities were explored to find associations for development of cancer in SSc. Among 2177 patients with SSc, 7.1% of patients had a history of cancer. 26% were positive for anti-centromere antibodies (ACA), 18.2% were positive for anti-Scl70 antibodies and 26.6% were positive for anti-RNA polymerase III antibody (RNAP). The major malignancy subtypes were breast cancer (42.2%), haematological (12.3%), gastrointestinal (11.0%) and gynaecological cancers (11.0%). The frequency of cancers among patients with RNAP (14.2%) was significantly increased than those with anti-Scl70 (6.3%) and ACA (6.8%) (p < 0.0001 and p < 0.001 respectively). Among the patients, who were diagnosed with cancer within 36 months of the clinical onset of SSc, there were more patients with RNAP (55.3%) than other autoantibody specificities (ACA 23.5%; p < 0.008 and anti-Scl70 antibodies 13.6%, p < 0.002 respectively). Breast cancers were temporally associated with onset of SSc among patients with anti-RNAP and SSc patients with anti-RNAP had two-fold increased hazard ratio for cancers compared to patients with ACA (p < 0.0001). Our study confirmed independently, in the largest population examined to date, that there is an association with cancer among SSc patients with anti-RNAP antibodies in close temporal relationship to onset of SSc, which supports the paraneoplastic phenomenon in this subset of SSc cases. An index of suspicion should be cautiously maintained in these cases and investigations for underlying malignancy should be considered where clinically appropriate.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Arthritis research & therapy
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    ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to develop a standard classification of digital ulcers (DUs) in systemic sclerosis (SSc) for use in observational or therapeutic studies and to assess the reliability of these definitions as well as of the measurement of ulcer area. Ten North American rheumatologists with expertise in SSc reviewed multiple photos of DUs, examined four SSc subjects with DUs, and came to a consensus on the definitions for digital, active, healed, and indeterminate ulcers. These ten raters then examined the right hand of ten SSc subjects twice and the left hand once to classify ulcers and to measure ulcer area. Weighted and Fleiss kappa were used to calculate intra- and interrater agreement on classification of ulcers, and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used to assess agreement on ulcer area. Because the traditional ICC calculations relied on a small number of ulcers, ICCs were recalculated using the results of linear mixed models to evaluate the variance components of observations on all the data. Intrarater kappa for classifying DU as not an ulcer/healed ulcer versus active/indeterminate ulcer was substantial (0.76), and interrater kappa was moderate (0.53). The ICC for ulcer area using the linear mixed models was moderate both for intrarater (0.57) and interrater (0.48) measurements. A consensus for the classification of DUs in SSc was developed, and after a training session, rheumatologists with expertise in SSc are able to reliably classify DUs and to measure ulcer area.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Clinical Rheumatology
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    ABSTRACT: Autoimmune diseases are thought to be initiated by exposures to foreign antigens that cross-react with endogenous molecules. Scleroderma is an autoimmune connective tissue disease in which patients make antibodies to a limited group of autoantigens, including RPC1, encoded by the POLR3A gene. As patients with scleroderma and antibodies against RPC1 are at increased risk for cancer, we hypothesized that the “foreign” antigens in this autoimmune disease are encoded by somatically mutated genes in the patients’ incipient cancers. Studying cancers from scleroderma patients, we found genetic alterations of the POLR3A locus in six of eight patients with antibodies to RPC1 but not in eight patients without antibodies to RPC1. Analyses of peripheral blood lymphocytes and serum suggested that POLR3A mutations triggered cellular immunity and cross-reactive humoral immune responses. These results offer insight into the pathogenesis of scleroderma and provide support for the idea that acquired immunity helps to control naturally occurring cancers.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Science
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    ABSTRACT: Diffuse systemic sclerosis carries a high morbidity and mortality. The Prospective Registry of Early Systemic Sclerosis (PRESS), a multicentre incident cohort study of patients with early diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis, has the goal of advancing the understanding of disease pathogenesis and identifying novel biomarkers. In this review, PRESS investigators discuss the evidence pertaining to the more commonly used treatments for early diffuse SSc skin disease including methotrexate, mycophenolate, cyclophosphamide, azathioprine, and intravenous immunoglobulin. This review highlights the unmet need for effective treatment in early diffuse SSc as well as its more rigorous study. Nonetheless, the PRESS investigators aim to decrease intra- and inter-institutional variability in prescribing in order to improve the understanding of the clinical course of early diffuse SSc skin disease.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2013 · Clinical and experimental rheumatology
