Publications by authors named "Chiara Tani"

105 Publications

Hydroxychloroquine availability during COVID-19 crisis and its effect on patient anxiety.

Lupus Sci Med 2021 04;8(1)

Department of Rheumatology, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Objective: To report the results of a survey exploring the experience of patients with SLE facing hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) shortage that occurred during the early phases of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Methods: A survey was designed by Lupus Europe's patient advisory network and distributed through its social media, newsflash and members' network. People with lupus were asked about their last HCQ purchases and their level of anxiety (on a 0-10 scale) with regard to not being able to have access to HCQ, once in April 2020 (first wave) and after 11 August (second wave). The results were compared.

Results: 2075 patients responded during the first wave; 1001 (48.2%) could get HCQ from the first place they asked, 230 (11.1%) could get the drug by going to more than one pharmacy, 498 (24.0%) obtained HCQ later from their usual pharmacy and 126 (6.1%) from other sources. 188 (9.1%) could not get any; 32 (1.5%) did not respond to this question. All countries showed significant improvement in HCQ availability during the second wave. 562 (27.4%) patients reported an extremely high level of anxiety in wave 1 and 162 (10.3%) patients in wave 2; 589 (28.7%) and 268 (17.1%) patients reported a high level of anxiety in wave 1 and wave 2, respectively.

Conclusions: The HCQ shortage had a significant impact on patients with SLE and has been responsible for psychological consequences including anxiety. Indeed, despite an objective improvement in drug availability, the event is leaving significant traces in patients' mind and behaviours.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/lupus-2021-000496DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8057069PMC
April 2021

One year in review 2021: systemic lupus erythematosus.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2021 Mar-Apr;39(2):231-241. Epub 2021 Apr 9.

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

In 2020 many contributions have been produced on SLE. Our critical digest of the recent literature will be focused on genetic factors that contribute to the development of the disease, novel potential therapeutic targets (including IL-23, IL-17, interferons and JAKs), diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, classification criteria, clinical manifestations and comorbidities. We will then present new treatment options (with a special focus on belimumab, anifrolumab, tacrolimus, voclosporin and EULAR/ERA-EDTA recommendations for the management of LN) and treat-to-target strategy. Lastly, we will concentrate on some of the aspects that influence patients' disease perception and quality of life.
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April 2021

Long-term Outcome of Children Born to Women with Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases: A Multicentre, Nationwide Study on 299 Randomly Selected Individuals.

Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2021 Mar 16. Epub 2021 Mar 16.

Department of Medicine, Rheumatology Unit, University of Perugia, Piazzale Gambuli 1, 06132, Perugia, Italy.

The concern about the offspring's health is one of the reasons for a reduced family size of women with rheumatic diseases (RD). Increased risk of autoimmune diseases (AD) and neurodevelopmental disorders (ND) has been reported in children born to patients with RD. Within a nationwide survey about reproductive issues of women with RD, we aimed at exploring the long-term outcome of their children. By surveying 398 patients who received their diagnosis of RD during childbearing age (before the age of 45), information about the offspring were obtained from 230 women who declared to have had children. A total of 148 (64.3%) patients were affected by connective tissue diseases (CTD) and 82 (35.7%) by chronic arthritis. Data on 299 children (156 males, 52.1%; mean age at the time of interview 17.1 ± 9.7 years) were collected. Twelve children (4.0%), who were born to patients with CTD in 75% of the cases, were affected by AD (8 cases of celiac disease). Eleven children had a certified diagnosis of ND (3.6%; 6 cases of learning disabilities); 9 of them were born to mothers with CTD (5 after maternal diagnosis). No association was found between ND and prenatal exposure to either maternal autoantibodies or anti-rheumatic drugs. Absolute numbers of offspring affected by AD and ND were low in a multicentre cohort of Italian women with RD. This information can be helpful for the counselling about reproductive issues, as the health outcomes of the offspring might not be an issue which discourage women with RD from having children.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12016-021-08857-2DOI Listing
March 2021

Are remission and low disease activity state ideal targets for pregnancy planning in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus? A multicentre study.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2021 Feb 16. Epub 2021 Feb 16.

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

Objectives: To determine whether disease remission or low disease activity state at the beginning of pregnancy in SLE patients is associated with better pregnancy outcome.

Methods: pregnancies in SLE patients prospectively monitored by pregnancy clinics at four rheumatology centres were enrolled. Patient demographics and clinical information were collected at baseline (pregnancy visit before 8 weeks of gestation) including whether patients were in remission according to DORIS criteria and and/or Lupus Low Disease Activity State (LLDAS). Univariate and multivariate analysis were performed to determine predictors of disease flare and adverse pregnancy outcomes (APOs) including preeclampsia, preterm delivery, small for gestational age infant, intrauterine growth restriction and intrauterine fetal death.

