Publications by authors named "Daniel J Wallace"

194 Publications

COVID-19 in patients with rheumatic disease: finally, a denominator.

Authors:
Daniel J Wallace

Lancet Rheumatol 2021 Apr 28. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2665-9913(21)00121-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8081402PMC
April 2021

A Panel of Biomarkers Associates With Increased Risk for Cardiovascular Events in Women With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

ACR Open Rheumatol 2021 Apr 19;3(4):209-220. Epub 2021 Feb 19.

University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA.

Objective: The increase in cardiovascular events (CVEs) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is not fully explained by traditional risk factors. We previously identified four biomarkers (proinflammatory high-density lipoprotein, leptin, soluble TNF-like weak inducer of apoptosis (sTWEAK), and homocysteine) that we combined with age and diabetes to create the predictors of risk for elevated flares, damage progression, and increased cardiovascular diseasein patients with SLE (PREDICTS) risk profile. PREDICTS more accurately identified patients with SLE at risk for progression of subclinical atherosclerosis than any individual variable. We examined whether PREDICTS can also identify patients with SLE at risk for future CVEs.

Methods: A total of 342 patients with SLE and 155 matched control subjects participated in this longitudinal prospective study. A high PREDICTS score was defined as three or more predictors or diabetes + one or more predictor. The biomarkers were measured at baseline using published methods. All major adverse CVEs (MACEs) were confirmed by medical record review.

Results: During 116 months of follow-up, 5% of patients with SLE died, 12% had a cerebrovascular event, and 5% had a cardiac event. Overall, 20% of patients with lupus experienced any new MACE compared with 5% of control subjects (P < 0.0001). More patients with SLE with a new MACE had high PREDICTS score at baseline (77%) versus patients with no new events (34%) (P < 0.0001). High baseline PREDICTS score also associated with cerebrovascular (P < 0.0001) and cardiac events (P < 0.0001) in SLE. Using Cox regression, a baseline high PREDICTS score associated with a 3.7-fold increased hazard ratio (HR) for a new MACE (P < 0.0001) in SLE. Hypertension (HR = 2.1; P = 0.006) was also a risk.

Conclusion: A high PREDICTS score and hypertension confer increased risk for new MACEs in patients with SLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr2.11223DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8063147PMC
April 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

Safety and clinical activity of atacicept in the long-term extension of the Phase IIb ADDRESS II study in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2021 Feb 6. Epub 2021 Feb 6.

Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Research Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.

Objectives: Atacicept reduced SLE disease activity in the Phase IIb ADDRESS II study, particularly in patients with high disease activity (HDA; SLEDAI-2K ≥10) at screening. We assessed long-term safety and efficacy of atacicept in the long-term extension (LTE) of ADDRESS II.

Methods: In the 24-week, randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled ADDRESS II study, patients received weekly atacicept (75 or 150 mg) or placebo. Atacicept was continued at the same dose in atacicept-treated patients in the LTE; placebo-treated patients switched to atacicept 150 mg. Long-term safety was the primary end point. Secondary endpoints included SLE responder index (SRI)-4 and SRI-6 response rates and flares.

Results: 253 patients entered the ADDRESS II LTE; 88 received atacicept 150 mg, 82 atacicept 75 mg and 83 placebo/atacicept 150 mg. Median active treatment duration in the LTE was 83.8 weeks. Frequencies of treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) were similar across groups (90.4-93.2%). 12.5%, 14.6% and 21.7% of patients in the atacicept 150 mg, atacicept 75 mg and placebo/atacicept 150 mg groups reported serious TEAEs during the treatment period. The proportions of patients with TEAEs leading to discontinuation were 5.7%, 4.9% and 10.8%, respectively. SRI-4 and SRI-6 response rates were maintained with atacicept in the modified intent-to-treat and HDA populations and those on continuous 150 mg had a reduced risk of first severe flare and longer time to first severe flare vs those who initially received placebo.

Conclusion: Long-term treatment with atacicept 150 mg in SLE patients had an acceptable safety profile, with durable efficacy.

Clinical Trial Registration Number: NCT02070978.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keab115DOI Listing
February 2021

A Multianalyte Assay Panel With Cell-Bound Complement Activation Products Predicts Transition of Probable Lupus to American College of Rheumatology-Classified Lupus.

ACR Open Rheumatol 2021 Feb 4;3(2):116-123. Epub 2021 Feb 4.

Exagen, Inc, Vista, California, and Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California.

Objective: To evaluate the usefulness of biomarkers to predict the evolution of patients suspected of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), designated as probable SLE (pSLE), into classifiable SLE according to the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria.

Methods: Patients suspected of SLE were enrolled by lupus experts if they fulfilled three ACR criteria for SLE and were followed for approximately 1-3 years to evaluate transition into ACR-classifiable SLE. Individual cell-bound complement activation products (CB-CAPs), serum complement proteins (C3 and C4), and autoantibodies were measured by flow cytometry, turbidimetry, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, respectively. Blood levels of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) were measured by mass spectrometry. A multianalyte assay panel (MAP), which includes CB-CAPs, was also evaluated. A MAP of greater than 0.8 reflected the optimal cutoff for transition to SLE. Time to fulfillment of ACR criteria was evaluated by Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox proportional hazards model.

