Publications by authors named "Frank Moosig"

61 Publications

[Avacopan in ANCA-associated vasculitis: the ADVOCATE trial].

Z Rheumatol 2021 Apr 21. Epub 2021 Apr 21.

Rheumazentrum Schleswig-Holstein Mitte, Kuhberg 5a-7, 24534, Neumünster, Deutschland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00393-021-01003-5DOI Listing
April 2021

[Cortisone-free rheumatology-Vasculitides].

Z Rheumatol 2021 May 11;80(4):314-321. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Rheumazentrum Schleswig-Holstein Mitte, Kuhberg 5a-7, 24534, Neumünster, Deutschland.

Glucocorticoids (GC) still represent an essential pillar of treatment in the phase of remission induction of vasculitides, which are often organ or life-threatening; however, they entail a significant potential for side effects. In the phase of remission maintenance prednisolone should be reduced to 7.5 mg/day or less. Whether a discontinuation can alway be achieved for any form of vasculitis without increasing relapse rates, is unclear. By the use of biologics, e.g. tocilizumab in giant cell arteritis (GCA), a fast tapering and discontinuation of GC seems to be more easily achievable compared to using a GC monotherapy regimen. Avacopan could in the future be an efficient agent to spare GC in the phase of remission induction in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV), e.g. granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA). Mepolizumab is a promising option to reduce the use of GC in eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00393-021-00974-9DOI Listing
May 2021

[Recommendations of the German Society for Rheumatology for management of patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases in the context of the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 pandemic - Update July 2020].

Z Rheumatol 2020 Sep;79(7):679-685

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Rheumatologie e. V., Berlin, Deutschland.

A few days after the SARS-CoV-2 infection was declared a pandemic, the German Society for Rheumatology (DGRh) compiled first recommendations for the care of patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases (IRD). These first recommendations were based on an expert consensus and were largely non-evidence-based. Now that the first scientific data from registers, cross-sectional studies, case reports and case series are available, the present update is intended to update the previous recommendations and to add new findings. The current recommendations are based on a literature search of publications available up to 15 June 2020 and address preventive measures (such as hygiene measures or vaccinations) and the use of immunomodulatory/immunosuppressive drugs. An important goal of the current recommendations is also to prevent harm to patients with IRD through unjustified restriction of care. The DGRh will continue to update its recommendations in the case of new aspects and will publish them as well as further information on the COVID-19 pandemic on its homepage ( www.dgrh.de ) in an ongoing process.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00393-020-00851-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7403789PMC
September 2020

[Large vessel vasculitis].

Z Rheumatol 2020 Aug;79(6):503-504

Rheumazentrum Schleswig-Holstein Mitte, Kuhberg 5a-7, 24534, Neumünster, Deutschland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00393-020-00810-6DOI Listing
August 2020

ICHIBAN, a non-interventional study evaluating tocilizumab long-term effectiveness and safety in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2021 Mar-Apr;39(2):319-328. Epub 2020 Jul 10.

Rheumatology Practice, Osnabrück, Germany.

Objectives: We aimed to measure long-term effectiveness and safety of tocilizumab in patients with rheumatoid arthritis in daily German practice.

Methods: ICHIBAN was a prospective, multi-centre, non-interventional study (ML22928) that enrolled adult patients with active moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. Patients were to be treated according to tocilizumab label and observed for up to two years. Effectiveness outcomes included DAS28-ESR remission, EULAR response, CDAI and HAQ.

Results: Overall, 3164 patients received at least one dose of tocilizumab. Patient mean age was 55.5±13.1 years (74.8% female). At baseline, 72.1% of patients had at least one comorbidity. Approximately 50.9% of patients received concomitant csDMARDs, mostly methotrexate, and 80.7% received concomitant glucocorticoids (GCs). In patients receiving GCs at baseline, the mean dose decreased from 9.32±16.36 mg/d to 4.60±4.48 mg/d at week 104. In the effectiveness population with no prior TCZ (n=2902), 61.4% of patients achieved the primary outcome, DAS28-ESR remission. Improvements were seen as early as week 4. At week 104, 77.9% of patients had DAS28-ESR low disease activity, 89.6% achieved good or moderate EULAR response, and 29.5% achieved a CDAI-based remission. Effectiveness outcomes were similar in all previous therapy subgroups. The incidence of serious infections was similar to the rates in former studies involving tocilizumab. Patients receiving GC at baseline experienced slightly higher rates of treatment-related serious adverse events, mainly infections. No new safety signals were observed.

Conclusions: Long-term effectiveness and safety in ICHIBAN were in line with previously reported tocilizumab efficacy and safety studies.
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April 2021

International Consensus on ANCA Testing in Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis.

Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2020 Jun 25. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

University of Alberta, Medicine, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

An international consensus on anti-neutrophil cytoplasm antibodies (ANCA) testing in eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) is presented. ANCA, specific for myeloperoxidase (MPO), can be detected in 30-35% of EGPA patients. MPO-ANCA should be tested with antigen-specific immunoassays in any patient with eosinophilic asthma and clinical features suggesting EGPA, including constitutional symptoms, purpura, polyneuropathy, unexplained heart, gastrointestinal or kidney disease, and/or pulmonary infiltrates or hemorrhage. A positive MPO-ANCA result contributes to the diagnostic work‑up for EGPA. Patients with MPO-ANCA associated EGPA have more frequently vasculitis features, such as glomerulonephritis, neuropathy, and skin manifestations than patients with ANCA negative EGPA. However, the presence of MPO-ANCA is neither sensitive nor specific enough to identify whether a patient should be subclassified as having "vasculitic" or "eosinophilic" EGPA. At present, ANCA status cannot guide treatment decisions, that is, whether cyclophosphamide, rituximab or mepolizumab should be added to conventional glucocorticoid treatment. In EGPA, monitoring of ANCA is only useful when MPO-ANCA was tested positive at disease onset.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1164/rccm.202005-1628SODOI Listing
June 2020

[The new rubric "This is how I treat… "].

Z Rheumatol 2020 Aug;79(6):570

Rheumazentrum Schleswig-Holstein Mitte, Kuhberg 5a-7, 24534, Neumünster, Deutschland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00393-020-00832-0DOI Listing
August 2020

Presence of Antibodies Binding to Negative Elongation Factor E in Sarcoidosis.

J Clin Med 2020 Mar 6;9(3). Epub 2020 Mar 6.

Department of Respiratory Medicine, Hannover Medical School and Biomedical Research in End-stage and Obstructive Lung Disease Hannover, German Lung Research Center (DZL), 30625 Hannover, Germany.

Sarcoidosis is characterized by multiorgan involvement and granulomatous inflammation. Its origin is unknown and the potential role of autoimmunity has not been sufficiently determined. We investigated the presence of autoantibodies in sarcoidosis using protein array technology. The derivation cohort consisted of patients with sarcoidosis ( = 25) and controls including autoimmune disease and blood donors ( = 246). In addition, we tested a validation cohort including pulmonary sarcoidosis patients ( = 58) and healthy controls ( = 13). Initially, sera of three patients with sarcoidosis were screened using a protein array with 28.000 proteins against controls. Thereby we identified the Negative Elongation Factor E (NELF-E) as an autoantigen. With confirmatory Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)testing, 29/82 patients (35%) with sarcoidosis had antibodies against NELF-E of the Immunoglobulin (Ig) G type, whereas 18/253 (7%) sera of the controls were positive for NELF-E. Clinically, there was an association of the frequency of NELF-E antibody detection with lung parenchymal involvement and corresponding x-ray types. NELF-E autoantibodies are associated with sarcoidosis and should be further investigated.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/jcm9030715DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7141344PMC
March 2020

Genome-wide association study of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis reveals genomic loci stratified by ANCA status.

Nat Commun 2019 11 12;10(1):5120. Epub 2019 Nov 12.

Department of Nephrology, 1st Faculty of Medicine and General University Hospital, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic.

Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) is a rare inflammatory disease of unknown cause. 30% of patients have anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCA) specific for myeloperoxidase (MPO). Here, we describe a genome-wide association study in 676 EGPA cases and 6809 controls, that identifies 4 EGPA-associated loci through conventional case-control analysis, and 4 additional associations through a conditional false discovery rate approach. Many variants are also associated with asthma and six are associated with eosinophil count in the general population. Through Mendelian randomisation, we show that a primary tendency to eosinophilia contributes to EGPA susceptibility. Stratification by ANCA reveals that EGPA comprises two genetically and clinically distinct syndromes. MPO+ ANCA EGPA is an eosinophilic autoimmune disease sharing certain clinical features and an HLA-DQ association with MPO+ ANCA-associated vasculitis, while ANCA-negative EGPA may instead have a mucosal/barrier dysfunction origin. Four candidate genes are targets of therapies in development, supporting their exploration in EGPA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-12515-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6851141PMC
November 2019

[Three years of the appointment service office: high rate of false referrals and no show patients-A retrospective anaysis of the Rheumatism Center Schleswig-Holstein Mitte].

Z Rheumatol 2019 Nov;78(9):832-838

Rheumazentrum Schleswig-Holstein Mitte, Kuhberg 5a-7, 24534, Neumünster, Deutschland.