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    ABSTRACT: -Systemic sclerosis associated pulmonary artery hypertension (SScPAH) has a worse prognosis compared to idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension (IPAH), with a median survival of 3 years after diagnosis often due to right ventricular (RV) failure. We tested if SScPAH or systemic sclerosis related pulmonary hypertension with interstitial lung disease (SSc-ILD-PH) imposes a greater pulmonary vascular load than IPAH and/or leads to worse RV contractile function. -We analyzed pulmonary artery pressures and mean flow in 282 patients with pulmonary hypertension (166 SScPAH, 49 SSc-ILD-PH, 67 IPAH). An inverse relation between pulmonary resistance (RPA) and compliance (CPA) was similar for all three groups, with a near constant resistance × compliance product. RV pressure-volume loops were measured in a subset, IPAH (n=5) and SScPAH (n=7) as well as SSc without PH (SSc-no-PH, n=7) to derive contractile indexes (end-systolic elastance [Ees] and preload recruitable stroke work [Msw]), measures of right ventricular load (arterial elastance [Ea]), and RV-pulmonary artery coupling (Ees/Ea). RV afterload was similar in SScPAH and IPAH (RPA=7.0±4.5 vs. 7.9±4.3 Wood units; Ea=0.9±0.4 vs. 1.2±0.5 mmHg/mL; CPA=2.4±1.5 vs. 1.7±1.1 mL/mmHg; p>0.3 for each). Though SScPAH did not have greater vascular stiffening compared to IPAH, RV contractility was more depressed (Ees=0.8±0.3 vs. 2.3±1.1, p<0.01; Msw=21±11 vs. 45±16, p=0.01), with differential RV-PA uncoupling (Ees/Ea=1.0±0.5 vs. 2.1±1.0, p=.03). This ratio was higher in SSc-no-PH (Ees/Ea = 2.3±1.2, p=0.02 vs. SScPAH). -RV dysfunction is worse in SScPAH compared to IPAH at similar afterload, and may be due to intrinsic systolic function rather than enhanced pulmonary vascular resistive and/or pulsatile loading.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Circulation Heart Failure
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    ABSTRACT: Experience suggests that African Americans may express autoimmune disease differently than other racial groups. In the context of systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), we sought to determine whether race was related to a more adverse expression of disease. Between January 1, 1990, and December 31, 2009, a total of 409 African American and 1808 white patients with scleroderma were evaluated at a single university medical center. While the distribution by sex was virtually identical in both groups, at 82% female, African American patients presented to the center at a younger mean age than white patients (47 vs. 53 yr; p < 0.001). Two-thirds of white patients manifested the limited cutaneous subset of disease, whereas the majority of African American patients manifested the diffuse cutaneous subset (p < 0.001). The proportion seropositive for anticentromere antibody was nearly 3-fold greater among white patients, at 34%, compared to African American patients (12%; p < 0.001). Nearly a third of African American (31%) patients had autoantibodies to topoisomerase, compared to 19% of white patients (p = 0.001). Notably, African American patients experienced an increase in prevalence of cardiac (adjusted odds ratio [OR], 1.6; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3-2.2), renal (OR, 1.6; 95% CI, 1.2-2.1), digital ischemia (OR, 1.5; 95% CI, 1.4-2.2), muscle (OR, 1.7; 95% CI, 1.3-2.3), and restrictive lung (OR, 6.9; 95% CI, 5.1-9.4) disease. Overall, 700 (32%) patients died (159 African American; 541 white). The cumulative incidence of mortality at 10 years was 43% among African American patients compared to 35% among white patients (log-rank p = 0.0011). Compared to white patients, African American patients experienced an 80% increase in risk of mortality (relative risk [RR], 1.8; 95% CI, 1.4-2.2), after adjustment for age at disease onset and disease duration. Further adjustment by sex, disease subtype, and scleroderma-specific autoantibody status, and for the socioeconomic measures of educational attainment and health insurance status, diminished these risk estimates (RR, 1.3; 95% CI, 1.0-1.6). The heightened risk of mortality persisted in strata defined by age at disease onset, diffuse cutaneous disease, anticentromere seropositivity, decade of care at the center, and among women. These findings support the notion that race is related to a distinct phenotypic profile in scleroderma, and a more unfavorable prognosis among African Americans, warranting heightened diagnostic evaluation and vigilant care of these patients. Further, we provide a chronologic review of the literature regarding race, organ system involvement, and mortality in scleroderma; we furnish synopses of relevant reports, and summarize findings.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Medicine

Publication Stats

399 Citations
152.22 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2008-2016
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • • Division of Rheumatology
      • • Department of Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
  • 2013-2015
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      • Department of Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States