• The EMEUNET Chairmanship 2023 – 2024


    Kim is a rheumatology consultant and senior clinical associate at the Geneva University Hospitals in Switzerland and a clinical research fellow at the Centre for Epidemiology Versus Arthritis at the University of Manchester in the UK. Her research focuses on rheumatoid arthritis, (pharmaco)-epidemiology, real-life evidence and methodology of observational studies. Kim is the Chair of EMEUNET.


    Tue is currently working as a part time Associate Professor in immunology and pharmacology and a part time rheumatology fellow in Aarhus, Denmark. Tue was previously Danish Country Liaison, Working Group member and Education Sub-Committee leader. Tue is the EULAR EMEUNET Committee Chair-Elect.

    EMEUNET is the largest network of young clinicians and researchers in the field of rheumatology in Europe. The main objectives of EMEUNET are to promote top quality education and mentoring and foster research collaborations among emerging rheumatologists and researchers. None of these objectives could be fulfilled without the work and enthusiasm of the people involved in the 6 Sub-Committees that form EMEUNET: Education, Peer Mentoring, Newsletters, Social Media, Visibility & Global Affairs and Country Liaisons. EMEUNET Sub-Committees are engaged in several activities and the list of current and upcoming projects has been expanded over the past few months. With all the initiatives and activities presented in this Newsletter, we hope that EMEUNET will continue to be embraced by the young rheumatology community, and more and more young clinicians and researchers in rheumatology will become involved in education, research and EULAR. This will render EMEUNET a successful and influential resource that fosters new and long-term collaborative endeavours and ensures that excellence in European rheumatology and EULAR is maintained. Last year we developed new SOPs for selection of new Subcommittee members, new Committee members and new Chair to keep this process open and transparent. Please consider applying to become Subcommittee member. We need your organizational skills!

  • Visibility and Global Affairs

    Visibility and Global Affairs

    The main aim of the V&GA subcommittee is to increase awareness around the world about EMEUNET as organisation and the projects we do.

    The goals of this subcommittee are:​

    • To promote EMEUNET. Over the years, we have expanded our activities, involving other (young) organisations and working on projects with other EMEUNET subcommittees (Newsletter, Country Liaison and Social Media subcommittees). ​
    • To increase EMEUNET visibility among young rheumatologists and researchers within the Rheumatology society. This task is tackled mainly by organising networking events during ACR and EULAR annual meetings and disseminating information on EMEUNET at our booth at the EULAR congress. Last year EMEUNET organised a very appreciated networking event in Philadelphia during the ACR Convergence 2022 and, along with EULAR, hosted around 80 members during the EULAR family dinner in Copenhagen. Great news will be coming soon about EULAR 2023 in Milan.
    • To interact and collaborate with PARE and Young PARE.​ A better understanding of the views and needs of (young) people living with musculoskeletal and rheumatic disease is essential.


    The V&GA subcommittee is highly committed to promoting and maintaining the sense of community that features EULAR. The live EMEUNET networking events are unmissable appointments for the young rheumatologists to interact, establish new collaborations and maintain fruitful interaction without borders. However, the EMEUNET V&GA subcommittee has put considerable effort into creating occasions of interaction all year round, thanks to the internet.

    EMEUNET members met using digital platforms during the last few years in e-networking meetings and virtual reality events. Since 2021 V&GA subcommittee launched a series of scientific get-togethers to foster scientific interaction and collaboration among the sub-committee members. ​In 2022, the second EMEUNET scientific event took place online, featuring a talk from Prof. Daniel Aletaha, EULAR president-elect and co-founder of EMEUNET in 2009, who discussed with the attending members the future role of young rheumatologists within EULAR, the transition from EMEUNET to EULAR and the added value of being an active EMEUNET member for his professional growth. Two EMEUNET members had the opportunity to share their ongoing research projects and receive feedback and comments from other colleagues. Finally, Dr Manouk De Hoodge, co-chair of the young ASAS, Assessment of SpondyloArthritis international Society (ASAS), shared her experience within ASAS and informed us about yASAS activities and structures. This talk is of particular relevance to EMEUNET V&GA as one of the tasks of the subcommittee is to proactively engage in collaboration with the young organisation with an interest in rheumatology, such as the Young Nephrologists’ Platform (YNP), the Paediatric Rheumatology European Society Emerging Rheumatologists and Researchers (PReS EMERGE), the ECTS Academy, young PANLAR and APLAR and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Junior Members (EAACI JM).​

    In this regard, we are ready to announce the first of a series of webinars organised in collaboration with the young European Federation of Immunological Societies (yEFIS) titled RNA sequencing in rheumatology and immunology: from tissue to single cells, which will take place online on the 28th of March 2023 and will feature Dr Felice Rivellese from London and Dr Elena Merino from Dublin as speakers.