This article presents a retrospective analysis of patients who attended a rheumatology specialist practice (with two specialist rheumatologists) between 2016 and 2018 via an appointment arranged by the appointment service office (Terminservicestelle, TSS). Patients were analyzed in a pseudonymized manner and categorized according to the following criteria: 1. patient did not keep the appointment, 2. patient had no inflammatory rheumatic disease, 3. patient suffered from an inflammatory rheumatic disease but had no urgent indications to be seen and 4. patient suffered from an inflammatory rheumatic disease with urgent indications to be seen. Since the start of the TSS at the beginning of 2016 until the end of 2018 a total of 103 patients were allocated to this specialist practice via the TSS. An appointment was offered to 102 patients who underwent further analysis: 4.9% of the patients (n = 5) suffered from an acute inflammatory rheumatic disease and had urgent indications to be seen, 18.63% of patients (n = 19) suffered from an inflammatory rheumatic disease with no urgent indications to attend, 28.43% of patients (n = 29) did not keep the appointment and 48.04% of patients (n = 49) did not have an inflammatory rheumatic disease but other diseases, such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and other forms of chronic pain syndromes. The positive predictive value (PPV) for patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease and urgent indications was 0.05 when all patients were included in the analysis and 0.07 when only patients who showed up were included. This retrospective analysis demonstrates that the TSS does not fulfill its purpose, namely to promptly arrange appointments at a specalist rheumatologist practice for patients with an acute inflammatory rheumatic disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00393-019-0656-1DOI Listing
November 2019

[Eosinophilic diseases in rheumatology].

Z Rheumatol 2019 May;78(4):304-305

Rheumazentrum Schleswig-Holstein Mitte, Kuhberg 5a-7, 24534, Neumünster, Deutschland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00393-019-0614-yDOI Listing
May 2019

[Actual Treatment Options for Giant Cell Arteritis].

Dtsch Med Wochenschr 2019 05 26;144(9):595-600. Epub 2019 Apr 26.

To prevent serious complications such as permanent loss of vision and structural vascular damage, treatment must be initiated quickly in patients with giant-cell arteritis (GCA). So far, usually long-term corticosteroids in cumulative high dosages have been the standard therapy option. However, steroids are often insufficient to achieve adequate disease control and are associated with serious adverse events. Therefore, steroid-sparing therapy options are the focus of interest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-0832-3563DOI Listing
May 2019

Evaluation of clinical benefit from treatment with mepolizumab for patients with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2019 06 19;143(6):2170-2177. Epub 2018 Dec 19.

Department of Medicine, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colo. Electronic address:

Background: In a recent phase III trial (NCT02020889) 53% of mepolizumab-treated versus 19% of placebo-treated patients with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) achieved protocol-defined remission.

Objective: We sought to investigate post hoc the clinical benefit of mepolizumab in patients with EGPA using a comprehensive definition of benefit encompassing remission, oral glucocorticoid (OGC) dose reduction, and EGPA relapses.

Methods: The randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, parallel-group trial recruited patients with relapsing/refractory EGPA receiving stable OGCs (prednisolone/prednisone, ≥7.5-50 mg/d) for 4 or more weeks. Patients received 300 mg of subcutaneous mepolizumab or placebo every 4 weeks for 52 weeks. Clinical benefit was defined post hoc as follows: remission at any time (2 definitions used), 50% or greater OGC dose reduction during weeks 48 to 52, or no EGPA relapses. The 2 remission definitions were Birmingham Vasculitis Activity Score of 0 plus OGC dose of 4 mg/d or less (remission 1/clinical benefit 1) or 7.5 mg/d or less (remission 2/clinical benefit 2). Clinical benefit was assessed in all patients and among subgroups with a baseline blood eosinophil count of less than 150 cells/μL, baseline OGC dosage of greater than 20 mg/d, or weight of greater than 85 kg.

Results: With mepolizumab versus placebo, 78% versus 32% of patients experienced clinical benefit 1, and 87% versus 53% of patients experienced clinical benefit 2 (both P < .001). Significantly more patients experienced clinical benefit 1 with mepolizumab versus placebo in the blood eosinophil count less than 150 cells/μL subgroup (72% vs 43%, P = .033) and weight greater than 85 kg subgroup (68% vs 23%, P = .005); in the OGC greater than 20 mg/d subgroup, results were not significant but favored mepolizumab (60% vs 36%, P = .395).

Conclusion: When a comprehensive definition of clinical benefit was applied to data from a randomized controlled trial, 78% to 87% of patients with EGPA experienced benefit with mepolizumab.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2018.11.041DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7254609PMC
June 2019

[Update: polyarteritis nodosa].

Z Rheumatol 2018 Jun;77(5):397-408

Rheumazentrum Schleswig-Holstein Mitte, Neumünster, Deutschland.

Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) is a necrotizing arteritis of medium-sized vessels, which is often fatal if untreated. It frequently affects the skin (nodules and ulcers), the peripheral nervous system (mononeuritis multiplex) and the visceral vessels (stenoses and microaneurysms). The complex diagnostic work-up requires discriminating PAN from infectious, malignant, drug-induced and other inflammatory conditions. It can be subclassified into further variants (idiopathic, associated with hepatitis B, associated with hereditary inflammatory diseases or isolated cutaneous disease). While idiopathic and hereditary inflammatory variants require immunosuppressive treatment, the hepatitis B-associated variant is treated with virustatic agents and plasmapheresis. The isolated cutaneous variant has a good prognosis and rarely requires highly potent immunosuppressives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00393-018-0469-7DOI Listing
June 2018

[S1 guidelines on diagnostics and treatment of ANCA-associated vasculitis].