Results: Of the 92 patients with pSLE enrolled, 74 had one or two follow-up visits 9-35 months after enrollment for a total of 128 follow-up visits. Overall, 28 patients with pSLE (30.4%) transitioned to ACR-classifiable SLE, including 16 (57%) in the first year and 12 (43%) afterwards. A MAP score of greater than 0.8 at enrollment predicted transition to classifiable SLE during the follow-up period (hazard ratio = 2.72; P = 0.012), whereas individual biomarkers or fulfillment of Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics criteria did not. HCQ therapy was not associated with the prevention of transition to SLE.

Conclusion: Approximately one-third of patients with pSLE transitioned within the study period. MAP of greater than 0.8 predicted disease evolution into classifiable SLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr2.11219DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7882535PMC
February 2021

Prediction of hospitalizations in systemic lupus erythematosus using the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics Frailty Index (SLICC-FI).

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2020 Nov 5. Epub 2020 Nov 5.

Emory University School of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

Objective: The Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) frailty index (FI) predicts mortality and damage accrual in SLE, but its association with hospitalizations has not been described. We estimated the association of baseline SLICC-FI values with future hospitalizations in the SLICC inception cohort.

Methods: Baseline SLICC-FI scores were calculated. The number and duration of inpatient hospitalizations during follow-up were recorded. Negative binomial regression was used to estimate the association between baseline SLICC-FI values and the rate of hospitalizations per patient-year of follow-up. Linear regression was used to estimate the association of baseline SLICC-FI scores with the proportion of follow-up time spent in hospital. Multivariable models were adjusted for relevant baseline characteristics.

Results: The 1549 SLE patients eligible for this analysis were mostly female (88.7%) with mean (SD) age 35.7 (13.3) years and median (IQR) disease duration 1.2 (0.9-1.5) years at baseline. Mean (SD) baseline SLICC-FI was 0.17 (0.08). During mean (SD) follow-up of 7.2 (3.7) years, 614 patients (39.6%) experienced 1570 hospitalizations. Higher baseline SLICC-FI values (per 0.05 increment) were associated with more frequent hospitalizations during follow-up (Incidence Rate Ratio 1.21; 95%CI 1.13-1.30), adjusting for baseline age, sex, corticosteroid use, immunosuppressive use, ethnicity/location, SLE disease activity index 2000 (SLEDAI-2K), SLICC/ACR damage index (SDI), and disease duration. Among patients with ≥1 hospitalization, higher baseline SLICC-FI values predicted a greater proportion of follow-up time spent hospitalized (Relative Rate 1.09; 95%CI 1.02-1.16).

Conclusion: The SLICC-FI predicts future hospitalizations among incident SLE patients, further supporting the SLICC-FI as a valid health measure in SLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr.24504DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8096857PMC
November 2020

Oxidative DNA Damage Accelerates Skin Inflammation in Pristane-Induced Lupus Model.

Front Immunol 2020 24;11:554725. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases and Immunology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA, United States.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease in which type I interferons (IFN) play a key role. The IFN response can be triggered when oxidized DNA engages the cytosolic DNA sensing platform cGAS-STING, but the repair mechanisms that modulate this process and govern disease progression are unclear. To gain insight into this biology, we interrogated the role of oxyguanine glycosylase 1 (OGG1), which repairs oxidized guanine 8-Oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OH-dG), in the pristane-induced mouse model of SLE. mice showed increased influx of Ly6C monocytes into the peritoneal cavity and enhanced IFN-driven gene expression in response to short-term exposure to pristane. Loss of was associated with increased auto-antibodies (anti-dsDNA and anti-RNP), higher total IgG, and expression of interferon stimulated genes (ISG) to longer exposure to pristane, accompanied by aggravated skin pathology such as hair loss, thicker epidermis, and increased deposition of IgG in skin lesions. Supporting a role for type I IFNs in this model, skin lesions of mice had significantly higher expression of type I IFN genes (, and ). In keeping with loss of resulting in dysregulated IFN responses, enhanced basal and cGAMP-dependent expression was observed in BMDMs from mice. Use of the STING inhibitor, H151, reduced both basal and cGAMP-driven increases, indicating that OGG1 regulates expression through the cGAS-STING pathway. Finally, in support for a role for OGG1 in the pathology of cutaneous disease, reduced expression in monocytes associated with skin involvement in SLE patients and the expression of was significantly lower in lesional skin compared with non-lesional skin in patients with Discoid Lupus. Taken together, these data support an important role for OGG1 in protecting against IFN production and SLE skin disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.554725DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7541920PMC
April 2021

New Insights Into Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Therapies: 2010-2020.

J Clin Rheumatol 2020 Oct 15. Epub 2020 Oct 15.

From the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic autoimmune disease that may affect every organ. The multiple pathogenic mechanisms and heterogeneous phenotypes of SLE present unique challenges in the management of this complex disease. This article discusses new SLE therapies from the last 10 years. We will address new information in the realms of lifestyle interventions, antimalarials, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, glucocorticoids, immunosuppressive disease modifying antirheumatic drugs, biological therapies, and other modalities as they pertain to SLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/RHU.0000000000001603DOI Listing
October 2020

Baricitinib-associated changes in global gene expression during a 24-week phase II clinical systemic lupus erythematosus trial implicates a mechanism of action through multiple immune-related pathways.

Lupus Sci Med 2020 10;7(1)

Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

Objective: To characterise the molecular pathways impacted by the pharmacologic effects of the Janus kinase (JAK) 1 and JAK2 inhibitor baricitinib in SLE.

