Concept: Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody
Inappropriate activation of neutrophils plays a pathological role in antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV). The aim of this study was to investigate the functions of semaphorin 4D (SEMA4D) in regulation of neutrophil activation, and its involvement in AAV pathogenesis.
Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis is a severe condition encompassing two major syndromes: granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly known as Wegener’s granulomatosis) and microscopic polyangiitis. Its cause is unknown, and there is debate about whether it is a single disease entity and what role ANCA plays in its pathogenesis. We investigated its genetic basis.
This study aimed to assess the prevalence, severity, and etiology of neutropenia in infants and children admitted to a children’s hospital in Egypt. A total of 200 patients with neutropenia were recruited from April 1, 2010 to September 30, 2010. Patients with a known hematological or immunological disease were excluded. Patients were followed till recovery or an underlying cause was uncovered. Viral serological analysis was done for patients with moderate/severe neutropenia, including cytomegalovirus (CMV); Epstein-Barr virus (EBV); hepatitis A, B, and C viruses; and HIV. Antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) tested by enzyme immunoassay and bone marrow aspirate were done for prolonged neutropenia. The results revealed that neutropenia was mild in 90 (45%), moderate in 56 (28%), and severe in 54 (27%). Clinical diagnosis at admission was bronchopneumonia (38%), pyrexia of undetermined etiology (17%), bronchiolitis (13%), urinary tract infection (9%), acute gastroenteritis (8%), hepatitis (6.5%), and septicemia (5%). Patients with mild neutropenia recovered within 1 week. Among 110 patients with moderate/severe neutropenia, 80 (73%) recovered in <3 weeks. Predictors of prolonged neutropenia were age younger than 18 months (P < .01), absolute neutrophils count (ANC) < 500/mm(3) (P < .05), hemoglobin < 10 gm/dL (P < .05), and positive CMV serology (P < .01). CMV and EBV serology were positive in 34.5% and 7.3% of patients, respectively. ANCA was positive in 42.8% of patients with prolonged severe neutropenia. In conclusion, neutropenia is a frequent finding in Egyptian infants and children, usually mild and transient, and mainly associated with infection. CMV and EBV are associated with prolonged neutropenia. Immune neutropenia is a common cause of moderate/severe neutropenia in the first two years of life.
This article provides an update on the diagnosis and management of the antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitides, granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly Wegener), microscopic polyangiitis, and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (formerly Churg-Strauss). Focus is on new schemes of classification and the importance of ANCAs in the diagnosis and prognosis of these systemic vasculitides. Current therapeutic strategies consisting of glucocorticoids in conjunction with conventional or biologic agents for both induction of remission and remission maintenance are outlined. Future research directions include investigation of the optimal duration and frequency of maintenance therapy and development of targeted therapeutic agents.
Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies (ANCAs) are valuable laboratory markers used for the diagnosis of well-defined types of small-vessel vasculitis, including granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA) and microscopic polyangiitis (MPA). According to the 1999 international consensus on ANCA testing, indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) should be used to screen for ANCAs, and samples containing ANCAs should then be tested by immunoassays for proteinase 3 (PR3)-ANCAs and myeloperoxidase (MPO)-ANCAs. The distinction between PR3-ANCAs and MPO-ANCAs has important clinical and pathogenic implications. As dependable immunoassays for PR3-ANCAs and MPO-ANCAs have become broadly available, there is increasing international agreement that high-quality immunoassays are the preferred screening method for the diagnosis of ANCA-associated vasculitis. The present Consensus Statement proposes that high-quality immunoassays can be used as the primary screening method for patients suspected of having the ANCA-associated vaculitides GPA and MPA without the categorical need for IIF, and presents and discusses evidence to support this recommendation.
In this article, the 2009 European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) recommendations for the management of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV) have been updated. The 2009 recommendations were on the management of primary small and medium vessel vasculitis. The 2015 update has been developed by an international task force representing EULAR, the European Renal Association and the European Vasculitis Society (EUVAS). The recommendations are based upon evidence from systematic literature reviews, as well as expert opinion where appropriate. The evidence presented was discussed and summarised by the experts in the course of a consensus-finding and voting process. Levels of evidence and grades of recommendations were derived and levels of agreement (strengths of recommendations) determined. In addition to the voting by the task force members, the relevance of the recommendations was assessed by an online voting survey among members of EUVAS. Fifteen recommendations were developed, covering general aspects, such as attaining remission and the need for shared decision making between clinicians and patients. More specific items relate to starting immunosuppressive therapy in combination with glucocorticoids to induce remission, followed by a period of remission maintenance; for remission induction in life-threatening or organ-threatening AAV, cyclophosphamide and rituximab are considered to have similar efficacy; plasma exchange which is recommended, where licensed, in the setting of rapidly progressive renal failure or severe diffuse pulmonary haemorrhage. These recommendations are intended for use by healthcare professionals, doctors in specialist training, medical students, pharmaceutical industries and drug regulatory organisations.
