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We identified all randomized trials comparing leflunomide, azathioprine, methotrexate or mycophenolate mofetil in adult patients with granulomatosis with polyangiitis or microscopic polyangiitis. Relapse-free survival was compared through hazard ratios (HR) using a Bayesian fixed-effects network meta-analysis. Multiple sensitivity analyses were performed to explore biases identified in one trial using original trial data.
Agents were reviewed with regard to mechanism of action, efficacy, drug interactions, pharmacokinetics, dosing, precautions/contraindications, adverse effects, and cost.
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Mild gastrointestinal discomfort (including diarrhoea) and hair loss were mainly reported. Five patients developed lupus-like skin lesions on the face, arms or trunk, responding well to topical corticosteroids, nevertheless causing the withdrawal of one patient. Two patients with pre-existing hypertension had to increase dosages of anti-hypertensive drugs. Increased levels of alanine aminotransferase normalised after dose reduction in two patients. A decrease in general fatigue and an increase in physical functioning were observed after 24 weeks. Serum IgG levels decreased from 8 weeks onwards. Schirmer test values increased, not reaching statistical significance, whereas sialometry values did not change. In four of five repeated biopsies, the lymphocytic focus score decreased at the rate of 1 focus/4 mm(2). A remarkable amelioration of leucocytoclastic vasculitis was observed in three patients.
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Leflunomide treatment was well tolerated by 62 patients, whereas 43 patients discontinued the treatment within the first year due to toxicity. Patients with CYP1A2*1F CC genotype had a 9.7-fold higher risk for overall leflunomide-induced toxicity than did the carriers of CYP1A2*1F A allele [P = 0.002, odds ratio = 9.708, 95% confidence interval = 2.276-41.403]. No significant association between the CYP2C19 and CYP2C9 genotypes and the leflunomide toxicity was observed.
There was no association between anti-MCV positivity and different DMARDs use. Methotrexate was used 76 times as combination, scoring the highest in this respect. There was a significant correlation (p<0.05) between Plaquenil with Methotrexate and with Sulfasalazine; Leflunomide with anti-TNF and with Prednisolone; age with Methotrexate and with Plaquenil; anti-MCV positivity with Prednisolone. Saudi/non-Saudi status showed no correlation with all factors or drugs. There was no significant association between DMARDs and comorbidity.
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MCT caused right ventricular hypertrophy (0.58±0.05 vs 0.31±0.05; P<0.001 vs. control) and increase in RVSP (33.5±1.5 vs 22.3±4.7mm of Hg; P<0.001). Both sildenafil and Arjuna prevented hypertrophy and RVSP. Pulmonary artery acceleration time to ejection time ratio in echocardiography was decreased in PH rats (0.49±0.05 vs 0.32±0.06; P<0.001) which was prevented by sildenafil (0.44±0.06; P<0.01) and TA250 (0.45±0.06; P<0.01). % MWT of pulmonary arteries was increased in PH and was prevented by TA250. Increase in TBARS (132.7±18.4 vs 18.8±1.6nmol/mg protein; P<0.001) and decrease in SOD (58.4±14.1 vs 117.4±26.9U/mg protein; P<0.001) and catalase (0.30±0.05 vs 0.75±0.31U/mg protein; P<0.001) were observed in lung tissue of PH rats, which were prevented by sildenafil and both the doses of Arjuna extract. Protein expression of NOX1 was significantly increased in lung and gene expression of Bcl2/Bax ratio was significantly decreased in right ventricle in MCT-induced PH, both were significantly prevented by Arjuna and sildenafil.
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The study used computerized data from 16 Kaiser Permanente Northern California Medical Centers. Mixed modeling was used to assess patterns across time and clinic. The analysis accounted for patient demographics, clustering of patients within Medical Centers, and repeated measures of patients over time. The metric used to measure drug use, months of use per patient per year, included both users and nonusers in the denominator, to account for both prevalence and duration of use.
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Esthesioneuroblastoma (ENB) is a malignant neuroectodermal tumor. Hyams grading has an established role in its prognostication. The importance of microvessel density (MVD) and Ki-67 labeling index (Ki-67 LI) is well studied in various tumors, but the same remains understated in ENB. The aims of the study were to estimate proliferation index and MVD in ENB and to correlate them with Hyams grade. Twenty-six ENB cases diagnosed over a period of 5 years were included. Hyams grade, MVD, and Ki-67 LI were evaluated for each of them. The cases were categorized as low (Hyams grades 1 and 2) and high (Hyams grades 3 and 4) grades. Microvessel density and Ki-67 LI were correlated with grade. The treatment response was analyzed in different grades. The commonest histologic grade was 4 (42%). The mean Ki-67 LI was 2%, 8.2%, 30.8%, and 40.5% and mean MVD was 81.67/mm(2), 37/mm(2), 24/mm(2), and 25.2/mm(2) in grades 1, 2, 3, and 4, respectively. A statistically significant correlation of grade with Ki-67 LI (P < .001) and MVD (P < .007) was noted. Hyams grade in ENB correlates well with treatment response. Ki-67 LI is an important prognostic factor in ENB. We propose a cutoff of 25% for Ki-67 LI to differentiate low- vs high-grade ENB, but larger studies are needed for validation. Contrary to epithelial tumors, there is a decrease in MVD with increasing grade in ENB.
A total of 748 patients who achieved a state of remission were analysed (16.3% of the total pooled population of 4602 patients). In the univariate analyses, mean residual HAQ-DI values in remission were significantly larger in higher tertiles of JSN and ERO (ERO: 0.21, 0.25, 0.35; JSN: 0.19, 0.24, 0.39; p<0.001 for both). In stratified analyses, mean residual HAQ-DI scores were larger in higher tertiles of JSN within the first tertile of ERO (0.18, 0.25, 0.29; p=0.05), as well as the second (0.21, 0.24, 0.29; p=0.19) and the third (0.12, 0.23, 0.42; p<0.001). In contrast, there was no such trend across ERO tertiles within the first JSN tertile (0.18, 0.21, 0.12; p=0.99) and the second tertile (0.25, 0.24, 0.23; p=0.77), and only marginally within the third tertile of JSN (0.29, 0.29, 0.42; p=0.07). Adjusted multivariate regression models supported the significant association of JSN on residual disability.
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Cytomegalovirus (CMV) reactivation is common in the allogeneic stem cell transplant setting but the incidence of CMV organ disease and mortality has been dramatically reduced by prophylactic or preemptive antiviral therapy. We report the case of a CMV-seropositive 46-year-old man with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma who underwent an unrelated allogeneic stem cell transplant from a CMV-seronegative HLA-matched unrelated donor. CMV encephalitis and colitis developed that was refractory to single-agent therapy. The CMV isolate demonstrated genotypic resistance to both ganciclovir and foscarnet. CMV disease was controlled by prolonged combination ganciclovir and cidofovir therapy, but severe renal dysfunction developed. Leflunomide was selected as a last resort to avoid the nephrotoxicity of cidofovir. CMV antigenemia rapidly increased following leflunomide administration, necessitating discontinuing this agent and resuming prior antiviral therapy. The pharmacokinetics of leflunomide in the setting of renal insufficiency is presented. Options for salvage therapy in refractory CMV disease in allogeneic stem cell transplant recipients are briefly reviewed.
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Human cytomegalovirus infections are still significant causes of morbidity and mortality in transplant recipients. The use of antiviral agents is limited by toxicity and evolving resistance in immunocompromised patients with ongoing viral replication during therapy. Here, we present the first documented case of genotypic resistance against maribavir in a bone marrow transplant (BMT) recipient.
Arthritis remains a relatively infrequent complication of cystic fibrosis, but is a cause of significant morbidity when it does occur. Two distinct types of arthritis are described in cystic fibrosis: cystic fibrosis-related arthropathy and hypertrophic osteoarthropathy. Management of arthritis in people with cystic fibrosis is uncertain and complex because of the underlying disease and its treatment.
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No significant drug interactions were found. Regarding adherence to treatment, 7.7% of patients skipped one or more doses, with travelling being the most common reason. Adverse events reported included: injection site reaction (27%), headache (7.7%) and nausea (7.7%). At 3 months after treatment onset, a reduction of MTX doses was seen in 18% of patients, of leflunomide dosage in 8%, of corticoids in 18%, of analgesic usage in 6%, and of NSAIDs in 8% of patients. In agreement with these results, 92% of patients reported having experienced improvment.
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MDR-ABC transporters are widely expressed in cell types relevant to pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Many reports demonstrate the interaction of small molecule drugs with MDR-ABC transporters. Cell-based assays for disease relevant cell types can be easily gated and could reveal specific drug targets and may increase significance and utilisation of data in clinical practice. Many commonly used DMARDs (e.g. methotrexate, sulfasalazine, leflunomide/teriflunomide, hydroxychloroquine) are ABCG2 substrates. Consequently, the activity of this transporter in patients should be determined to understand the disposition and pharmacokinetics of the therapy. In addition, MDR-ABC transporters transport a variety of endobiotics that play important roles in cell proliferation, cell migration, angiogenesis and inflammation. Therefore, MDR-ABC transporters are important biomarkers in rheumatoid arthritis.
Traditional drug treatments for psoriatic arthritis (PsA) include nonsteroidal antiinflammatory agents (NSAID) and disease modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARD), although the evidence base for their effectiveness is not well established. This review was compiled from a comprehensive literature search of electronic bibliographic databases for all English publications that were systematic reviews, metaanalyses, randomized controlled trials, controlled trials, and observational studies. The evidence supports NSAID for symptom relief, although data are lacking for COX-2-specific agents. No evidence exists to support systemic corticosteroids or corticosteroids by intraarticular injection, although the latter are commonly used in clinical practice. Among traditional DMARD, grade 1B evidence supports sulfasalazine, cyclosporine, and leflunomide for symptom relief, with lower-grade evidence for methotrexate. None of them slows radiographic progression. Grade 1B evidence supports improvement in symptoms, physical function, quality of life, and radiographic progression with anti-TNF antagonists (etanercept, infliximab, and adalimumab). The relative lack of evidence poses challenges in developing algorithms for treatment of peripheral arthritis in PsA.
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Diffuse thickening of the gastric wall, extended mucosal necrosis and the peritoneal finding of streptococci in an immunocompromised patient suggested the diagnosis of phlegmonous gastritis. On treatment with antibiotics and proton pump inhibitor the patient made a slow recovery over the following eight weeks. Nine months after the event an asymptomatic antral stricture was noticed at follow-up gastroscopy.
Leflunomide is a novel immunosuppressive and antiinflammatory agent currently being tested for treatment of autoimmune diseases and transplant rejection. NF-kappa B is a transcription factor activated in response to a wide variety of inflammatory stimuli, including TNF, but whether leflunomide blocks NF-kappa B activation is not known. In the present report we demonstrate that treatment of a human T cell line (Jurkat) with leflunomide blocks TNF-mediated NF-kappa B activation in a dose- and time-dependent manner, with maximum inhibition at 5-10 microM. Inhibition was not restricted to TNF-induced activation, because leflunomide also inhibited NF-kappa B activation induced by other inflammatory agents, including phorbol ester, LPS, H2O2, okadaic acid, and ceramide. Leflunomide blocked the degradation of I kappa B alpha and subsequent nuclear translocation of the p65 subunit, steps essential for NF-kappa B activation. This correlated with inhibition of dual specificity-mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase as well as an Src protein tyrosine kinase, p56lck, by leflunomide. Reducing agents did not reverse the effect of leflunomide. Leflunomide also suppressed the TNF-activated NF-kappa B-dependent reporter gene expression. Our results thus indicate that leflunomide is a potent inhibitor of NF-kappa B activation induced by a wide variety of inflammatory stimuli, and this provides the molecular basis for its anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects.
Experimental tubulointerstitial nephritis (TIN), induced in Brown Norway rats, is an autoimmune disorder in which afflicted animals display high levels of serum autoantibodies directed against antigens present on the tubular basement membrane (TBM). Serious functional damage, due to lesions of the kidney cortex, is evident 10 days after disease initiation. In an earlier study, we could show that cyclosporin A (CsA), an immunosuppressive drug, effectively prevented the onset of this illness, although it did not inhibit the formation of TBM autoantibodies. In the present study, the protective effects of CsA in autoimmune TIN was compared to those of drugs currently used to combat inflammatory ailments (i.e. prednisolone, indomethacin, naproxen, azathioprine) and a novel immunomodulating agent, leflunomide (HWA 486). Leflunomide is known to specifically inhibit the formation of T-dependent antibodies and is effective in preventing and curing animal autoimmune diseases, i.e. adjuvant arthritis disease of rats and murine lupus-like disorders. We found that not only could leflunomide inhibit TIN, but the drug-effects seemed to be more effective than those of CsA. Further, leflunomide was extremely effective in inhibiting the formation of autoantibodies to TBM, whereas CsA displayed only partial suppression. Neither prednisolone, indomethacin nor naproxen were effective in reducing the autoantibody titer, and did not offer any protection to the development of this disease. Together with the known effects on other autoimmune diseases we conclude that leflunomide is a novel immunointerventive drug protecting against several types of autoimmunity.
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Methotrexate (MTX) toxicity in psoriatic disease was the focus of discussion at the 2007 Annual Meeting of the Group for Research and Assessment of Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis (GRAPPA). Plenary presentations and results of a Web-based opinion survey of rheumatologists and dermatologists from GRAPPA, and others from New Zealand, Australia, and Canada, provided topics of discussion for small-group breakout sessions, including hepatotoxicity, alcohol use, fertility and pregnancy, and combination therapy. As a framework, topics were considered under headings: importance, knowledge deficit, sufficient data for a recommendation, and research agenda. Breakout session conclusions/consensus were as follows: (1) Data are insufficient to recommend routine serial liver biopsy to prevent MTX-induced liver fibrosis; further research is needed to establish whether serial liver chemistry tests or propeptide of type III collagen can detect hepatotoxicity without the need for liver biopsy. (2) Insufficient data are available to establish a dose-response relationship between alcohol use and MTX hepatotoxicity, so no safe limit of alcohol intake can be recommended. (3) Although cessation of MTX 3 months prior to conception is reasonable, inadequate data are available to specify duration or to quantify the risk of adverse fetal outcome; registries to track pregnancy outcome are potentially useful. (4) Combination therapy with anti-TNF agents or sulfasalazine is safe, but insufficient data are available for combinations with leflunomide or cyclosporine.
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Of all 168 patients, 107 were males and 61 were females, with an average age of 33.8 ± 8.79 years. Baseline characteristics were comparable among the four groups (P > 0.05) prior to the experimental treatment. There was a significant (P < 0.05) decrease in 24 h urinary protein excretion after 4 months of experimental treatment. At the end of the 24 months, groups 3 and 4 showed a respective 62.35% and 69.47% reduction in proteinuria. The serum creatinine was significantly higher (P < 0.05) in group 1 and 2 at the end of the follow-up, and their respective eGFR was significantly lower. The incidence of cardiovascular complication was 11.9% and 9.5% for group 1 and 3, respectively.