Results: 347 pregnancies were observed in 281 SLE patients. Excluding early pregnancy losses, 212 pregnancies (69.7%) occurred in patients who were in remission at baseline, 33 (10.9%) in patients in LLDAS, and the remainder in active patients. 73 flares (24%) were observed during pregnancy or puerperium, and 105 (34.5%) APOs occurred. Multivariate analysis revealed that patients in disease remission or taking hydroxychloroquine were less likely to have disease flare, while a history of lupus nephritis increased the risk. The risk of APOs was increased in patients with shorter disease duration, while being on hydroxychloroquine resulted a protective variable. An almost significant association between complete remission and a decreased risk of APOs was observed.

Conclusions: Prenatal planning with a firm treat-to-target goal of disease remission is an important strategy to reduce the risk of disease flares and severe obstetrical complications in SLE pregnancies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keab155DOI Listing
February 2021

European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR)/American College of Rheumatology (ACR) SLE classification criteria item performance.

Ann Rheum Dis 2021 Feb 10. Epub 2021 Feb 10.

Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of California at San Francisco and the VA Medical Center, San Francisco, California, USA.

Background/objectives: The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR)/American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2019 classification criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus system showed high specificity, while attaining also high sensitivity. We hereby analysed the performance of the individual criteria items and their contribution to the overall performance of the criteria.

Methods: We combined the EULAR/ACR derivation and validation cohorts for a total of 1197 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and n=1074 non-SLE patients with a variety of conditions mimicking SLE, such as other autoimmune diseases, and calculated the sensitivity and specificity for antinuclear antibodies (ANA) and the 23 specific criteria items. We also tested performance omitting the EULAR/ACR criteria attribution rule, which defines that items are only counted if not more likely explained by a cause other than SLE.

Results: Positive ANA, the new entry criterion, was 99.5% sensitive, but only 19.4% specific, against a non-SLE population that included other inflammatory rheumatic, infectious, malignant and metabolic diseases. The specific criteria items were highly variable in sensitivity (from 0.42% for delirium and 1.84% for psychosis to 75.6% for antibodies to double-stranded DNA), but their specificity was uniformly high, with low C3 or C4 (83.0%) and leucopenia <4.000/mm³ (83.8%) at the lowest end. Unexplained fever was 95.3% specific in this cohort. Applying the attribution rule improved specificity, particularly for joint involvement.

Conclusions: Changing the position of the highly sensitive, non-specific ANA to an entry criterion and the attribution rule resulted in a specificity of >80% for all items, explaining the higher overall specificity of the criteria set.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-219373DOI Listing
February 2021

Impact of first wave of SARS-CoV-2 infection in patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Weighting the risk of infection and flare.

PLoS One 2021 13;16(1):e0245274. Epub 2021 Jan 13.

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

Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence and clinical presentation of SARS-CoV-2 infections in a Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) cohort; to assess correlations with disease characteristics and rheumatic therapy; and to evaluate the occurrence of treatment discontinuation and its impact on disease activity.

Materials And Methods: SLE patients monitored by a single Italian centre were interviewed between February and July 2020. Patients were considered to be positive for SARS-CoV-2 infections in case of 1) positive nasopharyngeal swab; 2) positive serology associated with COVID19 suggesting symptoms. The following data were also recorded: clinical symptoms, adoption of social distancing measures, disease activity and treatment discontinuation.

Results: 332 patients were enrolled in the study. Six patients (1.8%) tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 infection, with the incidence being significantly higher in the subgroup of patients treated with biological Disease-Modifying Anti-Rheumatic Drugs (p = 0.005), while no difference was observed for other therapies, age at enrollment, disease duration, type of cumulative organ involvement or adoption of social isolation. The course of the disease was mild. Thirty-six patients (11.1%) discontinued at least part of their therapy during this time period, and 27 (8.1%) cases of disease flare were recorded. Correlation between flare and discontinuation of therapy was statistically significant (p<0.001). No significant increase of rate of flare in a subgroup of the same patients during 2020 was observed.

Conclusion: Treatment discontinuation seems to be an important cause of disease flare. Our findings suggest that abrupt drug withdrawal should be avoided or evaluated with caution on the basis of individual infection risk and comorbidities.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0245274PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7806138PMC
January 2021

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

The patient's perspective: are quality of life and disease burden a possible treatment target in systemic lupus erythematosus?

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2020 12;59(Suppl5):v63-v68

Department Rheumatology & Hiller-Research Unit Rheumatology, Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, Medical Faculty, Düsseldorf, Germany.