Z Rheumatol 2017 11;76(Suppl 3):75-76

Rheumazentrum Schleswig-Holstein Mitte, Neumünster, Deutschland.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00393-017-0393-2DOI Listing
November 2017

Mepolizumab or Placebo for Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis.

N Engl J Med 2017 05;376(20):1921-1932

From the Department of Medicine, National Jewish Health, Denver (M.E.W.); the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care, and Sleep Medicine, University of California San Diego, La Jolla (P.A.); Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston (P.A., P.F.W.); the Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge, Cambridge (D.J.), the Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology, and Musculoskeletal Sciences, Botnar Research Centre, University of Oxford, Oxford (R.L.), Research and Development, Immuno-Inflammation Therapy Area Unit (J.B.), and Research and Development, Statistics, Programming, and Data Standards (S.M.), GlaxoSmithKline, Uxbridge, and Trizell, Oxford (R.P.) - all in the United Kingdom; the Human Eosinophil Section, Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD (P.K., A.K.); the Center for Vasculitis Care and Research, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland (C.A.L.); the Division of Rheumatology and the Department of Biostatistics and Clinical Epidemiology, University of Pennsylvania (P.A.M.), and the Respiratory Therapy Area Unit and Flexible Discovery Unit, GlaxoSmithKline (J.S.), Philadelphia; Rheumazentrum, Schleswig-Holstein Mitte, Neumünster, Germany (F.M.); the Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN (U.S.); the Vasculitis Research Unit, Department of Autoimmune Diseases, Hospital Clinic University of Barcelona, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, Barcelona (M.C.C.); the Respiratory Therapeutic Area, GlaxoSmithKline, Research Triangle Park, NC (S.W.Y.); and the Departments of Dermatology and Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City (G.J.G.).

Background: Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis is an eosinophilic vasculitis. Mepolizumab, an anti-interleukin-5 monoclonal antibody, reduces blood eosinophil counts and may have value in the treatment of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis.

Methods: In this multicenter, double-blind, parallel-group, phase 3 trial, we randomly assigned participants with relapsing or refractory eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis who had received treatment for at least 4 weeks and were taking a stable prednisolone or prednisone dose to receive 300 mg of mepolizumab or placebo, administered subcutaneously every 4 weeks, plus standard care, for 52 weeks. The two primary end points were the accrued weeks of remission over a 52-week period, according to categorical quantification, and the proportion of participants in remission at both week 36 and week 48. Secondary end points included the time to first relapse and the average daily glucocorticoid dose (during weeks 48 through 52). The annualized relapse rate and safety were assessed.

Results: A total of 136 participants underwent randomization, with 68 participants assigned to receive mepolizumab and 68 to receive placebo. Mepolizumab treatment led to significantly more accrued weeks of remission than placebo (28% vs. 3% of the participants had ≥24 weeks of accrued remission; odds ratio, 5.91; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.68 to 13.03; P<0.001) and a higher percentage of participants in remission at both week 36 and week 48 (32% vs. 3%; odds ratio, 16.74; 95% CI, 3.61 to 77.56; P<0.001). Remission did not occur in 47% of the participants in the mepolizumab group versus 81% of those in the placebo group. The annualized relapse rate was 1.14 in the mepolizumab group, as compared with 2.27 in the placebo group (rate ratio, 0.50; 95% CI, 0.36 to 0.70; P<0.001). A total of 44% of the participants in the mepolizumab group, as compared with 7% of those in the placebo group, had an average daily dose of prednisolone or prednisone of 4.0 mg or less per day during weeks 48 through 52 (odds ratio, 0.20; 95% CI, 0.09 to 0.41; P<0.001). The safety profile of mepolizumab was similar to that observed in previous studies.

Conclusions: In participants with eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis, mepolizumab resulted in significantly more weeks in remission and a higher proportion of participants in remission than did placebo, thus allowing for reduced glucocorticoid use. Even so, only approximately half the participants treated with mepolizumab had protocol-defined remission. (Funded by GlaxoSmithKline and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02020889 .).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/NEJMoa1702079DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5548295PMC
May 2017

Immune stimulatory effects of neutrophil extracellular traps in granulomatosis with polyangiitis.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017 Mar-Apr;35 Suppl 103(1):33-39. Epub 2017 Mar 8.

Klinikum Bad Bramstedt, Rheumatology and Immunology, Bad Bramstedt; and Rheumazentrum Schleswig-Holstein Mitte, Neumünster, Germany.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to analyse the role of netting neutrophils in the pathogenesis of granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), especially their interplay with peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs).