    LEADER: Daniele Mauro

    Daniele attained his PhD at Centre for Experimental Medicine and Rheumatology at the Queen Mary University of London (UK) and now is a rheumatologist in training the University of Campania “L. Vanvitelli” in Naples (IT). His research is now mainly focused on Spondyloarthritis and mucosal immunology. Daniele is the Chair of the Visibility and Global Affairs Sub-Committee


    Feline Kroon
    Francesca Crisafulli
    Krystel Aouad
    Morten Aagaard Nielsen
    Muhammad Shipa

  • Country Liaison

    Country Liaison

    The Country Liaison Sub-Committee is the bridge between the EULAR|EMEUNET Committee and the Country Liaisons (CLs), which are our representatives at the national level.

    Our objectives are:

    1. To maintain an active CL network. Our Sub-Committee establishes fluid communication with CLs to support them on their tasks and receiving their feedback and try to put their proposals into practice. For this purpose, we send out periodic reminders and materials, organize regular Teleconferences, and are always available to give any required assistance.

    2. To promote and disseminate EULAR | EMEUNET and its initiatives. By supporting our CLs we can reach young rheumatologists, researchers and allied professionals in every country and attract to become members and to participate in the activities we develop. Our CLs disseminate the information we send them among their colleagues in their country. They also develop national activities meant to increase the visibility and adherence to EMEUNET and report back on so we can boost their visibility through our website and Social Media channels. For assistance in this task, we produce and maintain a repository of materials that are constantly updated and with their help, we obtain translations to further increase the possibilities of reaching more potential new members.

    3. To Increase the visibility of CLs and their actions. We give more visibility to the work of our CLs by posting them on our website, social media channels and our annual newsletter, where we also highlight their promotional activities and those who had an outstanding performance.


    Production and translation of advertising materials

    Materials are constantly updated based on CLs feedback.
    Flyers are translated into different languages with the help of CLs and members of the working group.
    We are currently updating the materials with the new branding and migrating everything to the EMEUNET website.

    Monthly newsletter. New HTML e-mail format

    We prepare a monthly newsletter to be distributed to the CLs including their activities in different countries, current EULAR | EMEUNET initiatives and tips for keeping with their tasks

    Website updating and some advertising

    Periodically there are new CL appointments and we receive feedbacks from CL promotional activities that we post on our website.

    We maintain an updated list and a map with all of our CLs to increase their visibility.

    EMEUNET-Country Liaison Clinical Topics webinar Series

    We organise a series of webinars on clinical topics that are moderated by one Country Liaision and a speaker from their Country.

    Annual EULAR | EMEUNET newsletter in collaboration with the Newsletter SC

    Every year, the CL newsletter is released.

    In this newsletter, performed in alliance with the NLSC, all CLs are introduced, their work is acknowledged, and we introduce the ones with and outstanding work.

    The Country Liaison Meeting at EULAR Congress

    Since 2014, we organize every year the Country Liaison meeting during EULAR Congress. In 2022, we could finally go back to F2F meeting in Copenhagen after some years of online meetings. This a good opportunity for CLs to meet each other, share their work, discuss the difficulties they found for performing their task and propose new ideas to be held during the next year. We are looking forward to Copenhagen, hoping the meeting will be face-2-face again!

    2021 Country Liaison Meeting
    2022 Country Liaison Meeting

    LEADER: Xabier Michelena Vegas

    Xabier is a Rheumatology and Emergency Medicine consultant at Vall d’Hebron University Hospital, Barcelona, Spain. He also holds a visiting research fellow position at the Leeds Institute of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Medicine (LIRMM), University of Leeds, United Kingdom. His main research interests are in the field of spondyloarthritis and applied artificial intelligence methods.