A few decades ago, the therapy goal of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) was survival and the prevention of organ failure. Today, clinical remission and low disease activity are believed to be the optimal therapeutic targets. These aims are difficult to reach for many patients, but they still do not address the health-related quality of life (QoL) that is significantly impaired in SLE patients. Even in the state of remission, QoL and fatigue are insufficient controlled. Thus, patient-oriented research is essential to design new strategies for the management of lupus patients. The INTEGRATE project analyses the patients' and physicians' perspectives to pave the way to design an innovative therapeutic strategy for lupus and focuses on the multifaceted dimensions of the disease burden. Shared decision making (SDM) could include the patient's perspective of SLE to treatment strategy and consider QoL and the burden of lupus into the process of therapy decision.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keaa427DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7719037PMC
December 2020

Lupus in the 21st century.

Authors:
Chiara Tani

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2020 12;59(Suppl5):v1-v3

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Pisa and Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana, Pisa, Italy.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keaa673DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7719034PMC
December 2020

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

Performance of the 2019 EULAR/ACR classification criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus in early disease, across sexes and ethnicities.

Ann Rheum Dis 2020 10 14;79(10):1333-1339. Epub 2020 Aug 14.

Rheumatology, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana, Pisa, Toscana, Italy.

Objectives: The European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR)/American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2019 Classification Criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have been validated with high sensitivity and specificity. We evaluated the performance of the new criteria with regard to disease duration, sex and race/ethnicity, and compared its performance against the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) 2012 and ACR 1982/1997 criteria.

Methods: Twenty-one SLE centres from 16 countries submitted SLE cases and mimicking controls to form the validation cohort. The sensitivity and specificity of the EULAR/ACR 2019, SLICC 2012 and ACR 1982/1997 criteria were evaluated.

Results: The cohort consisted of female (n=1098), male (n=172), Asian (n=118), black (n=68), Hispanic (n=124) and white (n=941) patients; with an SLE duration of 1 to <3 years (n=196) and ≥5 years (n=879). Among patients with 1 to <3 years disease duration, the EULAR/ACR criteria had better sensitivity than the ACR criteria (97% vs 81%). The EULAR/ACR criteria performed well in men (sensitivity 93%, specificity 96%) and women (sensitivity 97%, specificity 94%). Among women, the EULAR/ACR criteria had better sensitivity than the ACR criteria (97% vs 83%) and better specificity than the SLICC criteria (94% vs 82%). Among white patients, the EULAR/ACR criteria had better sensitivity than the ACR criteria (95% vs 83%) and better specificity than the SLICC criteria (94% vs 83%). The EULAR/ACR criteria performed well among black patients (sensitivity of 98%, specificity 100%), and had better sensitivity than the ACR criteria among Hispanic patients (100% vs 86%) and Asian patients (97% vs 77%).

Conclusions: The EULAR/ACR 2019 criteria perform well among patients with early disease, men, women, white, black, Hispanic and Asian patients. These criteria have superior sensitivity than the ACR criteria and/or superior specificity than the SLICC criteria across many subgroups.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2020-217162DOI Listing
October 2020

One year in review 2020: systemic lupus erythematosus.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2020 Jul-Aug;38(4):592-601. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

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

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease with a relapsing-remitting course that can affect various organs or systems, leading to a broad spectrum of clinical manifestations. In the past year, many studies have been published on SLE, providing a significant advancement in disease knowledge and patient management. The aim of this review is to summarise the most relevant scientific contributions on SLE pathogenesis, clinical manifestations and comorbidities, biomarkers and treatment strategies published in 2019.
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September 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

Multicentric study comparing cyclosporine, mycophenolate mofetil and azathioprine in the maintenance therapy of lupus nephritis: 8 years follow up.

J Nephrol 2021 04 27;34(2):389-398. Epub 2020 May 27.

Divisione di Nefrologia e Dialisi-Padiglione Croff, Fondazione Ca' Granda IRCCS Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Milano, Via della Commenda 15, 20122, Milano, Italy.

Background: The ideal long-term maintenance therapy of Lupus Nephritis (LN) is still a matter of debate. The present study was aimed at comparing the efficacy/safety profile of cyclosporine (CsA), mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and azathioprine (AZA) in long-term maintenance therapy of LN.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study of patients with biopsy-proven active LN. After induction therapy, all patients received maintenance therapy with CsA, MMF or AZA based on medical decision. Primary endpoint was complete renal remission (CRR) after 8 years (defined as proteinuria < 0.5 g/24 h, eGFR > 60 ml/min/1.73 mq); secondary endpoints were: CRR after 1 year, renal and extrarenal flares, progression of chronic kidney disease (CKD stage 3 or above) and side-effects.