Methods: The amount of cell-free DNA (cfDNA) was determined in sera from GPA patients (pairs active/inactive state of disease, n=18) and from healthy controls (HCs, n=10). Furthermore, we performed in vitro incubation experiments using PBMCs and NETs from patients and HCs for accessing the effect of NETs on PBMC behaviour. We determined proliferation of T- and B-cells (CSFE assay), B-cell maturation (CD38 staining and flow cytometry), production of IgG (ELISpot, ELISA), and secretion of the cytokines IFN-γ, IL-4, IL-10, IL-17A (ELISA).

Results: We detected a significant increase in serum cfDNA levels of GPA patients compared to HCs. The concentration of cfDNA was associated with disease activity. NETs of patients and HCs induced proliferation of CD4+ T- cells and CD19+ B-cells and maturation of B-cells. Furthermore, we detected an increase in IL-17A secretion after stimulating PBMCs with NETs. A significant difference between PBMCs from GPA patients and HCs was not detectable.

Conclusions: NETs activate PBMCs of HCs and GPA patients. Our findings give supportive evidence that NETosis plays a role in the pathogenesis of GPA.
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July 2017

Environmental factor and inflammation-driven alteration of the total peripheral T-cell compartment in granulomatosis with polyangiitis.

J Autoimmun 2017 03 28;78:79-91. Epub 2016 Dec 28.

Department of Rheumatology & Vasculitis Center UKSH, University of Lübeck, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Lübeck, Germany. Electronic address:

Autoimmune diseases are initiated by a combination of predisposing genetic and environmental factors resulting in self-perpetuating chronic inflammation and tissue damage. Autoantibody production and an imbalance of effector and regulatory T-cells are hallmarks of autoimmune dysregulation. While expansion of circulating effector memory T-cells is linked to disease pathogenesis and progression, the causes driving alterations of the peripheral T-cell compartment have remained poorly understood so far. In granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), a prototypical autoimmune disorder of unknown aetiology, we performed for the first time a combined approach using phenotyping, transcriptome and functional analyses of T-cell populations to evaluate triggers of memory T-cell expansion. In more detail, we found increased percentages of circulating CD4+CD28-, CD8+CD28- and CD4+CD161+ single-positive and CD4+CD8+ double-positive T-cells in GPA. Transcriptomic profiling of sorted T-cell populations showed major differences between GPA and healthy controls reflecting antigen- (bacteria, viruses, fungi) and cytokine-driven impact on T-cell populations in GPA. Concomitant cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) - positivity was associated with a significant increase in the percentage of CD28- T-cells in GPA-patients compared to sole CMV- or EBV-positivity or CMV- and EBV-negativity. T-cells specific for other viruses (influenza A virus, metapneumovirus, respiratory syncytial virus) and the autoantigen proteinase 3 (PR3) were infrequently detected in GPA. Antigen-specific T-cells were not specifically enriched in any of the T-cell subsets. Altogether, on a genetic and cellular basis, here we show that alterations of the peripheral T-cell compartment are driven by inflammation and various environmental factors including concomitant CMV and EBV infection. Our study provides novel insights into mechanisms driving autoimmune disease and on potential therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2016.12.004DOI Listing
March 2017

Serum immunoglobulin G4 in giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica.

Clin Exp Rheumatol 2017 Mar-Apr;35 Suppl 103(1):94-97. Epub 2016 Dec 2.

Department of Rheumatology and Immunology, Klinikum Bad Bramstedt, Bad Bramstedt; and Rheumazentrum Schleswig-Holstein Mitte, Neumünster, Germany.

Objectives: To date, no specific serum marker for giant cell arteritis and polymyalgia rheumatica has been established in routine practice. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine whether immunoglobulin G4 serum concentrations could be a potential biomarker for the differentiation of both diseases.

Methods: Serum immunoglobulin G4 (IgG4) concentrations were measured in patients with giant cell arteritis (n=41) and polymyalgia rheumatica (n=27) by an in-house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. In the subgroup of untreated patients with disease activity (polymyalgia rheumatica n=27, giant cell arteritis n=19) additional parameters of T-helper 2 cell inflammatory responses were analysed.

Results: IgG4-values above the prior determined cut-off value of 1400 μg/ml in giant cell arteritis were rare and also significantly less frequent in giant cell arteritis than in polymyalgia rheumatica patients (7.3% vs. 44.4%; p<0.001). The relative risk that patients with clinical features of PMR, presenting without elevated IgG4 levels, have simultaneously GCA was 5.8 compared to those patients with elevated IgG4 levels. In untreated patients absolute counts of eosinophilic leukocytes were lower in giant cell arteritis than in polymyalgia rheumatica (p=0.002) and the cytokines interleukin-4 (p=0.013) and interleukin-10 (p=0.033) were less frequently detectable in giant cell arteritis than in polymyalgia rheumatica.

