Publications by authors named "Naomi Tsuchida"

17 Publications

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Complete sequencing of expanded SAMD12 repeats by long-read sequencing and Cas9-mediated enrichment.

Brain 2021 Apr 1. Epub 2021 Apr 1.

Department of Human Genetics, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan.

A pentanucleotide TTTCA repeat insertion into a polymorphic TTTTA repeat element in SAMD12 causes benign adult familial myoclonic epilepsy. Although the precise determination of the entire SAMD12 repeat sequence is important for molecular diagnosis and research, obtaining this sequence remains challenging when using conventional genomic/genetic methods, and even short-read and long-read next-generation sequencing technologies have been insufficient. Incomplete information regarding expanded repeat sequences may hamper our understanding of the pathogenic roles played by varying numbers of repeat units, genotype-phenotype correlations, and mutational mechanisms. Here, we report a new approach for the precise determination of the entire expanded repeat sequence and present a workflow designed to improve the diagnostic rates in various repeat expansion diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/brain/awab021DOI Listing
April 2021

Pathogenic variants associated with VEXAS syndrome in Japanese patients with relapsing polychondritis.

Ann Rheum Dis 2021 Mar 31. Epub 2021 Mar 31.

Department of Human Genetics, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan.

Objectives: To determine clinical and genetic features of individuals with relapsing polychondritis (RP) likely caused by pathogenic somatic variants in ubiquitin-like modifier activating enzyme 1 ().

Methods: Fourteen patients with RP who met the Damiani and Levine criteria were recruited (12 men, 2 women; median onset age (IQR) 72.1 years (67.1-78.0)). Sanger sequencing of was performed using genomic DNA from peripheral blood leukocytes or bone marrow tissue. Droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) and peptide nucleic acid (PNA)-clamping PCR were used to detect low-prevalence somatic variants. Clinical features of the patients were investigated retrospectively.

Results: was examined in 13 of the 14 patients; 73% (8/11) of the male patients had somatic variants (c.121A>C, c.121A>G or c.122T>C resulting in p.Met41Leu, p.Met41Val or p.Met41Thr, respectively). All the variant-positive patients had systemic symptoms, including a significantly high prevalence of skin lesions. ddPCR detected low prevalence (0.14%) of somatic variant (c.121A>C) in one female patient, which was subsequently confirmed by PNA-clamping PCR.

Conclusions: Genetic screening for pathogenic variants should be considered in patients with RP, especially male patients with skin lesions. The somatic variant in in the female patient is the first to be reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2021-220089DOI Listing
March 2021

Pathogenic 12-kb copy-neutral inversion in syndromic intellectual disability identified by high-fidelity long-read sequencing.

Genomics 2021 Jan 4;113(1 Pt 2):1044-1053. Epub 2020 Nov 4.

Department of Human Genetics, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan. Electronic address:

We report monozygotic twin girls with syndromic intellectual disability who underwent exome sequencing but with negative pathogenic variants. To search for variants that are unrecognized by exome sequencing, high-fidelity long-read genome sequencing (HiFi LR-GS) was applied. A 12-kb copy-neutral inversion was precisely identified by HiFi LR-GS after trio-based variant filtering. This inversion directly disrupted two genes, CPNE9 and BRPF1, the latter of which attracted our attention because pathogenic BRPF1 variants have been identified in autosomal dominant intellectual developmental disorder with dysmorphic facies and ptosis (IDDDFP), which later turned out to be clinically found in the twins. Trio-based HiFi LR-GS together with haplotype phasing revealed that the 12-kb inversion occurred de novo on the maternally transmitted chromosome. This study clearly indicates that submicroscopic copy-neutral inversions are important but often uncharacterized culprits in monogenic disorders and that long-read sequencing is highly advantageous for detecting such inversions involved in genetic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ygeno.2020.10.038DOI Listing
January 2021

Efficient detection of copy-number variations using exome data: Batch- and sex-based analyses.

Hum Mutat 2021 Jan 11;42(1):50-65. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Department of Human Genetics, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan.