Results: Out of 106 patients, 34 received CsA, 36 MMF and 36 AZA. Clinical and histological characteristics at start of induction therapy were comparable among groups. At start of maintenance therapy, CsA patients had significantly higher proteinuria (P = 0.004) or nephrotic syndrome (P = 0.024) and significantly lower CRR (23.5% vs 55.5% on MMF and 41.7% on AZA, P = 0.024). At one year, CRR was similar in the three groups (79.4% on CsA, 63.8% on MMF, 58.3% on AZA, P = 0.2). At 8 years, the primary endpoint was achieved by 79.4% of CsA vs 83.3% of MMF and 77.8% of AZA patients (P = 0.83); 24 h proteinuria, serum creatinine, eGFR were similar. CKD stage 3 or above developed in 8.8% of CsA, in 8.3% of MMF and in 8.3% of AZA patients (P = 0.92). Flares-free survival curves and incidence of side-effects were not different.

Conclusions: This is the first study comparing CsA, MMF and AZA on long-term LN maintenance therapy. All treatments had similar efficacy in achieving and maintaining CRR, despite more severe baseline clinical features in patients treated with CsA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s40620-020-00753-wDOI Listing
April 2021

Are patients with systemic lupus erythematosus more prone to result false-positive for SARS-CoV2 serology?

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2020 May-Jun;38(3):577. Epub 2020 May 27.

Rheumatology Unit, University of Pisa, Italy.

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September 2020

Early Disease and Low Baseline Damage as Predictors of Response to Belimumab in Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in a Real-Life Setting.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2020 08 12;72(8):1314-1324. Epub 2020 Jun 12.

Università degli Studi di Genova, Genoa, Italy.

Objective: To investigate predictors of response, remission, low disease activity, damage, and drug discontinuation in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) who were treated with belimumab.

Methods: In this retrospective study of a multicenter cohort of SLE patients who received intravenous belimumab, the proportion of patients who achieved remission, low disease activity, and treatment response according to the SLE Responder Index 4 (SRI-4) was determined, and the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index (SDI) was used to score disease damage yearly over the follow-up. Predictors of outcomes were analyzed by multivariate logistic regression with the results expressed as odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs).

Results: The study included 466 patients with active SLE from 24 Italian centers, with a median follow-up period of 18 months (range 1-60 months). An SRI-4 response was achieved by 49.2%, 61.3%, 69.7%, 69.6%, and 66.7% of patients at 6, 12, 24, 36, and 48 months, respectively. Baseline predictors of response at 6 months included a score of ≥10 on the SLE Disease Activity Index 2000 (SLEDAI-2K) (OR 3.14 [95% CI 2.033-4.860]) and a disease duration of ≤2 years (OR 1.94 [95% CI 1.078-3.473). Baseline predictors of response at 12 months included a score of ≥10 on the SLEDAI-2K (OR 3.48 [95% CI 2.004-6.025]) and an SDI score of 0 (OR 1.74 [95% CI 1.036-2.923]). Baseline predictors of response at 24 months included a score of ≥10 on the SLEDAI-2K (OR 4.25 [95% CI 2.018-8.940]) and a disease duration of ≤2 years (OR 3.79 [95% CI 1.039-13.52]). Baseline predictors of response at 36 months included a score of ≥10 on the SLEDAI-2K (OR 14.59 [95% CI 3.54-59.79) and baseline status of current smoker (OR 0.19 [95% CI 0.039-0.69]). Patients who were in remission for ≥25% of the follow-up period (44.3%) or who had low disease activity for ≥50% of the follow-up period (66.1%) accrued significantly less damage (P = 0.046 and P = 0.007). A baseline SDI score of 0 was an independent predictor of achieving low disease activity in ≥50% of the follow-up period and remission in ≥25% of the follow-up period. Our findings suggest that the lower the baseline damage, the greater the probability of achieving remission over the course of ≥25% of the follow-up. Further, there was a negative association between the number of flares reported prior to belimumab initiation and the frequency of belimumab discontinuation due to inefficacy (P = 0.009).

Conclusion: In patients with active SLE and low damage at baseline, treatment with belimumab early in the disease may lead to favorable outcomes in a real-life setting.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.41253DOI Listing
August 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

Comparative study between two European inception cohorts of patients with early systemic lupus erythematosus.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2020 Sep-Oct;38(5):925-932. Epub 2020 Jan 20.

Rheumatology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliera San Camillo-Forlanini, Roma, Italy.

