Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism

August to November 2022

Authors: Anastasia Madenidou and Sizheng Steven Zhao

Dumont et al (doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2022.152117) conducted a single-centre retrospective study to investigate whether beta-blockers (BBs), in addition to conventional care, can decrease the risk of aortic dilation in giant-cell arteritis (GCA)-related aortitis (n=65). Among the 65 patients with GCA-related aortitis, 15 (23%) were taking BBs before GCA diagnosis and continued them thereafter. The median follow-up was 91 (25–163) months in GCA patients taking BBs and 61 (14–248) months in patients not taking BBs (p = 0.13). None of the patients taking BBs developed a new aortic dilation, whereas 15 (15/50; 30%) patients not taking BBs did (p = 0.01).

Hartman et al (doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2022.152109) evaluated the cost-effectiveness of low-dose prednisolone (5mg/day) as an add-on treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients aged > 65 (n=451). Mean total costs over two years were k€10.8 in the prednisolone group, k€0.5 (95% CI –4.0; 1.8) lower than in the placebo group. The DAS28 was 0.38 lower in the prednisolone group than in the placebo group (0.19; 0.56). The study concluded that with greater effectiveness (DAS28) at non-significantly lower costs, low-dose, add-on prednisolone is cost-effective for RA compared to placebo over two years.

Kundakci et al (doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2022.152101) developed evidence-based expert recommendations for non-pharmacological treatments for pain, fatigue, sleep problems, and depression in fibromyalgia through an international, multidisciplinary Delphi exercise. Aerobic exercise, education, sleep hygiene, and cognitive behavioural therapy were recommended as core treatments for all symptoms. Mind-body exercises were recommended as core interventions for pain, fatigue and sleep problems. Mindfulness was voted core treatment for depression, and adjunctive treatment for other symptoms. 

Luo et al (doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2022.152082) investigated the clinical features and outcomes of MPO-ANCA-associated glomerulonephritis (MPO-ANCA GN) patients with bronchiectasis. 153 cases (52 patients with bronchiectasis) were included in this study. Bronchiectasis severity was positively correlated with MPO antibody titers (ρ=0.480, p<0.001), but not with shorter renal survival. A relatively higher remission rate was been seen in MPO-ANCA GN patients with bronchiectasis, who showed reduced susceptibility in progressing to ESRD in multivariate analysis (p = 0.043, HR=0.542, 95% CI 0.299–0.982).

Sota et al (doi: 10.1016/j.semarthrit.2022.152089) conducted a registry-based study investigating tocilizumab efficacy and safety in a cohort of patients with adult-onset Still’s disease (AOSD) retention rate analysis (n=31). Cumulative TCZ retention rate at 12-, 24-, and 36-month follow-up visits were 83.1%, 71.7% and 63.7%, respectively, without significant differences between biologic naïve patients and those previously treated with other biologics (p=0.329). Likewise, no significant differences were observed between chronic articular course of AOSD and other types of disease course (p=0.938).

About the AuthorS

Anastasia Madenidou

Anastasia is a rheumatology trainee and a Clinical Research Fellow at the Centre of Musculoskeletal Research, University of Manchester. Her research work focuses on omics techniques to cluster lupus patients according to their molecular profile. Anastasia is the Deputy Chair of the British Rheumatology Society Trainee Committee and a member of the Newsletter Sub-Committee.

Sizheng Steven Zhao

Steven is a rheumatologist and epidemiologist at the University of Manchester, UK. His research focuses on inflammatory arthritis and drug safety, for which he uses registry, routine healthcare and genetic data.

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