Many algorithms to detect copy number variations (CNVs) using exome sequencing (ES) data have been reported and evaluated on their sensitivity and specificity, reproducibility, and precision. However, operational optimization of such algorithms for a better performance has not been fully addressed. ES of 1199 samples including 763 patients with different disease profiles was performed. ES data were analyzed to detect CNVs by both the eXome Hidden Markov Model (XHMM) and modified Nord's method. To efficiently detect rare CNVs, we aimed to decrease sequencing biases by analyzing, at the same time, the data of all unrelated samples sequenced in the same flow cell as a batch, and to eliminate sex effects of X-linked CNVs by analyzing female and male sequences separately. We also applied several filtering steps for more efficient CNV selection. The average number of CNVs detected in one sample was <5. This optimization together with targeted CNV analysis by Nord's method identified pathogenic/likely pathogenic CNVs in 34 patients (4.5%, 34/763). In particular, among 142 patients with epilepsy, the current protocol detected clinically relevant CNVs in 19 (13.4%) patients, whereas the previous protocol identified them in only 14 (9.9%) patients. Thus, this batch-based XHMM analysis efficiently selected rare pathogenic CNVs in genetic diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.24129DOI Listing
January 2021

De novo variants in CELF2 that disrupt the nuclear localization signal cause developmental and epileptic encephalopathy.

Hum Mutat 2021 Jan 10;42(1):66-76. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Department of Human Genetics, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.

We report heterozygous CELF2 (NM_006561.3) variants in five unrelated individuals: Individuals 1-4 exhibited developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (DEE) and Individual 5 had intellectual disability and autistic features. CELF2 encodes a nucleocytoplasmic shuttling RNA-binding protein that has multiple roles in RNA processing and is involved in the embryonic development of the central nervous system and heart. Whole-exome sequencing identified the following CELF2 variants: two missense variants [c.1558C>T:p.(Pro520Ser) in unrelated Individuals 1 and 2, and c.1516C>G:p.(Arg506Gly) in Individual 3], one frameshift variant in Individual 4 that removed the last amino acid of CELF2 c.1562dup:p.(Tyr521Ter), possibly resulting in escape from nonsense-mediated mRNA decay (NMD), and one canonical splice site variant, c.272-1G>C in Individual 5, also probably leading to NMD. The identified variants in Individuals 1, 2, 4, and 5 were de novo, while the variant in Individual 3 was inherited from her mosaic mother. Notably, all identified variants, except for c.272-1G>C, were clustered within 20 amino acid residues of the C-terminus, which might be a nuclear localization signal. We demonstrated the extranuclear mislocalization of mutant CELF2 protein in cells transfected with mutant CELF2 complementary DNA plasmids. Our findings indicate that CELF2 variants that disrupt its nuclear localization are associated with DEE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.24130DOI Listing
January 2021

Genetic abnormalities in a large cohort of Coffin-Siris syndrome patients.

J Hum Genet 2019 Dec 17;64(12):1173-1186. Epub 2019 Sep 17.

Department of Human Genetics, Graduate school of medicine, Yokohama City University, Yokohama, Japan.

Coffin-Siris syndrome (CSS, MIM#135900) is a congenital disorder characterized by coarse facial features, intellectual disability, and hypoplasia of the fifth digit and nails. Pathogenic variants for CSS have been found in genes encoding proteins in the BAF (BRG1-associated factor) chromatin-remodeling complex. To date, more than 150 CSS patients with pathogenic variants in nine BAF-related genes have been reported. We previously reported 71 patients of whom 39 had pathogenic variants. Since then, we have recruited an additional 182 CSS-suspected patients. We performed comprehensive genetic analysis on these 182 patients and on the previously unresolved 32 patients, targeting pathogenic single nucleotide variants, short insertions/deletions and copy number variations (CNVs). We confirmed 78 pathogenic variations in 78 patients. Pathogenic variations in ARID1B, SMARCB1, SMARCA4, ARID1A, SOX11, SMARCE1, and PHF6 were identified in 48, 8, 7, 6, 4, 1, and 1 patients, respectively. In addition, we found three CNVs including SMARCA2. Of particular note, we found a partial deletion of SMARCB1 in one CSS patient and we thoroughly investigated the resulting abnormal transcripts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s10038-019-0667-4DOI Listing
December 2019

Dose down-titration of biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in daily clinical practice: Shared decision-making and patient treatment preferences in Japanese patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

Int J Rheum Dis 2019 Nov 12;22(11):2009-2016. Epub 2019 Sep 12.

Department of Stem Cell and Immune Regulation, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan.

Aim: To determine characteristics of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in Japan who received the same biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) for at least 6 months and to identify factors associated with successful down-titration of bDMARDs dependent on shared decision-making.

Methods: We included consecutive RA patients who received the same bDMARD with low disease activity or remission for at least 6 months in our two university hospitals. Patients treated with the bDMARD standard dose were defined as SD, while those treated with bDMARD down-titration were defined as DT. We retrospectively reviewed clinical charts and compared data between the two groups.

Results: Of 288 patients with RA, 204 (70.8%) and 84 (29.2%) continued standard dose treatment and underwent down-titration treatment, respectively. Sixty-six of 84 (78.6%) down-titration-treated patients continued to show low disease activity or remission, whereas 18 (21.4%) relapsed 18.9 ± 24.4 months after bDMARD down-titration was started. Univariate predictor analysis showed that the probable factors of down-titration were no history of bDMARD treatment (P = .001) and low initial Disease Activity Assessment of 28 joint score (P = .048). Other clinical characteristics had no significant relationship with successful down-titration.

Conclusions: Thus, bDMARD-naïve patients and those with low initial disease activity are more likely to agree to attempt down-titration. However, the timing and method of down-titration should be made in shared decision-making between patients and rheumatologists.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1756-185X.13692DOI Listing
November 2019

Constitutive activation of mTORC1 signaling induced by biallelic loss-of-function mutations in SZT2 underlies a discernible neurodevelopmental disease.

PLoS One 2019 20;14(8):e0221482. Epub 2019 Aug 20.

Department of Pediatrics and Neonatology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan.

There have been increasing number of reports of SZT2-related neurological diseases, the main symptoms of which are epilepsy, developmental delay, macrocephaly and a dysmorphic corpus callosum. SZT2 functions as a regulator of mechanistic target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) signaling in cultured human cell lines and mouse tissues. However, it remains to be determined whether mutations in SZT2 in human patients alter mTORC1 signaling. In this study, we aimed to investigate the functional consequence of biallelic SZT2 variants in Epstein-Barr virus-induced lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) established from two patients with a typical SZT2-related neurodevelopmental disease. Increased phosphorylation of S6 kinase and S6 was identified in patient-derived cell lines under amino acid-starved condition, suggestive of constitutive hyperactivation of mTORC1 signaling. This result was validated by constitutive lysosomal localization of mTOR in patients' LCLs. Furthermore, patients' LCLs display an excessive response to slight amino acid stimulation. Our data suggest the loss-of-function nature of SZT2 mutations in the patients, and consequent hyperactivation of mTORC1 signaling in response to both amino acid starvation and stimulation in their LCLs. By these functional analyses, the pathogenicity of newly identified SZT2 variants can be determined, allowing for more detailed characterization of genotype-phenotype correlations.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0221482PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6701784PMC
March 2020

Comprehensive analysis of coding variants highlights genetic complexity in developmental and epileptic encephalopathy.

Nat Commun 2019 06 7;10(1):2506. Epub 2019 Jun 7.

Department of Human Genetics, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, 3-9 Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, 236-0004, Japan.