Objectives: To compare the main characteristics of two inception cohorts (Italian [ITC] and Spanish [SPC]) cohorts of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) at the time of diagnosis and at one year of follow-up.

Methods: Demographic, clinical and immunological characteristics, and treatments at SLE diagnosis and at 12 months of follow-up of ITC and SPC were compared.

Results: One hundred and sixty-four patients in the ITC and 231 patients in the SPC were compared. the patients from ITC were younger at SLE diagnosis (41.1±15.0 years vs. 46.4±15.6 years; p<0.001) and had a higher prevalence of arthritis (62.8% vs. 45.5%; p=0.001), serositis (25.6% vs. 16.0%; p=0.026), neurological involvement (7.9% vs. 1.7%; p=0.006), and immunological abnormalities (anti-dsDNA, anti-Sm, antiphospholipid antibodies) (93.9% vs. 77.8%; p<0.001). Conversely, photosensitivity (29.5% in ITC vs. 45.9% in SPC; p=0.001) and oral ulcers (12.4% vs. 30.3%; p<0.001) were more frequent at onset of SLE in the Spanish patients. At the first 12 months of follow-up, these differences were maintained. At SLE onset, more Italian patients received glucocorticoids (85.4% vs. 50.2%; p<0.001) and immunosuppressive agents. At 12 months of follow-up, more Spanish patients were treated with antimalarials (75.6% in ITC vs. 90.0% in SPC; p<0.001). Conversely, the use of glucocorticoids was lower in SPC (89.0% in ITC vs. 57.1% in SPC; p<0.001).

Conclusions: These cohorts presented different profiles in terms of pattern of organ/system involvement and disease treatment, possibly as a consequence of patient selection or different disease management approaches between Italy and Spain.
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October 2020

Risk factors of damage in early diagnosed systemic lupus erythematosus: results of the Italian multicentre Early Lupus Project inception cohort.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2020 09;59(9):2272-2281

Rheumatology Unit, University of Cagliari and AOU University Clinic, Cagliari.

Objective: To investigate risk factors for damage development in a prospective inception cohort of early diagnosed SLE patients.

Methods: The Early Lupus Project recruited an inception cohort of patients within 12 months of SLE classification (1997 ACR criteria). At enrolment and every 6 months thereafter, the SLICC/ACR Damage Index was recorded. The contribution of baseline and time-varying covariates to the development of damage, defined as any SLICC/ACR Damage Index increase from 0 to ≥1, was assessed using univariate analysis. Forward-backward Cox regression models were fitted with covariates with P < 0.05 to identify factors independently associated with the risk of damage development.

Results: Overall, 230 patients with a mean (s.d.) age of 36.5 (14.4) years were eligible for this study; the mean number of visits per patient was 5.3 (2.7). There were 51 (22.2%) patients with SLICC/ACR Damage Index ≥1 after 12 months, 59 (25.6%) after 24 months and 67 (29.1%) after 36 months. Dyslipidaemia [P = 0.001; hazard ratio (HR) 2.9; 95% CI 1.5, 5.6], older age (P = 0.001; HR 3.0; 95% CI 1.6, 5.5), number of organs/systems involved (P = 0.002; HR 1.4; 95% CI 1.1, 1.8) and cardiorespiratory involvement (P = 0.041; HR 1.9; 95% CI 1.0, 3.7) were independently associated with an increased risk of developing damage. Risk profiles for damage development differed for glucocorticoid-related and -unrelated damage. HCQ use (P = 0.005; HR 0.4; 95% CI 0.2, 0.8) reduced the risk of glucocorticoid-unrelated damage.

Conclusion: We identified risk factors of damage development, but little effect of glucocorticoids, in this early SLE cohort. Addressing modifiable risk factors from the time of SLE diagnosis might improve patient outcomes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kez584DOI Listing
September 2020

Framingham, ACC/AHA or QRISK3: which is the best in systemic lupus erythematosus cardiovascular risk estimation?

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2020 Jul-Aug;38(4):602-608. Epub 2019 Oct 28.

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

Objectives: Our objective was to compare three algorithms for cardiovascular (CV) risk estimation, namely Framingham, ACC/AHA and QRISK3, in a cohort of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Methods: Consecutive patients with SLE according to the ACR criteria were enrolled. Traditional risk factors, ongoing therapies, comorbidities and SLE-specific evaluations were assessed. In those without previous myocardial infarction or stroke, Framingham, ACC/AHA and QRISK3 algorithms were then used to estimate the individual risk of developing a CV disease over the next 10 years.

Results: Patients eligible for CV risk estimation were 123 out of 135 enrolled. Framingham index reported a median risk score of 4.7% (IQR 9.5-2.2), considering 29 patients (23.6%) at high CV risk. ACC/AHA index showed a median risk score of 1.4% (IQR 4.5-0.7), with 17 patients (13.8%) at high-risk. QRISK3 revealed a median risk score of 6.2% (IQR 12.5-2.8), making it possible to classify 44 patients (35.8%) at high CV risk. The subgroup analysis of subjects older than 40 years confirmed the same number of high-risk patients for both Framingham and ACC/AHA, whereas QRISK3 classified 38 subjects at high CV risk.

Conclusions: QRISK3 classifies a greater number of SLE patients at high-risk of developing CV diseases over the next 10 years in comparison with classic algorithms as Framingham and ACC/AHA. If its predictive accuracy were confirmed by longitudinal data, QRISK3 could become an important tool in the early detection of a considerable part of CV high-risk SLE patients that would be underestimated when applying classic algorithms.
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September 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

Associations Between Classification Criteria Items in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2020 12 7;72(12):1820-1826. Epub 2020 Nov 7.

University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Objective: A project aimed at developing new classification criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is based on weighted criteria that include both laboratory and clinical items. Combinations of certain symptoms may occur commonly in SLE, which provides an argument against independently counting these items. The current study was undertaken to evaluate the interrelationship between candidate criteria items in the International Early SLE cohort and in the Euro-Lupus cohort.

Methods: The International Early SLE cohort included 389 patients, who were diagnosed within 3 years prior to the study. Data on the ACR's 1997 update of the SLE revised criteria, the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics 2012 criteria, and on 30 additional items were collected. To evaluate the interrelationship of the criteria, a tetrachoric correlation was used to assess the degree of association between different manifestations in the same organ system. The correlations identified in the International Early SLE cohort were validated in the Euro-Lupus cohort.

Results: A few relevant correlations were observed among specific clinical cutaneous manifestations (in particular, malar rash correlated with photosensitivity, alopecia, and oral ulcers) and serologic manifestations (anti-Sm and anti-double-stranded DNA and anti-RNA polymerase, anti-Ro and anti-La, and antiphospholipid antibodies), and these results were validated in the Euro-Lupus cohort. The associations within the mucocutaneous domain, hematologic and the specific autoantibodies suggest that within a single domain only the highest ranking item should be counted to avoid overrepresentation.

Conclusion: Some of the candidate SLE criteria cluster within domains. Given these interrelationships, multiple criteria within a domain should not be independently counted. These results are important to consider for the structure of new SLE classification criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr.24078DOI Listing
December 2020

Italian recommendations for influenza and pneumococcal vaccination in adult patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2020 Mar-Apr;38(2):245-256. Epub 2019 Aug 27.

Infectious Diseases Unit, Sapienza University, S.M. Goretti Hospital, Latina, Italy.

Objectives: To provide evidence-based recommendations for vaccination against influenza virus and S. pneumoniae in patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARDs).

Methods: A Consensus Committee including physicians with expertise in rheumatic and infectious diseases was established by two Italian scientific societies, Società Italiana di Reumatologia (SIR) and Società Italiana di Malattie Infettive e Tropicali (SIMIT). The experts were invited to develop evidence-based recommendations concerning vaccinations in ARDs patients, based on their clinical status before and after undergoing immunosuppressive treatments. Key clinical questions were formulated for the systematic literature reviews, based on the clinical pathway. A search was made in Medline (via PubMed) according to the original MeSH strategy from October 2009 and a keyword strategy from January 2016 up to December 2017, updating existing EULAR recommendations. Specific recommendations were separately voted and scored from 0 (no agreement with) to 100 (maximal agreement) and supporting evidence graded. The mean and standard deviation of the scores were calculated to determine the level of agreement among the experts' panel for each recommendation. Total cumulative agreement ≥70 defined consensus for each statement.

Results: Nine recommendations, based on 6 key clinical questions addressed by the expert committee, were proposed. The aim of this work is to integrate the 2011 EULAR recommendations on vaccination against influenza and S. pneumoniae in ARDs patients. An implementation plan was proposed to improve the vaccination status of these patients and their safety during immunosuppressive treatments.

Conclusions: Influenza and pneumococcus vaccinations are effective and safe in patients with ARDs. More efforts should be made to translate the accumulated evidence into practice.
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April 2020

2019 European League Against Rheumatism/American College of Rheumatology Classification Criteria for Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2019 09 6;71(9):1400-1412. Epub 2019 Aug 6.

Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Objective: To develop new classification criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) jointly supported by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) and the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).

Methods: This international initiative had four phases. 1) Evaluation of antinuclear antibody (ANA) as an entry criterion through systematic review and meta-regression of the literature and criteria generation through an international Delphi exercise, an early patient cohort, and a patient survey. 2) Criteria reduction by Delphi and nominal group technique exercises. 3) Criteria definition and weighting based on criterion performance and on results of a multi-criteria decision analysis. 4) Refinement of weights and threshold scores in a new derivation cohort of 1,001 subjects and validation compared with previous criteria in a new validation cohort of 1,270 subjects.

Results: The 2019 EULAR/ACR classification criteria for SLE include positive ANA at least once as obligatory entry criterion; followed by additive weighted criteria grouped in 7 clinical (constitutional, hematologic, neuropsychiatric, mucocutaneous, serosal, musculoskeletal, renal) and 3 immunologic (antiphospholipid antibodies, complement proteins, SLE-specific antibodies) domains, and weighted from 2 to 10. Patients accumulating ≥10 points are classified. In the validation cohort, the new criteria had a sensitivity of 96.1% and specificity of 93.4%, compared with 82.8% sensitivity and 93.4% specificity of the ACR 1997 and 96.7% sensitivity and 83.7% specificity of the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics 2012 criteria.

Conclusion: These new classification criteria were developed using rigorous methodology with multidisciplinary and international input, and have excellent sensitivity and specificity. Use of ANA entry criterion, hierarchically clustered, and weighted criteria reflects current thinking about SLE and provides an improved foundation for SLE research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.40930DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6827566PMC
September 2019

2019 European League Against Rheumatism/American College of Rheumatology classification criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus.

Ann Rheum Dis 2019 09 5;78(9):1151-1159. Epub 2019 Aug 5.

Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Rheumatology Unit, Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria Pisana, University of Pisa, Pisa, Italy.

Objective: To develop new classification criteria for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) jointly supported by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) and the American College of Rheumatology (ACR).

Methods: This international initiative had four phases. (1) Evaluation of antinuclear antibody (ANA) as an entry criterion through systematic review and meta-regression of the literature and criteria generation through an international Delphi exercise, an early patient cohort and a patient survey. (2) Criteria reduction by Delphi and nominal group technique exercises. (3) Criteria definition and weighting based on criterion performance and on results of a multi-criteria decision analysis. (4) Refinement of weights and threshold scores in a new derivation cohort of 1001 subjects and validation compared with previous criteria in a new validation cohort of 1270 subjects.

Results: The 2019 EULAR/ACR classification criteria for SLE include positive ANA at least once as obligatory entry criterion; followed by additive weighted criteria grouped in seven clinical (constitutional, haematological, neuropsychiatric, mucocutaneous, serosal, musculoskeletal, renal) and three immunological (antiphospholipid antibodies, complement proteins, SLE-specific antibodies) domains, and weighted from 2 to 10. Patients accumulating ≥10 points are classified. In the validation cohort, the new criteria had a sensitivity of 96.1% and specificity of 93.4%, compared with 82.8% sensitivity and 93.4% specificity of the ACR 1997 and 96.7% sensitivity and 83.7% specificity of the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics 2012 criteria.

Conclusion: These new classification criteria were developed using rigorous methodology with multidisciplinary and international input, and have excellent sensitivity and specificity. Use of ANA entry criterion, hierarchically clustered and weighted criteria reflect current thinking about SLE and provide an improved foundation for SLE research.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2018-214819DOI Listing
September 2019

One year in review 2019: systemic lupus erythematosus.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2019 Sep-Oct;37(5):715-722. Epub 2019 Jul 19.

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

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune connective-tissue disorder with a wide range of clinical manifestations that predominantly affect women. Many aspects of its pathogenesis are still unclear, and new therapeutic strategies are progressively emerging. Thus, in this review we aim to summarise the most relevant data on SLE that emerged during 2018, following the previous annual review of this series. In particular, the review will focus on new insights in SLE regarding new pathogenetic pathways, new biomarkers, new data on clinical manifestations, clinical outcomes and comorbidities and what has emerged on new drugs and new therapeutic strategies.
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October 2019

Glucocorticoid withdrawal in systemic lupus erythematosus: are remission and low disease activity reliable starting points for stopping treatment? A real-life experience.

RMD Open 2019 11;5(2):e000916. Epub 2019 Jun 11.

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

Objectives: To evaluate the proportion of patients who have successfully withdrawn glucocorticoids (GCs) in a longitudinal cohort of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) over a period of 6 years; to evaluate patient characteristics during GC withdrawal in relation to existing definitions of remission and Lupus Low Disease Activity State (LLDAS); and to evaluate the occurrence of flares after GC withdrawal.