Background The 18-month efficacy of a single course of rituximab as compared with conventional immunosuppression with cyclophosphamide followed by azathioprine in patients with severe (organ-threatening) antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis is unknown. Methods In a multicenter, randomized, double-blind, double-dummy, noninferiority trial, we compared rituximab (375 mg per square meter of body-surface area administered once a week for 4 weeks) followed by placebo with cyclophosphamide administered for 3 to 6 months followed by azathioprine for 12 to 15 months. The primary outcome measure was complete remission of disease by 6 months, with the remission maintained through 18 months. Results A total of 197 patients were enrolled. As reported previously, 64% of the patients in the rituximab group, as compared with 53% of the patients in the cyclophosphamide-azathioprine group, had a complete remission by 6 months. At 12 and 18 months, 48% and 39%, respectively, of the patients in the rituximab group had maintained the complete remissions, as compared with 39% and 33%, respectively, in the comparison group. Rituximab met the prespecified criteria for noninferiority (P<0.001, with a noninferiority margin of 20%). There was no significant difference between the groups in any efficacy measure, including the duration of complete remission and the frequency or severity of relapses. Among the 101 patients who had relapsing disease at baseline, rituximab was superior to conventional immunosuppression at 6 months (P=0.01) and at 12 months (P=0.009) but not at 18 months (P=0.06), at which time most patients in the rituximab group had reconstituted B cells. There was no significant between-group difference in adverse events. Conclusions In patients with severe ANCA-associated vasculitis, a single course of rituximab was as effective as continuous conventional immunosuppressive therapy for the induction and maintenance of remissions over the course of 18 months. (Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and others; RAVE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00104299 .).
Levamisole-contaminated cocaine can induce severe systemic vasculitis. The diagnosis can be challenging, especially when substance abuse is uncertain. We present the case of a 42-year-old woman suffering from vasculitis due to levamisole-contaminated cocaine, who persistently denied substance abuse. Symptoms included ulcerating skin lesions, arthralgia and myalgia, and the occurrence of an ileal intussusception. The definitive diagnosis was made using hair testing for toxins. She recovered through cocaine abstinence, but re-exposure resulted in a severe relapse with glomerulonephritis. Importantly, at time of the relapse, the patient became positive for both myeloperoxidase-antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) and proteinase 3-ANCA. Cocaine-levamisole-induced vasculitis poses a great clinical challenge. The proper diagnostic strategy and therapy is still controversial. We highlight our diagnostic and therapeutic considerations, including hair testing for definitive proof of exposure.
Current biomarkers of renal disease in systemic vasculitis lack predictive value and are insensitive to early damage. To identify novel biomarkers of renal vasculitis flare, we analysed the longitudinal urinary metabolomic profile of a rat model of anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA) vasculitis. Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats were immunised with human myeloperoxidase (MPO). Urine was obtained at regular intervals for 181 days, after which relapse was induced by re-challenge with MPO. Urinary metabolites were assessed in an unbiased fashion using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and analysed using partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) and partial least squares regression (PLS-R). At 56 days post-immunisation, we found that rats with vasculitis had a significantly different urinary metabolite profile than control animals; the observed PLS-DA clusters dissipated between 56 and 181 days, and re-emerged with relapse. The metabolites most altered in rats with active or relapsing vasculitis were trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), citrate and 2-oxoglutarate. Myo-inositol was also moderately predictive. The key urine metabolites identified in rats were confirmed in a large cohort of patients using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS). Hypocitraturia and elevated urinary myo-inositol remained associated with active disease, with the urine myo-inositol:citrate ratio being tightly correlated with active renal vasculitis.
Data on anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis are scarce in children. The current study is aimed at describing the clinical features and outcomes of childhood-onset ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV).