Publications by authors named "Alice Parma"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

How do systemic lupus erythematosus patients with very-long disease duration present? Analysis of a monocentric cohort.

Lupus 2021 Mar 7;30(3):439-447. Epub 2021 Jan 7.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Objective: to describe the disease path and the very long-term outcome in a monocentric cohort of patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).

Methods: SLE patients with a disease duration of at least 15 years from diagnosis were enrolled. The number of hospitalizations, the disease flares occurred over the disease course and the organ damage accumulation were evaluated at 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10 years from diagnosis and at last observation in 2019 as well. Disease state, ongoing therapies and quality of life measures were also assessed at last visit.

Results: 126 Caucasian SLE patients were included in the analysis (95% female, median age 47.5 IQR 41-53, median disease duration 21 IQR19-26). At last visit, the majority of the patients (78.6%) was on LLDAS (remission included), 53.4% were on GC treatment and 35.7% on immunosuppressant. Furthermore, 53.2% had at least one organ damage. The majority of patients (66.7%) presented a relapsing-remitting course, for a total of 158 flares during the disease course (incidence rate: 0.79/patient-year); moreover, 84.9% of the cohort experienced at least one hospital admission, amounting to a total of 328 hospitalizations (incidence rate: 0.85/patient-year). The main reason for admission was disease activity, while the percentage of hospitalizations due to other causes has been growing over the 10 years of follow-up.

Conclusion: after a very long period of disease, most of the patients with SLE are in remission and are not taking GC therapy; however, the risk of incurring in disease flare remains a real problem.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0961203320984230DOI Listing
March 2021

Articular involvement, steroid treatment and fibromyalgia are the main determinants of patient-physician discordance in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Arthritis Res Ther 2020 10 14;22(1):241. Epub 2020 Oct 14.

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Via Roma 67, Pisa, Italy.

Background: Remission or the lowest possible disease activity is the main target in the management of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Anyway, conflicting data are present in the literature regarding the correlation between physician-driven definitions and patient perception of the disease. The objective of this study is to evaluate the relationship between the definition of lupus low disease activity state (LLDAS) and patient's health-related quality of life (HRQoL).

Methods: This is a cross-sectional, monocentric study. Adult SLE patients were included. For each patient, demographics, disease duration, medications, comorbidities, organ damage, active disease manifestations and SELENA-SLEDAI were assessed. Patients have been categorised as follows: LLDAS, remission and active disease. Each patient completed the following patient-reported outcomes (PROs): SF-36, LIT, FACIT-Fatigue and SLAQ. A SLAQ score < 6 (25° percentile of our cohort) was used as the cut-off value to define a low disease activity state according to patient self-evaluation.

Results: We enrolled 259 consecutive SLE patients (mainly female and Caucasian, mean age 45.33 ± 13.14 years, median disease duration 14 years). 80.3% were in LLDAS, of whom 82.2% were in remission; 19.7% were active. No differences emerged for any of the PROs used between the LLDAS and the active group. Considering the LLDAS subgroup, we identified 56 patients with a subjective low disease activity (SLAQ < 6) and we defined them as "concordant"; the remaining 152 patients in LLDAS presented a subjective active disease (SLAQ ≥ 6) and were defined "discordant". Discordant patients presented more frequently ongoing and past joint involvement (p < 0.05) and a diagnosis of fibromyalgia (p < 0.01); furthermore, they were more likely to be on glucocorticoid therapy (p < 0.01). Discordant patients showed a significantly poorer HRQoL, assessed by all PROs (p < 0.0001).

Conclusions: Joint involvement, glucocorticoid therapy and comorbid fibromyalgia resulted to be the most important variables determining the poor concordance between patient and physician perspective on the disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-020-02334-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7559765PMC
October 2020

Translation, cultural adaptation and validation of the Italian version of the Brief Index of Lupus Damage: the BILDit.

Lupus 2020 Sep 13;29(10):1198-1205. Epub 2020 Jul 13.

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Objectives: The Brief Index of Lupus Damage (BILD) is an instrument of self-evaluation of organ damage for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. The objectives of this study were the translation, cultural adaptation and validation of the Italian version of the BILD (BILDit).

Methods: The process of translation and cultural adaptation followed published guidelines. The BILDit was pretested in a pilot study with 30 SLE patients in order to evaluate acceptability, reliability, comprehension and feasibility, and then validated in consecutive SLE patients attending our clinic.

Results: A total of 167 SLE patients were enrolled. In the pilot study, the BILDit demonstrated good acceptability, feasibility and comprehensibility and a very high degree of reliability (Cronbach's α = 1). In the validation cohort, the BILDit showed a significant positive correlation with the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index (SDI; ρ = 0.69;  < 0.001). Analysing the item-by-item correlation between the BILDit and the SDI, a good correlation ( < 0.001) was found for 73.1% of the items. In the multivariate analysis, the BILDit showed a significant positive correlation with age and disease duration ( < 0.01).

Conclusions: The BILDit seems to be an acceptable and reliable instrument for patient self-evaluation of disease damage, with a good correlation with the SDI. It can be considered as a screening tool for the evaluation of organ damage starting from the patient's perceptive.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0961203320940012DOI Listing
September 2020

Impact of fatigue on health-related quality of life and illness perception in a monocentric cohort of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

RMD Open 2020 02;6(1)

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Rheumatology Unit, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy

Background: Fatigue is a very common and debilitating symptom in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), even among those with a mild or inactive disease. The objective of this study is to define fatigue determinants and describe the impact of fatigue on health-related quality of life (HRQoL) and illness perception in a monocentric cohort of patients with SLE.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional study. Adult patients with SLE were included. For each patient, demographics, medications, comorbidities, organ damage (Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics Damage Index), active disease manifestations and Systemic Lupus Disease Activity Index scores were collected. It was evaluated if each patient met the definitions of remission and low disease activity. At enrolment, each patient completed the Short Form-36 (SF-36), Functional Assessment Chronic Illness Therapy-Fatigue (FACIT-F), Lupus Impact Tracker (LIT), Systemic Lupus Activity Questionnaire (SLAQ) and Brief Index of Lupus Damage (BILD). The FACIT-F questionnaire was also administered to a group of healthy controls.

Results: 223 patients were included (mean age 44.9±13.2 years, median disease duration 13 years). 18.2% had an active disease, 43.5% met the definition of remission on treatment, and 11.8% had a concomitant fibromyalgia. The median FACIT-F score of our cohort was significantly lower compared with that of healthy controls (40 vs 47; p<0.001). FACIT-F scores were irrespective of age, disease duration, disease activity and damage. FACIT-F score was significantly lower in patients with fibromyalgia (p<0.01). FACIT-F scores demonstrated a significant correlation with all other patient-reported outcomes: SF-36 (r=0.53-0.77), LIT (r=-0.78), SLAQ (r=-0.72) and BILD (r=-0.28).

Conclusions: Fatigue in patients with SLE has a strong negative impact on HRQoL and patient perception of the disease burden. Fatigue seems irrespective of disease activity but significantly influenced by the presence of fibromyalgia.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/rmdopen-2019-001133DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7046978PMC
February 2020

Sexual dysfunction in Behçet's syndrome.

Rheumatol Int 2020 Jan 8;40(1):9-15. Epub 2019 Oct 8.

Rheumatology Unit, University of Pisa, Via Roma 67, 56126, Pisa, Italy.

Behçet's syndrome (BS) is an autoimmune, rare, and severe multisystemic inflammatory disease characterized by recurrent oral aphthous ulcers, genital ulcers, skin lesions, and both anterior and posterior uveitis; articular, vascular, gastroenteric and neurological involvement may also occur. The multi-organ involvement and the wide range of clinical spectrum make the diagnosis of BS challenging. As other systemic chronic diseases, BS can affect all aspects of patients' life, including sexual dysfunction (SD). So far, SD has been deeply studied among patients affected by many rheumatic diseases; however, little is known about the prevalence and the characteristics of SD among BS patients. The present work was aimed at providing a systematic literature review of the literature published on SD and BS. We carried out a systematic search in PubMed and Scopus based on controlled terms (MeSH) and keywords to identify literature data on SD in BS. The systematic search was independently performed by two clinicians based on the controlled medical subject heading terms for Behcet syndrome and SD. Systematic database search identified 32 records. Screening by title and abstract was then conducted and a total of 10 articles were eligible for full text assessment, five studies explored SD in male patients with BS, 3 studies in females and 2 works reported data on both genders. Globally, the systematic literature review results have underlined that SD seems frequent in BS patients. Both female and male patients experienced a significant correlation between SD and depression. The studies investigating sexuality in BS seem to demonstrate that in these patients SD may be mainly related to depression rather than to active organic manifestations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00296-019-04455-wDOI Listing
January 2020

Pregnancy and undifferentiated connective tissue disease: outcome and risk of flare in 100 pregnancies.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2020 06;59(6):1335-1339

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Pisa.

Objective: UCTD is a systemic autoimmune condition that fails to fulfil the criteria for a definite CTD. Given that there are a lack of studies on links between pregnancy and UCTD, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the risk of disease flares or development of CTD in addition to the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes in patients with UCTD.

Methods: This is a retrospective study using prospectively collected data for 100 pregnancies in 81 incidences of UCTD treated in a single referral centre.

Results: A total of 11 pregnancies (11%) ended in miscarriage in the first trimester and the remaining 89 (89%) ended with a live birth. Thirteen patients (13%) flared during pregnancy or puerperium and three (3%) suffered major flares that led to the development of SLE with renal involvement. Obstetric complications occurred in 26 of the 89 successful pregnancies (29%), including 1 case (1%) of pre-eclampsia; in some cases, a single pregnancy was affected by more than one complication. There was a significant link between disease flare and both anti-dsDNA-positive antibodies at baseline (P < 0.01) and disease activity at the beginning of pregnancy (P < 0.01).

Conclusion: The impact on pregnancy in the study's cohort appears to be less serious in UCTD than in other CTDs. Nevertheless, disease flares and obstetric complications can represent a clinical challenge and clinical and serological disease activity would appear to represent important determinants of pregnancy outcomes. Pre-pregnancy counselling and planning as well as close monitoring during pregnancy is therefore essential.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kez440DOI Listing
June 2020

One year in review 2017: pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017 May-Jun;35(3):368-378. Epub 2017 Jun 7.

Immuno-Allergology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Italy.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease influenced by both genetic and environmental factors. It has been postulated that a high-risk genetic background, in combination with epigenetic marks and environmental exposures, leads to a cascade of events inducing synovitis and consequent destructive arthritis. The clinical picture of joint involvement in RA is the result of chronic inflammation of the synovium, characterised by interactions of resident cells such as fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLS) with cells of the innate (e.g. macrophages, dendritic cells, mast cells and NK cells, neutrophils) and adaptive immune system (e.g. B and T lymphocytes). Currently, our understanding of the role of innate and adaptive immunity in the pathogenesis of RA is expanding. The concept of how immune responses contribute to the disease has dramatically evolved over the last 50 years. Shedding some light on the different aspects of RA pathogenesis will help to identify new targets for the development of disease-modifying therapies. Thus, in this review we report new insights in RA pathogenesis, resulting from a literature research date published in the last year.
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August 2017

One year in review 2016: spondyloarthritis.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017 Jan-Feb;35(1):3-17. Epub 2017 Jan 26.

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Florence, Italy.

Spondyloarthritis represents a heterogeneous group of articular inflammatory diseases that share common genetic, clinical and radiological features. Recently, novel insights into the epidemiology, pathogenesis and treatment of these diseases have been provided. Herewith, we present an overview ofthe most significant literature contributions published over the past year.
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June 2017

One year in review: novelties in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2015 Jan-Feb;33(1):102-8. Epub 2015 Feb 26.

Department of Rheumatology, Policlinico Le Scotte, University of Siena, Siena, Italy.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease characterised by inflammation of the synovial tissue in joints, which can lead to joint destruction. The primary aim of the treatment is to control pain and inflammation, reduce joint damage and disability, and maintain or improve physical function and quality of life. In this article, we provide a critical analysis of the recent literature on the novelties in the treatment of RA, with a particular focus on the most relevant studies published over the last two years.
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April 2015

Systemic vasculitis: an annual critical digest of the most recent literature.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2014 May-Jun;32(3 Suppl 82):S98-105. Epub 2014 May 15.

Division of Rheumatology, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Herewith we provide our annual digest of the recent literature on systemic vasculitis in which we reviewed all the articles published during the last 12 months on large-, medium- and small-vessel vasculitis, and selected the most relevant studies regarding the epidemiology, pathogenesis and management of systemic vasculitis. In particular, we focused the attention on giant cell arteritis, ANCA-associated vasculitis and cryoglobulinaemia.
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July 2014
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