Methods: Patients who attempted GC withdrawal were identified for the cohort, and the following information was assessed during withdrawal attempts: date of last disease flare, disease activity and damage and ongoing treatment. Information regarding the occurrence of disease flares after GC withdrawal was also recorded for patients who successfully stopped treatment.Definitions of remission were applied to GC withdrawal in line with European consensus criteria (Definitions of remission in SLE [DORIS]) and LLDAS in line with the Asian Pacific Lupus Consortium definition.

Results: 148 patients were involved in the study; GC withdrawal was attempted in 91 patients (61.5%) with 77 patients (84.6%) successfully stopping GCs. At the beginning of the GC reduction, the majority of patients were in complete or clinical remission (48.9% and 39.6%, respectively). Disease activity was significantly lower in patients who successfully stopped GCs, and the proportion of patients in complete remission was higher (54.2%) with respect to patients who failed in their attempt. Among patients who stopped GCs, 18 flares were recorded after a median of 1 year. The time period since the last flare was shorter in patients who experienced flares with respect to patients who did not flare (mean 0.93 years vs 6.0, p<0.001).

Conclusions: GC withdrawal is an achievable goal in SLE and may be attempted after a long-term remission or LLDAS to protect the patient from disease flares.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/rmdopen-2019-000916DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6579574PMC
April 2020

Undifferentiated connective tissue disease: state of the art on clinical practice guidelines.

RMD Open 2018 26;4(Suppl 1):e000786. Epub 2019 Feb 26.

Department of Rheumatology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

The term 'undifferentiated connective tissue disease' (UCTD) is generally used to describe clinical entities characterised by clinical and serological manifestations of systemic autoimmune diseases but not fulfilling the criteria for defined connective tissue diseases (CTDs). In this narrative review, we summarise the results of a systematic literature research, which was performed as part of the ERN ReCONNET project, aimed at evaluating existing clinical practice guidelines (CPGs) or recommendations. No specific CPG on UCTD were found, potential areas of intervention are absence of a consensus definition of UCTD, need for specific monitoring and therapeutic protocols, stratification of UCTD based on the risk of developing a defined CTD and preventive measure for the future development of a more severe condition. Patients feel uncertainty regarding the name of the disease and feel the need of a better education and understanding of these conditions and its possible changes over time.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/rmdopen-2018-000786DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6397427PMC
February 2019

First Report of the Italian Registry on Immune-Mediated Congenital Heart Block (Lu.Ne Registry).

Front Cardiovasc Med 2019 28;6:11. Epub 2019 Feb 28.

Unità di Reumatologia, Dipartimento di Medicina, Università di Padova, Padova, Italy.

Neonatal Lupus (NL) is a rare syndrome caused by placental transfer of maternal anti-SSA/Ro and anti-La/SSB autoantibodies to the fetus. The rarity of this condition requires the establishment of multidisciplinary registries in order to improve our knowledge. Inclusion criteria in this retrospective study were the maternal confirmed positivity for anti-SSA/Ro and/or anti-SSB/La antibodies, and the presence of II or III degree congenital heart block (CHB) or neonatal period (up to 27 days after birth). Eighty-nine cases of CHB were observed in 85 women with 88 pregnancies that occurred between 1969 and 2017. CHB was mostly detected (84 cases, 94.2%), while five cases were observed in the neonatal period. A permanent pacemaker was implanted in 51 of 73 children born alive (69.8), whereas global mortality rate was 25.8% (23 cases): 16 , five perinatal, and two during childhood. By univariate analysis, factors associated with fetal death were pleural effusion ( = 0.005, OR > 100; CI 95% 2.88->100 and hydrops ( = 0.003, = 14.09; CI 95% 2.01-122). Fluorinated steroids (FS) were administered in 71.4% pregnancies, and its use was not associated with better survival. Some centers treated all cases with fluorinated steroids and some centers did not treat any case. CHB was initially incomplete in 24 fetuses, and of them five cases of II degree block reverted to a lower degree block after treatments. Recurrence rate in subsequent pregnancies was 17.6% (3 out of 17). A prophylactic treatment was introduced in 10 of these 16 subsequent (58.8%) pregnancies, mostly with FS or high dose intravenous immunoglobulins. This is the first report from the Italian Registry of neonatal lupus/CHB. The live birth rate was nearly 80%, with nearly two thirds of the children requiring the implantation of a pacemaker. The management of fetuses diagnosed with CHB was heterogeneous across Italian Centers. The registry at present is mainly rheumatological, but involvement of pediatric cardiologists and gynecologists is planned.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fcvm.2019.00011DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6404544PMC
February 2019