    Zoran Veličković
  • Newsletter


    The EMEUNET Newsletter Sub-Committee has a goal of spreading all the information that is considered useful to young rheumatologists and researchers in our community.

    Every year, up to 11 newsletters are released, bringing the freshest news to the EMEUNET, covering all EMEUNET activities (e.g. introducing all Sub-Committee Members, Country Liaisons, and by presenting the various activities of the EMEUNET Sub-Committes). EMEUNEWS also covers major rheumatology meetings (ACR and EULAR), with the selections of Do Not Miss abstracts and the Highlights of abstracts and activities. The theme of the Special issue varies on an annual basis. In collaboration with EULAR, EMEUNET has established a Press Review newsletter. These issues are published every 4 months and provide an overview of the recently published papers in the area of rheumatology. All newsletters also provide information on upcoming educational events, courses, grant opportunities and other new initiatives.

    In the NL Sub-Committee, we have recently moved our newsletter to a more engaging and user-friendly WordPress platform. This change allows us to create a more dynamic and interactive experience for our readers, who can now easily navigate through our content, view images and videos, and participate in discussions. Besides, it provides us with greater flexibility to customize the design and layout of our newsletter, as well as to incorporate social media links and other interactive features. We believe that this change will help us to better engage with our audience, increase participation, and ultimately, improve knowledge sharing and collaboration.

    Over the years, the newsletters have become an important activity of EMEUNET. They are an essential part of the “voice” of EMEUNET, promoting EMEUNET visibility and engaging the community. Together, we can continue to build a dynamic and supportive network of young rheumatologists and researchers that will make a meaningful impact on the field of rheumatology for years to come.


    EMEUNET Newsletters are published monthly to provide the overview of EMEUNET activities, to highlight the most emerging publications in the sphere of rheumatology and to provide the coverage of the biggest events (EULAR and ACR annual Congresses). The Newsletters are distributed by email mass-mailing to all EMEUNET registered members and also advertised on EMEUNET Social Media. Every Sub-Committee member is responsible for coordinating at least 1 Newsletter per year. Currently, editorials of the Newsletter are available to everyone, access to full text requires registration.

    EMEUNET strives to promote knowledge sharing and collaboration among peers. As part of this effort, we have recently moved our newsletter from a traditional power point format to a more engaging and user-friendly WordPress platform. As the new platform provides us with enhanced capabilities to communicate and engage with our audience, we are excited to explore the possibilities of this new format and to continue building upon the success of our past newsletters. We hope that the new platform will help us to further strengthen the sense of community among young rheumatologists and to promote knowledge sharing and collaboration across borders. We invite our readers to join us on this journey and to provide us with feedback and suggestions to make our newsletter an even more valuable resource for the EMEUNET community.

    LEADER: Diego Benavent

    Diego is a consultant rheumatologist in Hospital La Paz, in Madrid. Besides, he works in Savana, a company dedicated to artificial intelligence in research.

    His major research interests include spondyloarthritis, artificial intelligence and outcomes research. Diego is an associate member of ASAS.


    Anastasia Madenidou
    Renaud Felten
    Giacomo Cafaro
    Steven Zhao
    Juan Camilo Sarmiento
    Daliya Pencheva
    Gözde Kübra Yardımcı
    Cathy Melong
    Aleksandra Opinc
  • Social Media

    Social Media

    The aim of the EMEUNET Social Media Sub-Committee is to spread all information concerning EMEUNET or ongoing activities of rheumatologic interest across different channels:

    • Website
    • E-mails
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Instagram
    • LinkedIn
    • YouTube
    • Podcast

    The core of all EMEUNET-related information can be found on our website, http://www.emeunet.eular.org. The site has been online since June 2012, and has been expanding ever since. On our homepage, you can find announcements of interesting conferences, useful courses and exchange programmes, updates with information about registrations to conferences and bursaries, links to educational content and job offers.