Although there are many known Mendelian genes linked to epileptic or developmental and epileptic encephalopathy (EE/DEE), its genetic architecture is not fully explained. Here, we address this incompleteness by analyzing exomes of 743 EE/DEE cases and 2366 controls. We observe that damaging ultra-rare variants (dURVs) unique to an individual are significantly overrepresented in EE/DEE, both in known EE/DEE genes and the other non-EE/DEE genes. Importantly, enrichment of dURVs in non-EE/DEE genes is significant, even in the subset of cases with diagnostic dURVs (P = 0.000215), suggesting oligogenic contribution of non-EE/DEE gene dURVs. Gene-based analysis identifies exome-wide significant (P = 2.04 × 10) enrichment of damaging de novo mutations in NF1, a gene primarily linked to neurofibromatosis, in infantile spasm. Together with accumulating evidence for roles of oligogenic or modifier variants in severe neurodevelopmental disorders, our results highlight genetic complexity in EE/DEE, and indicate that EE/DEE is not an aggregate of simple Mendelian disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10482-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6555845PMC
June 2019

Haploinsufficiency of A20 caused by a novel nonsense variant or entire deletion of TNFAIP3 is clinically distinct from Behçet's disease.

Arthritis Res Ther 2019 06 4;21(1):137. Epub 2019 Jun 4.

Department of Human Genetics, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, 3-9 Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, 236-0004, Japan.

Background: Haploinsufficiency of A20 (HA20) is caused by loss-of-function TNFAIP3 variants. Phenotypic and genetic features of HA20 remain uncertain; therefore, the clinical distinction between HA20 and Behçet's disease (BD) requires clarification.

Methods: We have collected 12 Japanese BD-like families. Probands of these families were analyzed by whole exome sequencing (WES) and subsequent Sanger sequencing. Clinical features were compared between 54 HA20 patients (including previously reported and new cases) and 520 Japanese BD patients.

Results: We identified c.1434C>A:p.(Cys478*) in one family and a 236 kb deletion at 6q23.3 containing TNFAIP3 in another family. Four HA20 patients in the two families presented with childhood-onset recurrent oral and genital ulcers and were initially diagnosed and treated as BD. Consistent with the clinical features of HA20, recurrent, refractory fever attacks (three of four patients), and digestive ulcers (two of the four patients) were observed. A comparison of clinical features between HA20 patients and cohorts of BD patients revealed several critical features specific to HA20. These were early-onset, familial occurrence, recurrent fever attacks, gastrointestinal involvement, and infrequent ocular involvement.

Conclusions: We identified a novel nonsense variant and deletion of the entire TNFAIP3 gene in two unrelated Japanese HA20 families. Genetic screening of TNFAIP3 should be considered for familial BD-like patients with early-onset recurrent fevers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-019-1928-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6549368PMC
June 2019

GRIN2D variants in three cases of developmental and epileptic encephalopathy.

Clin Genet 2018 12;94(6):538-547

Department of Human Genetics, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama, Japan.

N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors are glutamate-activated ion channels that are widely distributed in the central nervous system and essential for brain development and function. Dysfunction of NMDA receptors has been associated with various neurodevelopmental disorders. Recently, a de novo recurrent GRIN2D missense variant was found in two unrelated patients with developmental and epileptic encephalopathy. In this study, we identified by whole exome sequencing novel heterozygous GRIN2D missense variants in three unrelated patients with severe developmental delay and intractable epilepsy. All altered residues were highly conserved across vertebrates and among the four GluN2 subunits. Structural consideration indicated that all three variants are probably to impair GluN2D function, either by affecting intersubunit interaction or altering channel gating activity. We assessed the clinical features of our three cases and compared them to those of the two previously reported GRIN2D variant cases, and found that they all show similar clinical features. This study provides further evidence of GRIN2D variants being causal for epilepsy. Genetic diagnosis for GluN2-related disorders may be clinically useful when considering drug therapy targeting NMDA receptors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cge.13454DOI Listing
December 2018

Loss-of-function and gain-of-function mutations in PPP3CA cause two distinct disorders.

Hum Mol Genet 2018 04;27(8):1421-1433

Department of Human Genetics, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Yokohama 236-0004, Japan.

Calcineurin is a calcium (Ca2+)/calmodulin-regulated protein phosphatase that mediates Ca2+-dependent signal transduction. Here, we report six heterozygous mutations in a gene encoding the alpha isoform of the calcineurin catalytic subunit (PPP3CA). Notably, mutations were observed in different functional domains: in addition to three catalytic domain mutations, two missense mutations were found in the auto-inhibitory (AI) domain. One additional frameshift insertion that caused premature termination was also identified. Detailed clinical evaluation of the six individuals revealed clinically unexpected consequences of the PPP3CA mutations. First, the catalytic domain mutations and frameshift mutation were consistently found in patients with nonsyndromic early onset epileptic encephalopathy. In contrast, the AI domain mutations were associated with multiple congenital abnormalities including craniofacial dysmorphism, arthrogryposis and short stature. In addition, one individual showed severe skeletal developmental defects, namely, severe craniosynostosis and gracile bones (severe bone slenderness and perinatal fractures). Using a yeast model system, we showed that the catalytic and AI domain mutations visibly result in decreased and increased calcineurin signaling, respectively. These findings indicate that different functional effects of PPP3CA mutations are associated with two distinct disorders and suggest that functional approaches using a simple cellular system provide a tool for resolving complex genotype-phenotype correlations.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddy052DOI Listing
April 2018

Dysfunction of TRIM21 in interferon signature of systemic lupus erythematosus.

Mod Rheumatol 2018 Nov 23;28(6):993-1003. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

a Department of Stem Cell and Immune Regulation , Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine , Yokohama , Japan.

Objectives: TRIM21 is an E3 ubiquitin ligase for interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) that are involved in innate and acquired immunity. Here, we evaluated the role of TRIM21 in the interferon (IFN) signature of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Methods: Twenty SLE patients and 24 healthy controls were enrolled in this study. We analyzed mRNA expression of TRIM21, type I IFN, and IFN-inducible genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC). The protein levels of IRFs were assessed by Western blotting in PBMCs cultured with or without MG-132.

Results: The expression of TRIM21 mRNA and protein was significantly higher in SLE PBMCs as compared to healthy controls. There was a correlation between TRIM21 mRNA expression and SLE activities. In contrast to a negative correlation between mRNA expression level of TRIM21 and those of type I IFNs in healthy controls, we found a positive correlation between them in anti-TRIM21 antibody-positive SLE patients. Neither positive nor negative correlation was observed in the autoantibody-negative SLE patients. Western-blotting analysis revealed impaired ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation of IRFs in SLE PBMCs.

Conclusion: Our study showed ubiquitin-dependent proteasomal degradation of IRFs was impaired in anti-TRIM21 antibody-dependent and -independent fashions, leading to amplification of IFN signature in SLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14397595.2018.1436028DOI Listing
November 2018

The predictive prognostic factors for polymyositis/dermatomyositis-associated interstitial lung disease.

Arthritis Res Ther 2018 01 11;20(1). Epub 2018 Jan 11.

Department of Stem Cell and Immune Regulation, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, 3-9 Fukuura, Kanazawa-ku, Yokohama, 236-0004, Japan.

Background: Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is the principal cause of death in polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM). Here we investigated prognostic factors for death and serious infection in PM/DM-ILD using the multicenter database.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed baseline demographic, clinical and laboratory findings, treatment regimens and outcomes in patients with PM/DM-ILD. The distribution of ILD lesions was evaluated in four divided lung zones of high-resolution computed tomography images.

Results: Of 116 patients with PM/DM-ILD, 14 died within 6 months from the diagnosis. As independent risk factors for early death, extended ILD lesions in upper lung fields (odds ratio (OR) 8.01, p = 0.016) and hypocapnia (OR 6.85, p = 0.038) were identified. Serious infection was found in 38 patients, including 11 patients who died of respiratory or multiple infections. The independent risk factors were high serum KL-6 (OR 3.68, p = 0.027), high initial dose of prednisolone (PSL) (OR 4.18, p = 0.013), and combination immunosuppressive therapies (OR 5.51, p < 0.001).