Conclusions: In giant cell arteritis serum levels of IgG4 usually are within the normal range. In polymyalgia rheumatica however, increased IgG4 serum levels are frequently found. Normal IgG4 serum levels in polymyalgia rheumatica may have predictive value in identifying patients with additional, clinically non-apparent giant cell arteritis.
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July 2017

Detection of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs): a multicentre European Vasculitis Study Group (EUVAS) evaluation of the value of indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) versus antigen-specific immunoassays.

Ann Rheum Dis 2017 04 1;76(4):647-653. Epub 2016 Aug 1.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.

Objective: This multicentre study was performed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of a wide spectrum of novel technologies nowadays available for detection of myeloperoxidase (MPO) and proteinase 3 (PR3)-antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs).

Methods: Sera (obtained at the time of diagnosis) from 251 patients with ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV), including granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis, and from 924 disease controls were tested for the presence of cytoplasmic pattern/perinuclear pattern and atypical ANCA (A-ANCA) by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) (at two sites) and for the presence of PR3-ANCA and MPO-ANCA by eight different immunoassays.

Results: The area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic curve to discriminate AAV from controls was 0.923 (95% CI 0.902 to 0.944) and 0.843 (95% CI 0.814 to 0.871) for the two IIF methods. For the antigen-specific immunoassays, the AUC varied between 0.936 (95% CI 0.912 to 0.960) and 0.959 (95% CI 0.941 to 0.976), except for one immunoassay for which the AUC was 0.919 (95% CI 0.892 to 0.945).

Conclusions: Our comparison of various ANCA detection methods showed (i) large variability between the two IIF methods tested and (ii) a high diagnostic performance of PR3-ANCA and MPO-ANCA by immunoassay to discriminate AAV from disease controls. Consequently, dual IIF/antigen-specific immunoassay testing of each sample is not necessary for maximal diagnostic accuracy. These results indicate that the current international consensus on ANCA testing for AAV needs revision.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2016-209507DOI Listing
April 2017

Myeloperoxidase-Antineutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibody (ANCA)-Positive Granulomatosis With Polyangiitis (Wegener's) Is a Clinically Distinct Subset of ANCA-Associated Vasculitis: A Retrospective Analysis of 315 Patients From a German Vasculitis Referral Center.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2016 12;68(12):2953-2963

Klinikum Bad Bramstedt, Bad Bramstedt, Germany.

Objective: To compare the phenotype, clinical course, and outcome of myeloperoxidase (MPO)-antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-positive granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's) (GPA) to proteinase 3 (PR3)-ANCA-positive GPA and to MPO-ANCA-positive microscopic polyangiitis (MPA).

Methods: We characterized all MPO-ANCA-positive patients classified as having GPA by the European Medicines Agency algorithm who attended our center, in a retrospective chart review. A second cohort of patients with PR3-ANCA-positive GPA matched for age and sex was characterized. Patients with MPO-ANCA-positive MPA from a recently published cohort were also included in the analysis. All patients were diagnosed and treated according to a standardized interdisciplinary approach at a vasculitis referral center.

Results: Comprehensive data were available for 59 patients with MPO-ANCA-positive GPA, and they were compared to 118 patients with PR3-ANCA-positive GPA and 138 patients with MPO-ANCA-positive MPA. We observed a distinct phenotype in MPO-ANCA-positive GPA as compared to the other 2 cohorts. Patients with MPO-ANCA-positive GPA frequently had limited disease without severe organ involvement, had a high prevalence of subglottic stenosis, and had less need for aggressive immunosuppressive therapy (cyclophosphamide/rituximab). The patients with MPO-ANCA-positive GPA were also younger than the MPA patients and were predominantly female (significantly different than the MPA cohort). While GPA patients had higher survival rates compared to MPA patients (due to a high prevalence of pulmonary fibrosis in MPA), patients with MPO-ANCA had significantly lower relapse rates than those with PR3-ANCA.

Conclusion: Patients with MPO-ANCA-positive GPA show significantly different clinical courses compared to those with PR3-ANCA-positive GPA or MPO-ANCA-positive MPA, which should be considered in their clinical management. Classification according to ANCA specificity may improve the evaluation of relapse risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.39786DOI Listing
December 2016

Cyclophosphamide treatment-induced leukopenia rates in ANCA-associated vasculitis are influenced by variant CYP450 2C9 genotypes.

Pharmacogenomics 2016 Mar 19;17(4):367-74. Epub 2016 Feb 19.

Institute for Experimental & Clinical Pharmacology, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel, Kiel, Germany.

Aim: Correlation of outcomes of cyclophosphamide (CP) therapy in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis with genotype polymorphisms in prodrug activating cytochrome P450 enzyme genes CYP2C9 and CYP2C19.

Patients & Methods: One hundred and ninety six patients with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis treated with CP, either as intravenous pulse or as daily oral medication, were included. Genotypes of CYP2C9 and CYP2C19 were correlated with clinical outcomes (leukopenia, infection, urotoxicity and treatment response).