    However, the website is more than just an information channel. We prepare special educational content, such as “What is New” section according to disease and “Imaging quizzes” showing fascinating musculoskeletal images and associated diagnoses. Moreover, as a logged-in member, you are granted full access to the whole content of the website, including all Newsletters, contacts to EULAR Centers of Excellence, and the database of EMEUNET members. It is especially designed for the needs of young rheumatologists and researchers in the field of rheumatology, being the only webpage to collect and gather such a broad range of information about rheumatology worldwide!​


    As an EMEUNET member, you will receive regular e-mail updates (job offers, courses, and many more) and our EMEUNET Newsletters (Press Review, EULAR and ACR Do Not Miss and Highlights, among others). You will never miss an opportunity!​ Email us at emeunet@eular.ch

    In 2014, we launched our EMEUNET Facebook and Twitter platforms to maximize contact with both members and non-members, providing quick up-to-date information to the rheumatology community. We recently also launched our EMEUNET Instagram account. Our main goals are promoting EMEUNET visibility and its goals, through reaching out to all rheumatologists and researchers in rheumatology across the world. Facebook and Twitter are readily accessible and very intuitive platforms, where you can follow all ongoing activities, deadlines, and projects while they are actively taking place!​

    In October 2016, we also launched our profile on LinkedIn, to reach a broader audience, especially those who are not engaged in Twitter or Facebook. ​

    In May 2015, we started the YouTube channel EMEUNET TUBE, wherein you can watch interviews with top-class rheumatologists, as well as short video introductions about our different Sub-Committees, to further explore EMEUNET. We are extending our video section constantly, hosting video interviews about research topics and top papers in the field and newsletter editorials. Also, if you are not sure whether you are interested in our popular Mentor-Mentee meetings, you can find video reports about these events there.​

    In February 2020, in collaboration with the Education Sub-Committee, we launched the EMEUNET Podcast channel, where you can listen to recently published scientific news and interviews with high-level rheumatologists. We are constantly updating and enriching our audio section, to allow all colleagues to stay updated even in a simple and functional way. You can find us on major podcast platforms, including Spotify!

    To keep it simple….​
    Our ultimate goal is to set the grounds for the key concept of EMEUNET: to keep every young rheumatologist in the world informed and involved in educational, clinical, and research activities. ​
    If you have any information you think might be interesting for us to publish, please do not hesitate to contact us via any of our Social Media platforms or by email (emeunet@eular.ch).​
    We are always happy to receive any comments/suggestions you may have!​

    Co-LEADERS: Lianne Kearsley-Fleet and Mrinalini Dey

    Lianne is an epidemiologist working at The University of Manchester, UK. Her research focus is safety and effectiveness of biologic therapies for use in children and adults with juvenile idiopathic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. She is particularly interested in young adults with rheumatic diseases and their long-term outcomes.

    Mrinalini is is an academic rheumatology trainee in London, UK. She has a research interest in epidemiology, comorbidities and infection in rheumatic diseases.


    Barbara Russo
    Dalifer Freites Nunez
    Edoardo Prediletto
    Emre Bilgin
    Halbert Hernandez Negrin
    Jean Guillaume Letarouilly
    Latika Gupta
    Serena Fasano
    Stefan Dinescu
    Sytske Anne Bergstra
  • Peer Mentoring

    Peer Mentoring

    The Peer Mentoring Sub-Committee aims to provide young rheumatologists and researchers with a wide range of mentoring options to interact with mentors and leading clinicians/ researchers in the field of rheumatology. It also encourages the exchange of ideas and networking between peers providing an opportunity to get in touch with rheumatologists and researchers with similar research interests.

    Ongoing projects of the Peer Mentoring Sub-Committee :

    1) Peer Review Mentoring Program for Rheumatology Journals: To train EMEUNET members as reviewers for scientific journals in rheumatology under the supervision of senior reviewers. This program is organised in collaboration with the editorial offices of Ann Rheum Dis and RMD Open.
    2) Mentor–Mentee meetings at international conferences (ACR and EULAR): Informal meetings between EMEUNET members and experts in the field of rheumatology to discuss career plans, research options, training etc. under an informal atmosphere.
    3) Research institute database: To promote research collaborations between EMEUNET members and research institutes in Europe. Along with the official list of the EULAR Centres of Excellence, and EULAR Centres of Imaging we provide information on a list of various high quality centres around Europe that are available to enable exchange of research projects and also to enhance the mobility and international experience of young rheumatologists and researchers.
    4) Post-Doc Mentoring Program: A pioneer program for early career researchers aimed at providing mentoring to cover a number of aspects of the research and career development: how to lead projects, build networks, evolve into a senior researcher and general career advice.