Methods: In a phase II, 24-week, randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind study (JAHH), RNA was isolated from whole blood in 274 patients and analysed using Affymetrix HTA2.0 array. Serum cytokines were measured using ultrasensitive quantitative assays.

Results: Gene expression profiling demonstrated an elevation of , and multiple interferon (IFN) responsive genes at baseline in patients with SLE. Statistical and gene network analyses demonstrated that baricitinib treatment reduced the mRNA expression of functionally interconnected genes involved in SLE including -target, -target and target genes and multiple IFN responsive genes. At baseline, serum cytokines IFN-α, IFN-γ, interleukin (IL)-12p40 and IL-6 were measurable and elevated above healthy controls. Treatment with baricitinib significantly decreased serum IL-12p40 and IL-6 cytokine levels at week 12, which persisted through week 24.

Conclusion: Baricitinib treatment induced significant reduction in the RNA expression of a network of genes associated with the JAK/STAT pathway, cytokine signalling and SLE pathogenesis. Baricitinib consistently reduced serum levels of two key cytokines implicated in SLE pathogenesis, IL-12p40 and IL-6.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/lupus-2020-000424DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7549481PMC
October 2020

Cancer risk in a large inception SLE cohort: Effects of demographics, smoking, and medications.

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2020 Aug 19. Epub 2020 Aug 19.

Department of Rheumatology, Center for Rheumatology Research Fossvogur, Landspitali University Hospital, Reykjavik, Iceland.

Objective: To assess cancer risk factors in incident SLE.

Methods: Clinical variables and cancer outcomes were assessed annually among incident SLE patients. Multivariate hazard regression models (over-all risk, and most common cancers) included demographics and time-dependent medications (corticosteroids, antimalarial drugs, immunosuppressants), smoking, and adjusted mean SLE Disease Activity Index-2K.

Results: Among 1668 patients (average 9 years follow-up), 65 cancers occurred: 15 breast, 10 non-melanoma skin, seven lung, six hematological, six prostate, five melanoma, three cervical, three renal, two each gastric, head and neck, and thyroid, and one each rectal, sarcoma, thymoma, and uterine cancers. Half of cancers (including all lung cancers) occurred in past/current smokers, versus one-third of patients without cancer. Multivariate analyses indicated over-all cancer risk was related primarily to male sex and older age at SLE diagnosis. In addition, smoking was associated with lung cancer. For breast cancer risk, age was positively and anti-malarial drugs were negatively associated. Anti-malarial drugs and higher disease activity were also negatively associated with non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) risk, whereas age and cyclophosphamide were positively associated. Disease activity was associated positively with hematologic and negatively with NMSC risk.

Conclusions: Smoking is a key modifiable risk factor, especially for lung cancer, in SLE. Immunosuppressive medications were not clearly associated with higher risk except for cyclophosphamide and NMSC. Antimalarials were negatively associated with breast cancer and NMSC risk. SLE activity was associated positively with hematologic cancer and negatively with NMSC. Since the absolute number of cancers was small, additional follow-up will help consolidate these findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr.24425DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7892637PMC
August 2020

Accrual of Atherosclerotic Vascular Events in a Multicenter Inception Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Cohort.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2020 10 25;72(10):1734-1740. Epub 2020 Aug 25.

Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride, Scotland, UK.

Objective: In previous studies, atherosclerotic vascular events (AVEs) were shown to occur in ~10% of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We undertook this study to investigate the annual occurrence and potential risk factors for AVEs in a multinational, multiethnic inception cohort of patients with SLE.

Methods: A large 33-center cohort of SLE patients was followed up yearly between 1999 and 2017. AVEs were attributed to atherosclerosis based on SLE being inactive at the time of the AVE as well as typical atherosclerotic changes observed on imaging or pathology reports and/or evidence of atherosclerosis elsewhere. Analyses included descriptive statistics, rate of AVEs per 1,000 patient-years, and univariable and multivariable relative risk regression models.

Results: Of the 1,848 patients enrolled in the cohort, 1,710 had ≥1 follow-up visit after enrollment, for a total of 13,666 patient-years. Of these 1,710 patients, 3.6% had ≥1 AVEs attributed to atherosclerosis, for an event rate of 4.6 per 1,000 patient-years. In multivariable analyses, lower AVE rates were associated with antimalarial treatment (hazard ratio [HR] 0.54 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.32-0.91]), while higher AVE rates were associated with any prior vascular event (HR 4.00 [95% CI 1.55-10.30]) and a body mass index of >40 kg/m (HR 2.74 [95% CI 1.04-7.18]). A prior AVE increased the risk of subsequent AVEs (HR 5.42 [95% CI 3.17-9.27], P < 0.001).

Conclusion: The prevalence of AVEs and the rate of AVE accrual demonstrated in the present study is much lower than that seen in previously published data. This may be related to better control of both the disease activity and classic risk factors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.41392DOI Listing
October 2020

Cell-bound complement activation products associate with lupus severity in SLE.

Lupus Sci Med 2020 04;7(1)

Exagen Inc, Vista, California, USA.

Objectives: To evaluate the association between lupus severity and cell-bound complement activation products (CB-CAPs) or low complement proteins C3 and C4.