Results: Sixty five (33.2%) patients had variant CYP2C9 and 55 (28.1%) had variant CYP2C19 genotype. In patients bearing variant CYP2C9, leukopenia was documented significantly more frequent than in carriers of wild-type CYP2C9 (55.4 vs 37.4%; odds ratio: 2.08; 95% CI: 1.14-3.80; p = 0.017). The impact of the CYP2C9 genotype was stronger in patients treated with oral CP (69.6 vs 45.6%; odds ratio: 2.73; 95% CI: 1.27-5.89; p = 0.009), but was not present in patients treated with intravenous pulsed CP. We observed less refractory disease courses in patients with variant CYP2C9, not reaching statistical significance.

Conclusion: Patients with variant CYP2C9 are at increased risk for cyclophosphamide-induced leukopenia but may have a better chance to respond to treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2217/pgs.15.176DOI Listing
March 2016

Manifestation of eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis in head and neck.

Rhinology 2015 Sep;53(3):277-85

Introduction: Besides an obvious clinical involvement of the ear, nose and throat (ENT)-region in Eosinophilic Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis (EGPA), systematic data is sparse. Only a few case series and case reports are available that particularly describe rhinological, otological or other manifestations of EGPA in the ENT-region. Therefore, the objective of this study is to systematically describe data on ENT-region involvement in a large series of EGPA patients.

Method: EGPA patients examined in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology of the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel between 1990 and 2010 were included in the study. Criteria for ENT-manifestation were assigned to five subgroups (history, ENT examination, audiological and rhinological diagnostic findings and cranial MRI) and documented cumulatively. EGPA patients were examined in a standardized way based on the validated Ear Nose and Throat Activity Score (ENTAS) or its precursor, including audiological and rhinological diagnostic findings. MRI scans were analysed to further evaluate ENT involvement.

Results: A total of 95 EGPA patients were included in the study. In approximately 80% of them, ENT-involvement was documented and the assumption of a frequent rhinological manifestation in patients with EGPA was confirmed. Moreover, the data reveals remarkable evidence for an otological manifestation. A missing correlation between the rhinological and the otological manifestation indicates an independent autoimmune-inflammatory process for this manifestation.

Conclusion: The data of the largest monocentric study presented here confirms the hypothesis of a frequent ENT involvement in EGPA patients, in whom rhinological and otological manifestations are most common. Therefore, treatment should include long term follow-up and should be managed interdisciplinary.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4193/Rhin14.074DOI Listing
September 2015

Clinical presentation and long-term outcome of 144 patients with microscopic polyangiitis in a monocentric German cohort.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2016 Jan 20;55(1):71-9. Epub 2015 Aug 20.

Department of Rheumatology, University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein and Klinikum Bad Bramstedt, Bad Bramstedt.

Objective: To evaluate the clinical presentation and long-term outcome of a vasculitis centre cohort of patients with microscopic polyangiitis (MPA) with respect to organ manifestations, treatment, chronic damage and mortality.

Methods: We performed a retrospective chart review at our vasculitis referral centre. MPA patients admitted between 1991 and 2013 classified by a modified European Medicines Agency algorithm were diagnosed and treated according to a standardized interdisciplinary approach.

Results: Comprehensive data from standardized interdisciplinary workups was available for 144 patients (median follow-up 72 months). The overall standardized mortality ratio was 1.40 (95% CI 0.91, 2.07; P = 0.13). We observed a higher mortality [hazard ratio (HR) 4.04 (95% CI 1.21, 13.45), P = 0.02] in 17 patients with MPA-associated fibrosing interstitial lung disease (ILD) and 56 patients with peripheral nervous system involvement [HR 5.26 (95% CI 1.10, 25.14), P = 0.04] at disease onset. One hundred and fifteen patients (79.9%) responded to the initial treatment. Sixty-one (42.3%) achieved complete remission and 54 (37.5%) achieved partial remission. Twenty (13.9%) showed a refractory disease course.

Conclusion: MPA patients at our tertiary rheumatology referral centre seemed to have a less severe phenotype resulting in a less severe disease course and better outcome than reported in other cohorts. Fibrosing ILD was significantly associated with mortality in this cohort.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kev286DOI Listing
January 2016

Treatment failure by canakinumab in a patient with progressive multisystemic Erdheim-Chester disease refractory to anakinra: successful use of vemurafenib.

Rheumatology (Oxford) 2015 Oct 2;54(10):1932-4. Epub 2015 Jul 2.

Vasculitis Center, Department of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, Klinikum Bad Bramstedt and University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Bad Bramstedt and.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/rheumatology/kev237DOI Listing
October 2015

A large-scale genetic analysis reveals a strong contribution of the HLA class II region to giant cell arteritis susceptibility.

Am J Hum Genet 2015 Apr 26;96(4):565-80. Epub 2015 Mar 26.

Department of Genetics, University of Groningen, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen 9700, the Netherlands.

We conducted a large-scale genetic analysis on giant cell arteritis (GCA), a polygenic immune-mediated vasculitis. A case-control cohort, comprising 1,651 case subjects with GCA and 15,306 unrelated control subjects from six different countries of European ancestry, was genotyped by the Immunochip array. We also imputed HLA data with a previously validated imputation method to perform a more comprehensive analysis of this genomic region. The strongest association signals were observed in the HLA region, with rs477515 representing the highest peak (p = 4.05 × 10(-40), OR = 1.73). A multivariate model including class II amino acids of HLA-DRβ1 and HLA-DQα1 and one class I amino acid of HLA-B explained most of the HLA association with GCA, consistent with previously reported associations of classical HLA alleles like HLA-DRB1(∗)04. An omnibus test on polymorphic amino acid positions highlighted DRβ1 13 (p = 4.08 × 10(-43)) and HLA-DQα1 47 (p = 4.02 × 10(-46)), 56, and 76 (both p = 1.84 × 10(-45)) as relevant positions for disease susceptibility. Outside the HLA region, the most significant loci included PTPN22 (rs2476601, p = 1.73 × 10(-6), OR = 1.38), LRRC32 (rs10160518, p = 4.39 × 10(-6), OR = 1.20), and REL (rs115674477, p = 1.10 × 10(-5), OR = 1.63). Our study provides evidence of a strong contribution of HLA class I and II molecules to susceptibility to GCA. In the non-HLA region, we confirmed a key role for the functional PTPN22 rs2476601 variant and proposed other putative risk loci for GCA involved in Th1, Th17, and Treg cell function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2015.02.009DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4385191PMC
April 2015

A candidate gene approach identifies an IL33 genetic variant as a novel genetic risk factor for GCA.

PLoS One 2014 19;9(11):e113476. Epub 2014 Nov 19.

Instituto de Parasitología y Biomedicina López-Neyra, CSIC, Granada, Spain.

Introduction: Increased expression of IL-33 and its receptor ST2, encoded by the IL1RL1 gene, has been detected in the inflamed arteries of giant cell arteritis (GCA) patients. The aim of the present study was to investigate for the first time the potential influence of the IL33 and IL1RL1 loci on GCA predisposition.

Methods: A total of 1,363 biopsy-proven GCA patients and 3,908 healthy controls from four European cohorts (Spain, Italy, Germany and Norway) were combined in a meta-analysis. Six genetic variants: rs3939286, rs7025417 and rs7044343, within the IL33 gene, and rs2058660, rs2310173 and rs13015714, within the IL1RL1 gene, previously associated with immune-related diseases, were genotyped using predesigned TaqMan assays.

Results: A consistent association between the rs7025417 polymorphism and GCA was evident in the overall meta-analysis, under both allele (P(MH) = 0.041, OR = 0.88, CI 95% 0.78-0.99) and recessive (P(MH) = 3.40E-03, OR = 0.53, CI 95% 0.35-0.80) models. No statistically significant differences between allele or genotype frequencies for the other IL33 and IL1RL1 genetic variants were detected in this pooled analysis.

Conclusions: Our results clearly evidenced the implication of the IL33 rs7025417 polymorphism in the genetic network underlying GCA.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0113476PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4237421PMC
December 2015

Current and emerging techniques for ANCA detection in vasculitis.

Nat Rev Rheumatol 2014 Aug 3;10(8):494-501. Epub 2014 Jun 3.

Department of Rheumatology, Klinikum Bad Bramstedt &University Hospital of Schleswig-Holstein, Oskar-Alexanderstrasse 26, 24576 Bad Bramstedt, Germany.

Detection of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs) is a well-established diagnostic test used to evaluate suspected necrotizing vasculitis of small blood vessels. Conditions associated with these antibodies, collectively referred to as ANCA-associated vasculitides, include granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly known as Wegener granulomatosis), microscopic polyangiitis, and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly known as Churg-Strauss syndrome). The diagnostic utility of ANCA testing depends on the type of assay performed and on the clinical setting. Most laboratories worldwide use standard indirect immunofluorescence tests (IFT) to screen for ANCA and then confirm positive IFT results with antigen-specific tests for proteinase 3 (PR3) and myeloperoxidase (MPO). Developments such as automated image analysis of immunofluorescence patterns, so-called third-generation PR3-ANCA and MPO-ANCA ELISA, and multiplex technology have improved the detection of ANCAs. However, challenges in routine clinical practice remain, including methodological aspects of IFT performance, the diverse antigen-specific assays available, the diagnostic value of testing in clinical settings and the prognostic value of serial ANCA monitoring in the prediction of disease relapse. This Review summarizes the available data on ANCA testing, discusses the usefulness of the various ANCA assays and advises on the clinical indications for the use of ANCA testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrrheum.2014.78DOI Listing
August 2014