Conclusion: The present study shows the progression of ILD at baseline is the most critical for survival and that infection, especially respiratory infection, is an additive prognostic factor under the potent immunosuppressive treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-017-1506-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5765702PMC
January 2018

Non-IgG4-related Multifocal Fibrosclerosis.

Intern Med 2016 1;55(17):2497-502. Epub 2016 Sep 1.

Department of Stem Cell and Immune Regulation, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan.

Multifocal fibrosclerosis (MFS), which causes systemic and chronic connective tissue inflammation, has been associated with IgG4 and regarded as an identical entity with "IgG4-related disease (IgG4-RD)". Although a few cases of MFS mimicking IgG4-RD histopathologically, despite the absence of a serum IgG4 elevation and IgG4-positive plasma cell infiltration, have been reported, there is, so far, little information regarding such exceptional cases. We herein demonstrate a case of non-IgG4-related MFS presenting with periaortitis and parotiditis, whose histological findings were consistent with IgG4-RD despite the absence of elevated serum and tissue IgG4 levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2169/internalmedicine.55.6297DOI Listing
March 2017

Musculoskeletal ultrasonography delineates ankle symptoms in rheumatoid arthritis.

Mod Rheumatol 2017 May 1;27(3):425-429. Epub 2016 Sep 1.

a Department of Stem Cell and Immune Regulation , Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine , Yokohama , Japan.

Objectives: To clarify the use of musculoskeletal ultrasonography (US) of ankle joints in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: Consecutive RA patients with or without ankle symptoms participated in the study. The US, clinical examination (CE), and patients' visual analog scale for pain (pVAS) for ankles were assessed. Prevalence of tibiotalar joint synovitis and tenosynovitis were assessed by grayscale (GS) and power Doppler (PD) US using a semi-quantitative grading (0-3). The positive US and CE findings were defined as GS score ≥2 and/or PD score ≥1, and joint swelling and/or tenderness, respectively. Multivariate analysis with the generalized linear mixed model was performed by assigning ankle pVAS as a dependent variable.

Results: Among a total of 120 ankles from 60 RA patients, positive ankle US findings were found in 21 (35.0%) patients. The concordance rate of CE and US was moderate (kappa 0.57). Of the 88 CE negative ankles, US detected positive findings in 9 (10.2%) joints. Multivariate analysis revealed that ankle US, clinical disease activity index, and foot Health Assessment Questionnaire, but not CE, was independently associated with ankle pVAS.

Conclusion: US examination is useful to illustrate RA ankle involvement, especially for patients who complain ankle pain but lack CE findings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14397595.2016.1222650DOI Listing
May 2017

On-demand ultrasonography assessment in the most symptomatic joint supports the 8-joint score system for management of rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Mod Rheumatol 2017 Mar 13;27(2):257-265. Epub 2016 Jul 13.

a Department of Hematology and Clinical Immunology , Yokohama City University School of Medicine , Yokohama , Japan.

Objectives: To investigate whether on-demand ultrasonography (US) assessment alongside a routine examination is useful in the management of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

Methods: US was performed in eight (bilateral MCP 2, 3, wrist and knee) joints as the routine in a cumulative total of 406 RA patients. The most symptomatic joint other than the routine joints was additionally scanned. Power Doppler (PD) and gray-scale images were scored semiquantitatively. Eight-joint scores were calculated as the sum of individual scores for the routine joints.

Results: The most symptomatic joint was found among the routine joints in 209 patients (Group A) and in other joints in 148 (Group B). The PD scores of the most symptomatic joint correlated well with the 8-joint scores in Group A (r = 0.66), but not in Group B (r = 0.33). The sensitivity and specificity of assessment of the most symptomatic joint for routine assessment positivity were high (84.0% and 100%, respectively) in Group A, but low (50.0% and 61.8%, respectively) in Group B. Additional examination detected synovitis in 38% of Group B with negative results in the routine.

Conclusions: On-demand US assessment in the most symptomatic joint, combined with the routine assessment, is useful for detecting RA synovitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14397595.2016.1206173DOI Listing
March 2017