Methods: All subjects (n=495) fulfilled the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) classification criteria for SLE. Abnormal CB-CAPs (erythrocyte-bound C4d or B-lymphocyte-bound C4d levels >99th percentile of healthy) and complement proteins C3 and C4 were determined using flow cytometry and turbidimetry, respectively. Lupus severity was estimated using the Lupus Severity Index (LSI). Statistical analysis consisted of multivariable linear regression and groups comparisons.

Results: Abnormal CB-CAPs were more prevalent than low complement values irrespective of LSI levels (62% vs 38%, respectively, p<0.0001). LSI was low (median 5.44, IQR: 4.77-6.93) in patients with no complement abnormality, intermediate in patients with abnormal CB-CAPs (median 6.09, IQR: 5.31-8.20) and high in the group presenting with both abnormal CB-CAPs and low C3 and/or C4 (median 7.85, IQR: 5.51-8.37). Odds of immunosuppressant use was higher in subjects with LSI ≥5.95 compared with subjects with LSI <5.95 (1.60 vs 0.53, p<0.0001 for both). Multivariable regression analysis revealed that higher LSI scores associated with abnormal CB-CAPs-but not low C3/C4-after adjusting for younger age, race and longer disease duration (p=0.0001), which were also independent predictors of disease severity (global R=0.145).

Conclusion: Abnormalities in complement activation as measured by CB-CAPs are associated with increased LSI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/lupus-2019-000377DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7228655PMC
April 2020

Attainment of treat-to-target endpoints in SLE patients with high disease activity in the atacicept phase 2b ADDRESS II study.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2020 10;59(10):2930-2938

Clinical Pharmacology Research Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, OK, USA.

Objective: Low disease activity (LDA) and remission are emerging treat-to-target (T2T) endpoints in SLE. However, the rates at which these endpoints are met in patients with high disease activity (HDA) are unknown. Atacicept, which targets B lymphocyte stimulator and a proliferation-inducing ligand, improved disease outcomes in SLE patients with HDA (SLEDAI-2K ≥10) at baseline in the phase 2b ADDRESS II study. This is a post hoc analysis of T2T endpoints in these patients.

Methods: Patients received weekly atacicept (75 or 150 mg s.c.) or placebo for 24 weeks (1:1:1 randomization). Attainment of three T2T endpoints, LDA (SLEDAI-2K ≤ 2), Lupus Low Disease Activity State (LLDAS) and remission (clinical SLEDAI-2K = 0, prednisone-equivalent ≤5mg/day and Physician's Global Assessment <0.5), was assessed and compared with SLE Responder Index (SRI)-4 and SRI-6 response.

Results: Of 306 randomized patients, 158 (51.6%) had baseline HDA. At week 24, 37 (23.4%) HDA patients attained LDA, 25 (15.8%) LLDAS and 17 (10.8%) remission. Each of these endpoints was more stringent than SRI-4 (n = 87; 55.1%) and SRI-6 (n = 67; 42.4%). Compared with placebo (n = 52), at week 24, patients treated with atacicept 150 mg (n = 51) were more likely to attain LDA [odds ratio (OR) 3.82 (95% CI: 1.44, 10.15), P = 0.007], LLDAS [OR 5.03 (95% CI: 1.32, 19.06), P = 0.018] or remission [OR 3.98 (95% CI: 0.78, 20.15), P = 0.095].

Conclusion: At week 24, LDA, LLDAS and remission were more stringent than SRI-4 and SRI-6 response, were attainable in the HDA population and discriminated between treatment with atacicept 150 mg and placebo. These results suggest that T2T endpoints are robust outcome measures in SLE clinical trials and support further evaluation of atacicept in SLE.

Trail Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov, http://clinicaltrials.gov, NCT01972568.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/keaa029DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7516108PMC
October 2020

Neuropsychiatric events in systemic lupus erythematosus: a longitudinal analysis of outcomes in an international inception cohort using a multistate model approach.

Ann Rheum Dis 2020 03 8;79(3):356-362. Epub 2020 Jan 8.

Copenhagen Lupus and Vasculitis Clinic, 4242, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen University Hospital, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Objectives: Using a reversible multistate model, we prospectively examined neuropsychiatric (NP) events for attribution, outcome and association with health-related quality of life (HRQoL), in an international, inception cohort of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients.

Methods: Annual assessments for 19 NP events attributed to SLE and non-SLE causes, physician determination of outcome and patient HRQoL (short-form (SF)-36 scores) were measured. Time-to-event analysis and multistate modelling examined the onset, recurrence and transition between NP states.

Results: NP events occurred in 955/1827 (52.3%) patients and 592/1910 (31.0%) unique events were attributed to SLE. In the first 2 years of follow-up the relative risk (95% CI) for SLE NP events was 6.16 (4.96, 7.66) and non-SLE events was 4.66 (4.01, 5.43) compared with thereafter. Patients without SLE NP events at initial assessment had a 74% probability of being event free at 10 years. For non-SLE NP events the estimate was 48%. The majority of NP events resolved over 10 years but mortality was higher in patients with NP events attributed to SLE (16%) versus patients with no NPSLE events (6%) while the rate was comparable in patients with non-SLE NP events (7%) compared with patients with no non-SLE events (6%). Patients with NP events had lower SF-36 summary scores compared with those without NP events and resolved NP states (p<0.001).

Conclusions: NP events occur most frequently around the diagnosis of SLE. Although the majority of events resolve they are associated with reduced HRQoL and excess mortality. Multistate modelling is well suited for the assessment of NP events in SLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2019-216150DOI Listing
March 2020

A Bayesian gene network reveals insight into the JAK-STAT pathway in systemic lupus erythematosus.

PLoS One 2019 2;14(12):e0225651. Epub 2019 Dec 2.

Eli Lilly and Company, Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, remitting, and relapsing, inflammatory disease involving multiple organs, which exhibits abnormalities of both the innate and adaptive immune responses. A limited number of transcriptomic studies have characterized the gene pathways involved in SLE in an attempt to identify the key pathogenic drivers of the disease. In order to further advance our understanding of the pathogenesis of SLE, we used a novel Bayesian network algorithm to hybridize knowledge- and data-driven methods, and then applied the algorithm to build an SLE gene network using transcriptomic data from 1,760 SLE patients' RNA from the two tabalumab Phase III trials (ILLUMINATE-I & -II), the largest SLE RNA dataset to date. Further, based on the gene network, we carried out hub- and key driver-gene analyses for gene prioritization. Our analyses identified that the JAK-STAT pathway genes, including JAK2, STAT1, and STAT2, played essential roles in SLE pathogenesis, and reaffirmed the recent discovery of pathogenic relevance of JAK-STAT signaling in SLE. Additionally, we showed that other genes, such as IRF1, IRF7, PDIA4, FAM72C, TNFSF10, DHX58, SIGLEC1, and PML, may be also important in SLE and serve as potential therapeutic targets for SLE. In summary, using a hybridized network construction approach, we systematically investigated gene-gene interactions based on their transcriptomic profiles, prioritized genes based on their importance in the network structure, and revealed new insights into SLE activity.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0225651PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6886858PMC
March 2020

Raynaud's Phenomenon From PD-1 Immune Checkpoint Inhibition.

JCO Oncol Pract 2020 10 2;16(10):701-702. Epub 2019 Dec 2.

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1200/JOP.19.00333DOI Listing
October 2020

Prediction of Damage Accrual in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Using the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics Frailty Index.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2020 04 12;72(4):658-666. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

Emory University School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia.

Objective: The Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) frailty index (FI) has been shown to predict mortality, but its association with other important outcomes is unknown. We examined the association of baseline SLICC FI values with damage accrual in the SLICC inception cohort.

Methods: The baseline visit was defined as the first visit at which both organ damage (SLICC/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index [SDI]) and health-related quality of life (Short Form 36) were assessed. Baseline SLICC FI scores were calculated. Damage accrual was measured by the increase in SDI between the baseline assessment and the last study visit. Multivariable negative binomial regression was used to estimate the association between baseline SLICC FI values and the rate of increase in the SDI during follow-up, adjusting for relevant demographic and clinical characteristics.

Results: The 1,549 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients eligible for this analysis were mostly female (88.7%) with a mean ± SD age of 35.7 ± 13.3 years and a median disease duration of 1.2 years (interquartile range 0.9-1.5 years) at baseline. The mean ± SD baseline SLICC FI was 0.17 ± 0.08. Over a mean ± SD follow-up of 7.2 ± 3.7 years, 653 patients (42.2%) had an increase in SDI. Higher baseline SLICC FI values (per 0.05 increase) were associated with higher rates of increase in the SDI during follow-up (incidence rate ratio [IRR] 1.19 [95% confidence interval 1.13-1.25]), after adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity/region, education, baseline SLE Disease Activity Index 2000, baseline SDI, and baseline use of glucocorticoids, antimalarials, and immunosuppressive agents.

Conclusion: Our findings indicate that the SLICC FI predicts damage accrual in incident SLE, which further supports the SLICC FI as a valid health measure in SLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.41144DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7113092PMC
April 2020

Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) levels predict damage accrual in patients with recent-onset systemic lupus erythematosus.

J Autoimmun 2020 01 17;106:102340. Epub 2019 Oct 17.

Department of Clinical Sciences Lund, Section of Rheumatology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.

Objective: The soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) has potential as a prognosis and severity biomarker in several inflammatory and infectious diseases. In a previous cross-sectional study, suPAR levels were shown to reflect damage accrual in cases of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Herein, we evaluated suPAR as a predictor of future organ damage in recent-onset SLE.

Methods: Included were 344 patients from the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) Inception Cohort who met the 1997 American College of Rheumatology classification criteria with 5-years of follow-up data available. Baseline sera from patients and age- and sex-matched controls were assayed for suPAR. Organ damage was assessed annually using the SLICC/ACR damage index (SDI).

Results: The levels of suPAR were higher in patients who accrued damage, particularly those with SDI≥2 at 5 years (N = 32, 46.8% increase, p = 0.004), as compared to patients without damage. Logistic regression analysis revealed a significant impact of suPAR on SDI outcome (SDI≥2; OR = 1.14; 95% CI 1.03-1.26), also after adjustment for confounding factors. In an optimized logistic regression to predict damage, suPAR persisted as a predictor, together with baseline disease activity (SLEDAI-2K), age, and non-Caucasian ethnicity (model AUC = 0.77). Dissecting SDI into organ systems revealed higher suPAR levels in patients who developed musculoskeletal damage (SDI≥1; p = 0.007).

Conclusion: Prognostic biomarkers identify patients who are at risk of acquiring early damage and therefore need careful observation and targeted treatment strategies. Overall, suPAR constitutes an interesting biomarker for patient stratification and for identifying SLE patients who are at risk of acquiring organ damage during the first 5 years of disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2019.102340DOI Listing
January 2020

Economic Evaluation of Damage Accrual in an International Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Inception Cohort Using a Multistate Model Approach.

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2020 12;72(12):1800-1808

Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride, Scotland, UK.

Objective: There is a paucity of data regarding health care costs associated with damage accrual in systemic lupus erythematosus. The present study was undertaken to describe costs associated with damage states across the disease course using multistate modeling.

Methods: Patients from 33 centers in 11 countries were enrolled in the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) inception cohort within 15 months of diagnosis. Annual data on demographics, disease activity, damage (SLICC/American College of Rheumatology Damage Index [SDI]), hospitalizations, medications, dialysis, and selected procedures were collected. Ten-year cumulative costs (Canadian dollars) were estimated by multiplying annual costs associated with each SDI state by the expected state duration using a multistate model.

Results: A total of 1,687 patients participated; 88.7% were female, 49.0% were white, mean ± SD age at diagnosis was 34.6 ± 13.3 years, and mean time to follow-up was 8.9 years (range 0.6-18.5 years). Mean annual costs were higher for those with higher SDI scores as follows: $22,006 (Canadian) (95% confidence interval [95% CI] $16,662, $27,350) for SDI scores ≥5 versus $1,833 (95% CI $1,134, $2,532) for SDI scores of 0. Similarly, 10-year cumulative costs were higher for those with higher SDI scores at the beginning of the 10-year interval as follows: $189,073 (Canadian) (95% CI $142,318, $235,827) for SDI scores ≥5 versus $21,713 (95% CI $13,639, $29,788) for SDI scores of 0.

Conclusion: Patients with the highest SDI scores incur 10-year cumulative costs that are ~9-fold higher than those with the lowest SDI scores. By estimating the damage trajectory and incorporating annual costs, data on damage can be used to estimate future costs, which is critical knowledge for evaluating the cost-effectiveness of novel therapies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr.24092DOI Listing
December 2020

Randomised prospective trial to assess the clinical utility of multianalyte assay panel with complement activation products for the diagnosis of SLE.

Lupus Sci Med 2019 19;6(1):e000349. Epub 2019 Sep 19.

Exagen, Vista, Caifornia, USA.

Objective: We compared the physician-assessed diagnostic likelihood of SLE resulting from standard diagnosis laboratory testing (SDLT) to that resulting from multianalyte assay panel (MAP) with cell-bound complement activation products (MAP/CB-CAPs), which reports a two-tiered index test result having 80% sensitivity and 86% specificity for SLE.

Methods: Patients (n=145) with a history of positive antinuclear antibody status were evaluated clinically by rheumatologists and randomised to SDLT arm (tests ordered at the discretion of the rheumatologists) or to MAP/CB-CAPs testing arm. The primary endpoint was based on the change in the physician likelihood of SLE on a five-point Likert scale collected before and after testing. Changes in pharmacological treatment based on laboratory results were assessed in both arms. Statistical analysis consisted of Wilcoxon and Fisher's exact tests.

Results: At enrolment, patients randomised to SDLT (n=73, age=48±2 years, 94% females) and MAP/CB-CAPs testing arms (n=72, 50±2 years, 93% females) presented with similar pretest likelihood of SLE (1.42±0.06 vs 1.46±0.06 points, respectively; p=0.68). Post-test likelihood of SLE resulting from randomisation in the MAP/CB-CAPs testing arm was significantly lower than that resulting from randomisation to SDLT arm on review of test results (-0.44±0.10 points vs -0.19±0.07 points) and at the 12-week follow-up visit (-0.61±0.10 points vs -0.31±0.10 points) (p<0.05). Among patients randomised to the MAP/CB-CAPs testing arm, two-tiered positive test results associated significantly with initiation of prednisone (p=0.034).

Conclusion: Our data suggest that MAP/CB-CAPs testing has clinical utility in facilitating SLE diagnosis and treatment decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/lupus-2019-000349DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6762037PMC
September 2019

Unique Sjögren's syndrome patient subsets defined by molecular features.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2020 04;59(4):860-868

Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Department of Medicine, Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC, USA.

Objective: To address heterogeneity complicating primary SS (pSS) clinical trials, research and care by characterizing and clustering patients by their molecular phenotypes.

Methods: pSS patients met American-European Consensus Group classification criteria and had at least one systemic manifestation and stimulated salivary flow of ⩾0.1 ml/min. Correlated transcriptional modules were derived from gene expression microarray data from blood (n = 47 with appropriate samples). Patients were clustered based on this molecular information using an unbiased random forest modelling approach. In addition, multiplex, bead-based assays and ELISAs were used to assess 30 serum cytokines, chemokines and soluble receptors. Eleven autoantibodies, including anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB, were measured by Bio-Rad Bioplex 2200.

Results: Transcriptional modules distinguished three clusters of pSS patients. Cluster 1 showed no significant elevation of IFN or inflammation modules. Cluster 2 showed strong IFN and inflammation modular network signatures, as well as high plasma protein levels of IP-10/CXCL10, MIG/CXCL9, BLyS (BAFF) and LIGHT. Cluster 3 samples exhibited moderately elevated IFN modules, but with suppressed inflammatory modules, increased IP-10/CXCL10 and B cell-attracting chemokine 1/CXCL13 and trends toward increased MIG/CXCL9, IL-1α, and IL-21. Anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB were present in all three clusters.

Conclusion: Molecular profiles encompassing IFN, inflammation and other signatures can be used to separate patients with pSS into distinct clusters. In the future, such profiles may inform patient selection for clinical trials and guide treatment decisions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kez335DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7188221PMC
April 2020

Complement Activation in Patients With Probable Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Ability to Predict Progression to American College of Rheumatology-Classified Systemic Lupus Erythematosus.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2020 01 25;72(1):78-88. Epub 2019 Nov 25.

Exagen, Inc., Vista, California, and Georgetown University, Washington, DC.

Objective: To evaluate the frequency of cell-bound complement activation products (CB-CAPs) as a marker of complement activation in patients with suspected systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and the usefulness of this biomarker as a predictor of the evolution of probable SLE into SLE as classified by the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) criteria.

Methods: Patients in whom SLE was suspected by lupus experts and who fulfilled 3 ACR classification criteria for SLE (probable SLE) were enrolled, along with patients with established SLE as classified by both the ACR and the Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC) criteria, patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (SS), and patients with other rheumatic diseases. Individual CB-CAPs were measured by flow cytometry, and positivity rates were compared to those of commonly assessed biomarkers, including serum complement proteins (C3 and C4) and autoantibodies. The frequency of a positive multianalyte assay panel (MAP), which includes CB-CAPs, was also evaluated. Probable SLE cases were followed up prospectively.

Results: The 92 patients with probable SLE were diagnosed more recently than the 53 patients with established SLE, and their use of antirheumatic medications was lower. At the enrollment visit, more patients with probable SLE were positive for CB-CAPs (28%) or MAP (40%) than had low complement levels (9%) (P = 0.0001 for each). In probable SLE, MAP scores of >0.8 at enrollment predicted fulfillment of a fourth ACR criterion within 18 months (hazard ratio 3.11, P < 0.01).

Conclusion: Complement activation occurs in some patients with probable SLE and can be detected with higher frequency by evaluating CB-CAPs and MAP than by assessing traditional serum complement protein levels. A MAP score above 0.8 predicts transition to classifiable SLE according to ACR criteria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.41093DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6972605PMC
January 2020

Reproducibility of Ocular Surface Staining in the Assessment of Sjögren Syndrome-Related Keratoconjunctivitis Sicca: Implications on Disease Classification.

ACR Open Rheumatol 2019 Jul 7;1(5):292-302. Epub 2019 Jun 7.

Christopher J. Lessard, PhD, Kathy L. Sivils, PhD: Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma City.

Objective: The objective of this study was to assess the performance and reproducibility of the two currently used ocular surface staining scores in the assessment of keratoconjunctivitis sicca in Sjögren syndrome (SS) research classification.

Methods: In a multidisciplinary clinic for the evaluation of sicca, we performed all tests for the American European Consensus Group (AECG) and the American College of Rheumatology (ACR)/European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) classification criteria, including the van Bijsterveld score (vBS) and the Ocular Staining Score (OSS), in 994 participants with SS or with non-SS sicca. We analyzed the concordance between the scores, the diagnostic accuracy and correlation with clinical variables, and interrater and intrasubject reproducibility.

Results: A total of 308 (31.1%) participants had a discordant vBS and OSS that was due to extra corneal staining points in the OSS. The presence of one or more of the additional points was highly predictive of SS classification (odds ratio = 3.66; = 1.65 × 10e-20) and was associated with abnormal results of all measures of autoimmunity and glandular dysfunction. Receiver operating characteristic curves showed optimal cutoff values of four for the vBS (sensitivity = 0.62; specificity = 0.71; Youden's = 0.33) and five for the OSS (sensitivity = 0.56; specificity = 0.75; Youden's = 0.31). Notably, there was very poor consistency in interobserver mean scores and distributions ( < 0.0001) and in intrasubject scores after a median of 5.5 years (35% changed status of the ocular criterion).

Conclusion: Ocular surface staining scores are useful for SS research classification; however, they are subject to significant interrater and intrasubject variability, which could result in changes in classification in 5%-10% of all subjects. These results highlight the need for objective and reproducible markers of disease that have thus far remained elusive for SS.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr2.1033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6710016PMC
July 2019

Peripheral Nervous System Disease in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Results From an International Inception Cohort Study.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2020 01 28;72(1):67-77. Epub 2019 Nov 28.

Amsterdam University Medical Centers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Objective: To determine the frequency, clinical characteristics, associations, and outcomes of different types of peripheral nervous system (PNS) disease in a multiethnic/multiracial, prospective inception cohort of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients.

Methods: Patients were evaluated annually for 19 neuropsychiatric (NP) events including 7 types of PNS disease. SLE disease activity, organ damage, autoantibodies, and patient and physician assessment of outcome were measured. Time to event and linear regressions were used as appropriate.

Results: Of 1,827 SLE patients, 88.8% were female, and 48.8% were white. The mean ± SD age was 35.1 ± 13.3 years, disease duration at enrollment was 5.6 ± 4.2 months, and follow-up was 7.6 ± 4.6 years. There were 161 PNS events in 139 (7.6%) of 1,827 patients. The predominant events were peripheral neuropathy (66 of 161 [41.0%]), mononeuropathy (44 of 161 [27.3%]), and cranial neuropathy (39 of 161 [24.2%]), and the majority were attributed to SLE. Multivariate Cox regressions suggested longer time to resolution in patients with a history of neuropathy, older age at SLE diagnosis, higher SLE Disease Activity Index 2000 scores, and for peripheral neuropathy versus other neuropathies. Neuropathy was associated with significantly lower Short Form 36 (SF-36) physical and mental component summary scores versus no NP events. According to physician assessment, the majority of neuropathies resolved or improved over time, which was associated with improvements in SF-36 summary scores for peripheral neuropathy and mononeuropathy.

Conclusion: PNS disease is an important component of total NPSLE and has a significant negative impact on health-related quality of life. The outcome is favorable for most patients, but our findings indicate that several factors are associated with longer time to resolution.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.41070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6935421PMC
January 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

Association of Epstein-Barr virus serological reactivation with transitioning to systemic lupus erythematosus in at-risk individuals.

Ann Rheum Dis 2019 09 19;78(9):1235-1241. Epub 2019 Jun 19.

Arthritis and Clinical Immunology Program, Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA

Objective: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease with unknown aetiology. Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is an environmental factor associated with SLE. EBV maintains latency in B cells with frequent reactivation measured by antibodies against viral capsid antigen (VCA) and early antigen (EA). In this study, we determined whether EBV reactivation and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in EBV-associated host genes are associated with SLE transition.

Methods: SLE patient relatives (n=436) who did not have SLE at baseline were recontacted after 6.3 (±3.9) years and evaluated for interim transitioning to SLE (≥4 cumulative American College of Rheumatology criteria); 56 (13%) transitioned to SLE prior to the follow-up visit. At both visits, detailed demographic, environmental, clinical information and blood samples were obtained. Antibodies against viral antigens were measured by ELISA. SNPs in , , and genes were typed by ImmunoChip. Generalised estimating equations were used to test associations between viral antibody levels and transitioning to SLE.

Results: Mean baseline VCA IgG (4.879±1.797 vs 3.866±1.795, p=0.0003) and EA IgG (1.192±1.113 vs 0.7774±0.8484, p=0.0236) levels were higher in transitioned compared with autoantibody negative non-transitioned relatives. Increased VCA IgG and EA IgG were associated with transitioning to SLE (OR 1.28 95% CI 1.07 to 1.53, p=0.007, OR 1.43 95% CI 1.06 to 1.93, p=0.02, respectively). Significant interactions were observed between variant rs48100485 and VCA IgG levels and variant rs3024493 and VCA IgA levels in transitioning to SLE.

Conclusion: Heightened serologic reactivation of EBV increases the probability of transitioning to SLE in unaffected SLE relatives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2019-215361DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6692217PMC
September 2019

American Indians Have a Higher Risk of Sjögren's Syndrome and More Disease Activity Than European Americans and African Americans.

Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken) 2020 08 5;72(8):1049-1056. Epub 2020 Jul 5.

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Mexico City, Mexico.

Objective: To describe the clinical and serologic manifestations of Sjögren's syndrome (SS) in ethnic groups of the US.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study of 648 patients with primary SS: 20 African American (AA), 164 American Indian (AI), 426 European American (EA), and 38 patients of other races evaluated in a multidisciplinary Sjögren's International Collaborative Clinical Alliance research clinic.

Results: AA subjects comprised 3.1% of the SS cohort, much lower than the percentage of AA in the state of Oklahoma (P = 3.01 × E - 05), the US (P = 2.24E - 13), or a systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) cohort at the same institution (P = 4.26 × 10E - 27). In contrast, the percentage of AI in the SS cohort (25.3%) was much higher than expected (P = 3.17E - 09 versus SLE cohort, P = 6.36 - 26 versus Oklahoma, and P = 8.14E - 96 versus US population). The SS classification criteria were similar between AA and EA, but subjects of AI ancestry had lower rates of abnormal tear and salivary flow, as well as anti-Ro/SSA and anti-La/SSB antibodies. Paradoxically, AI had higher levels of disease activity (mean ± SD European League Against Rheumatism Sjögren's Syndrome Disease Activity Index score 3.77 ± 4.78) in comparison to EA (2.90 ± 4.12; P = 0.011) and more extraglandular manifestations affecting mainly the articular and glandular domains. Meanwhile, AA patients were characterized by higher rates of hypergammaglobulinemia (odds ratio [OR] 1.39 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.39-8.65]; P = 0.01), elevated erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) (OR 3.95 [95% CI 1.46-9.95]; P = 0.009), and parotid enlargement (OR 4.40 [95% CI 1.49-13.07]; P = 0.02).

Conclusion: AI are affected at high rates with SS but present with few classical features, potentially preventing timely diagnosis. In contrast to SLE, SS is infrequent and not more severe among AA, but the triad of hypergammaglobulinemia, increased ESR, and parotid enlargement warrants extra vigilance for lymphomagenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/acr.24003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6911033PMC
August 2020

Hydroxychloroquine usage in US patients, their experiences of tolerability and adherence, and implications for treatment: survey results from 3127 patients with SLE conducted by the Lupus Foundation of America.

Lupus Sci Med 2019 19;6(1):e000317. Epub 2019 Mar 19.

Division of Rheumatology, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

The majority of patients with SLE in the USA have been prescribed hydroxychloroquine (HCQ). Given more recent guidelines, the availability of only one strength (200 mg tablets) may limit the flexibility and ability to accurately dose patients with lupus. The Lupus Foundation of America undertook a survey to assess the current landscape of HCQ tolerability and adherence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/lupus-2019-000317DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6519405PMC
March 2019