    Prof Peter Lamprecht

    Prof Laura Coates


    Dr Peter Grayson

    Prof Nicola Dalbeth

    EMEUNET Peer Review Mentoring Program for Rheumatology Journals

    Since its first edition in 2012, this innovative program has received enormous attention from the whole EMEUNET community and beyond, and it has been continuously expanding with 29 mentors and more than 100 EMEUNET members having participated. Since 2017, the program involves the two EULAR/BMJ rheumatology journals (Ann Rheum Dis and RMD Open). This brought new top-level mentors and a broader selection of research topics, as well as a higher number of available places. The 7th edition has been launched in 2021.

    The experience from the EMEUNET Peer Review Program has been recently reported in a viewpoint article and a podcast in RMD Open. In this article, we have summarized the main characteristics of the program, the outcomes of the last editions and the recent improvements implemented.

    Do not miss the opportunity to engage in scientific state-of-the-art discussions with leading experts and receive invaluable training in peer review. Stay tuned to our social media platforms and newsletters and apply to upcoming editions! For any questions related to this program, please contact emeunet.peer.review@gmail.com

    EMEUNET PostDoc Mentoring Program

    A recent survey conducted among EMEUNET members revealed that there is a need for mentoring during the early career stages (see also the recent article on this). As a result, in 2018, the EMEUNET Peer Mentoring Sub-Committee launched the EMEUNET PostDoc Mentoring Program. This program is a pioneering initiative in Europe. The fourth edition started in 2021. 

    It offers mentoring to young postdoctoral researchers from senior, leading experts in the field. To guide the mentoring process, the program follows an Individual Development Plan, which collates the expectations and aims of the mentees and identifies areas where the mentor could provide guidance. It is based on a flexible scheme of communication between mentor and mentee during a 12-month time frame.

    Are you a Post-Doc researcher in rheumatology and need a mentor to support your academic growth? Take advantage of this unique program and apply for coming editions! For any questions related to this program, please contact mentoring.emeunet@gmail.com

    LEADER:Silvia Piantoni

    Silvia is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and Consultant in Rheumatology at the ASST Spedali Civili Hospital, University Department of Clinical and Experimental Sciences, in Brescia (Italy).Her translational research focuses on the involvement of T lymphocytes in autoimmune diseases. During her PhD Course in Immunology, she moved to Geneva for a lab-based research projectShe is a member of the Italian Rheumatology Society since 2015. 


    Lise Verhoef
    Mert Öztaş
    Simone Battista
  • Education


    The aim of the Education Sub-committee is to improve the clinical and scientific knowledge among young rheumatologists and researchers (trainees and specialists included, aged 40 years and under), working in the field of rheumatology in Europe and beyond.

    When EMEUNET started its activities, a large online survey of over 700 participants was used to assess the educational needs of young rheumatologists and researchers.

    The Education Sub-committee was formed to meet these needs, by providing information about existing educational programs and funding opportunities (by EULAR and other organizations), as well as developing new educational opportunities.

    Over the past years, EMEUNET has expanded and is now engaged in several educational activities, in conjunction with EULAR’s Committees. 

    Having a large group of young rheumatologist and researchers (over 2,000 members), we are able to provide valuable information (via the means of online surveys and direct contacts with members in different countries), in order to tailor the educational content from EULAR to the Needs of young rheumatologists and researchers.


    WIN: We have posted more than 80 unique contributions from more than 12 enthusiastic emeunet members. We use now a new format that is helping us engage with more people around the globe.

    Podcast: The official WIN podcast is about to be  released. This is a new format that will include an interview with authors from one of the WIN selected articles. Our community will be able to participate as we will give them the opportunity to share their questions with us (and thus the invited author).

    Ambassador program @ EULAR Congress: We are delighted to announce that we are working close with EULAR in the planning of the ambassador program. More information will be available soon.

    Eular task forces: We launched 3 calls where our members were able to apply to participate in different taskforces. We received more than 80 applications! We are proud to announce that 6 lucky and deserving EMEUNET members will represent our community in the development of these important taskforces.

    Leader: Luis Fernando Perez

    Luis Fernando is a rheumatologist and a PhD candidate at the Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. His major interests is Reproductive Rheumatology, with a specific interest on the male perspective. He is participating in the development of national and international guidelines on the use of immunosuppressive treatment in female and male patients diagnosed with rheumatic diseases before conception, during pregnancy and during lactation.


    Elise van Mulligen
    Pierre Antoine Juge
    Maria Sokolova
    Gizem Ayan
    Arani Vivekanantham
    Philipp Bosch
    Vincenzo Venerito
    Tsvetoslav Georgiev
  • Miscellaneous


    August to November 2022

    Author: Giacomo Cafaro

    Hannah et al. (doi: 10.3899/jrheum.220383) performed a systematic literature review (SLR) and meta-analysis (MA) to evaluate predictors of mortality in inflammatory myopathy-associated interstitial lung disease. 62 studies were included in the meta-analysis. From a serological point of view, the presence of anti-melanoma-differentiation-associated protein (MDA)-5 (OR 6.20) and the absence of anti-aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase (OR 0.33) represented risk factors for mortality. The main clinical features with highest odds ratio (OR) for mortality were the presence of acute/subacute interstitial pneumonia (OR 8.31), fever (OR 2.71), dermatomyositis (OR 2.48) and ulceration (OR 1.97).

    Another interesting SLR with MA was published by Meng et al. (doi: 10.3899/jrheum.220152) who evaluated 2000 rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients from 10 studies investigating the ability to maintain remission after tapering or withdrawal of methotrexate (MTX) in patients treated with a combination therapy of MTX + biological or targeted synthetic disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (b/tsDMARD). Although the studies included were significantly different in terms of medication taken, tapering scheme, duration of remission before tapering and follow-up time, the authors found an overall 90% maintenance of remission compared to patients who did not taper MTX.

    Aggarwal et al. (doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2117912) carried out a randomized, placebo-controlled trial of intravenous immune globulins (IVIG) for the treatment of dermatomyositis. IVIG were infused at 2 g/kg in 2-5 doses, for 4 cycles, every 4 weeks. All patients were allowed concomitant glucocorticoids and immunosuppressors (except for cyclophosphamide). At 16 weeks 79% of IVIG vs 44% of placebo achieved the primary end-point (total improvement score – TIS – improvement of at least 20%). Results in the same direction were obtained for most secondary end-points. However, IVIG was associated with a higher rate of adverse events, especially thromboembolism.

    Fitzgerald et al. (doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2022.105420) performed an ancillary analysis of the ASAS PerSpA study on the overlap of fibromyalgia (FM) and spondyloarthritis (SpA), with a specific focus on enthesitis. Among the results obtained, they confirmed that the presence of FM does not overestimate the classification of SpA according to ASAS criteria. However, it significantly affects multiple disease activity scores, including BASDAI, BASFI and ASDAS, that are higher in the presence of FM. In particular, because changes of ASDAS represent the main outcome to guide treatment, the presence of FM should be carefully considered.

    Carvajal Alegria et al. (doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2022.105459) retrospectively evaluated a cohort of 93 patients who underwent a second minor salivary gland biopsy after an initial biopsy performed for suspected primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS). Second biopsy was performed after a mean of 5.7 ± 4.3 years after the first and the concordance between 1st and 2nd biopsy in terms of positivity was very low both for pSS and non-pSS patients (κ = -0.04 and 0.18, respectively), though with no clear signs of evolution. However, in 13/93 (14%) patients, the results of the 2nd biopsy was a key element for a change of diagnosis.

    About the Author

    Giacomo Cafaro

    Giacomo is Assistant Professor and Consultant Rheumatologist at the Rheumatology Unit of the university of Perugia, Italy. He was PARTNER fellow at the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at the University of Glasgow, working on stromal immunology in tendinopathy and PsA. His main research interests are T cell biology in autoimmune diseases, psoriatic arthritis, Sjögren’s syndrome and ultrasound in rheumatology. Giacomo is a member of the Newsletter sub-committee.

  • The Lancet Rheumatology

    The Lancet Rheumatology

    October to November 2022

    Authors: Sytske Anne Bergstra and Emre Bilgin

    Elhai et al. (doi: 10.1016/S2665-9913(22)00217-X) compared the performance of stratification into cutaneous subtypes, stratification by autoantibody status or a combination of both, to predict disease outcomes in 10.711 systemic sclerosis patients included in the international EUSTAR database. Compared to a cutaneous-only model, the antibody-only model better predicted overall survival (NRI, 0.57, 95% CI 0.4, 0.71 vs. 0.29, 95% CI 0.19, 0.39), disease progression (NRI, 0.36, 95% CI 0.29, 0.46 vs. 0.21, 95% CI 0.14, 0.28), renal crisis (AUC, 0.72, 95% CI 0.70, 0.74 vs. 0.66, 95% CI 0.64, 0.69) and lung fibrosis (AUC, 0.76, 95% CI 0.75, 0.77 vs. 0.71, 95% CI 0.70, 0.72).

    Kandane-Rathnavake et al. (doi: 10.106/S266509913(22)00304-6) et al. investigated the attainment of low disease activity state (LLDAS) and risk of mortality in 3811 Systemic lupus erythematosus  (SLE) patients included in the Asia Pacific Lupus Collaboration. Being in LLDAS for at least 50% of observed time was associated with a reduced risk of mortality (HR, 0.51, 95% CI 0.31, 0.85). Attaining remission did not further reduce this risk (HR 0.52, 95% CI 0.29, 0.93). The use of remission definitions with lower thresholds of glucocorticoid use was associated with further reductions in risk of mortality (<5 mg/day prednisone: HR 0.31, 95% CI 0.12, 0.77, glucocorticoid free remission: HR 0.13, 95% CI 0.02, 0.96).

    Murarasu et al. (doi: 10.1016/S2665-9913(22)00308-3) studied the risk of thrombotic and severe haemorrhagic complications during pregnancy and post partum for women with antiphospholipid syndrome in a prospective cohort of 168 patients. 16 patients (10%, 95% CI 5, 15) had a thrombotic or severe haemorrhagic event. There were no deaths during the study.

    Russell et al. (doi: 10.1016/S2665-9913(22)00305-8) studied the effects of the pandemic on diagnostic incidence and care delivery for inflammatory arthritis in England in a population-level cohort study based on primary care and hospital data of 17.7 million adults. New inflammatory arthritis diagnosis decreased by 20.3% during the pandemic, relative to the preceding year. The median time to first rheumatology assessment was shorter during the pandemic than before (18, IQR 8-35 vs. 21, IQR 9-41 days). The proportion of patients prescribed DMARDs in primary care was similar before and during the pandemic; however, during the pandemic, fewer people were prescribed methotrexate or leflunomide, and more were prescribed sulfasalazine or hydroxychloroquine.

    Scolnik et al. (doi: 10.1016/S2665-9913(22)00260-0) published the first evidence-based PANLAR guidelines for the treatment of giant cell arteritis. These guidelines were tailored for Latin-America, taking into account the socio-economic characteristics, including access to care and biological treatments. Nine recommendations and one expert opinion statement for the treatment of giant cell arteritis were developed. These recommendations include guidance for the use of glucocorticoids, tocilizumab, methotrexate, and aspirin for patients with giant cell arteritis.

    About the AuthorS

    Sytske Anne Bergstra

    Sytske Anne is a post-doctoral researcher at the department of rheumatology of the Leiden University Medical Center and the project coordinator of the METEOR registry. Her main interests are rheumatoid arthritis, methodology, real world data and international comparisons. Sytske Anne is a member of the Social Media Sub-Committee.

    Emre Bilgin

    Emre is a rheumatologist at Hacettepe University where he is doing his MSc on epidemiology. His main interests are rheumatoid arthritis, adult Still’s disease and ANCA-associated vasculitis, aside from his enthusiasm for editorial activities. Emre is a member of the Social Media Sub-Committee.

    Cover art by Grace Russell. The Lancet Rheumatology, January 2023, Vol. 5, Number 1e1-e58

  • Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism

    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.