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Concept: Cyclophosphamide


Depression is a major public health problem among adults with arthritis and other rheumatic disease. The purpose of this study was to conduct a systematic review of previous meta-analyses addressing the effects of exercise (aerobic, strength or both) on depressive symptoms in adults with osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia and systemic lupus erythematous.

Concepts: Cyclophosphamide, Lupus erythematosus, Osteoporosis, Corticosteroid, Arthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatology


This article reviews recent advances in the research of the mechanisms of bone loss, as well as clinical features, economic impact and therapeutic implications of osteoporosis and fractures in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) as an illustration of bone disease in a complex systemic autoimmune connective tissue disease. Recent studies demonstrated an increased incidence of osteoporosis and peripheral and vertebral fractures in patients with SLE. The aetiology of bone loss in SLE is multifactorial, including clinical osteoporosis risk factors, systemic inflammation, serological factors, metabolic factors, hormonal factors, possibly genetic factors and medication-induced adverse effects. The incidence of symptomatic fractures in patients with SLE is increased 1.2-4.7-fold and age, disease duration, glucocorticoid use, previous cyclophosphamide use, seizures and a prior cerebrovascular event have been identified as important risk factors. Moreover, a high prevalence of morphometric vertebral fractures was demonstrated, while one in three of these patients has normal bone density, which finding points to the multifactorial aetiology of fractures in SLE. The clinical consequences and economic burden of osteoporosis and fractures as glucocorticoid treatment-related adverse events and the high frequency of glucocorticoid therapy underline the importance of reducing glucocorticoid treatment and prescribing steroid-sparing agents. No data on fall risk and its determinants and the relationship with the occurrence of fractures in patients with SLE are currently available. Fall risk might be increased in lupus patients for several reasons. In addition, the recently reported high prevalence (20%) of frailty in SLE patients may contribute to the increased fracture incidence. Therefore, the relationships between fall risk, frailty and fracture occurrence in SLE might be interesting subjects for future studies.

Concepts: Corticosteroid, Lupus nephritis, Bone, Lupus erythematosus, Cyclophosphamide, Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, Osteoporosis


Lupus nephritis (LN) is one of the most severe manifestations of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), affecting ∼50% of patients, and both renal disease and treatment-related toxicity contribute to significant morbidity and mortality. Although our understanding of the aetiopathogenesis of LN is improving, treatment still remains a challenge, with the achievement of complete remission at 1 year in <50% of patients treated with current standard of care immunosuppressive therapy; this is associated with considerable short- and long-term side effects, some of which further contribute to non-adherence. Calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) have been successfully used in organ transplantation and there is increasing evidence that cyclosporin A (CSA), and especially tacrolimus (TAC), are also effective in the treatment of LN. Randomised controlled trials showed similar efficacy for TAC when compared with mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) and multitarget therapy, including TAC and low-dose MMF, and resulted in significantly more complete remissions and overall responses compared with intravenous cyclophosphamide (CYC). Flares are observed in up to 45% of patients with LN, and an increase in relapse rate following induction with CNIs may be an issue. Most studies on this matter have been restricted to patients from Asia, and studies in more balanced cohorts are desirable. Moreover, there is a need to understand and determine the long-term effects of CNIs on renal function, proteinuria and comorbidities, with a special focus on cardiovascular risk. In this 'Pros and Cons' debate, the potential benefits and disadvantages of CNIs in the treatment of LN will be critically highlighted.

Concepts: Nephrotic syndrome, Lupus nephritis, Cyclophosphamide, Rheumatoid arthritis, Mycophenolic acid, Immunosuppressive drug, Glomerulonephritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus


There is increased interest in using microRNAs (miRNAs) as biomarkers in different diseases. Present in body fluids, it is controversial whether or not they are mainly enclosed in exosomes, thus we studied if urinary miRNAs are concentrated inside exosomes and if the presence of systemic lupus erythematosus with or without lupus nephritis modifies their distribution pattern. We quantified specific miRNAs in urine of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (n = 38) and healthy controls (n = 12) by quantitative reverse-transcription PCR in cell-free urine, exosome-depleted supernatant and exosome pellet obtained by ultracentrifugation. In control group, miR-335* and miR-302d were consistently higher in exosomes than in exosome-depleted supernatant, and miR-200c and miR-146a were higher in cell-free fraction. In lupus patients, all urinary miRNAs tested were mainly in exosomes with lower levels outside them (p<0.05 and p<0.01, respectively). This pattern is especially relevant in patients with active lupus nephritis compared to the control group or to the SLE patients in absence of lupus nephritis, with miR-146a being the most augmented (100-fold change, p<0.001). Among the exosomal miRNAs tested, only the miR-146a discriminates the presence of active lupus nephritis. In conclusion, urinary miRNAs are contained primarily in exosomes in systemic lupus erythematosus, and the main increment was found in the presence of active lupus nephritis. These findings underscore the attractiveness of exosomal miRNAs in urine, a non-invasive method, as potential renal disease markers.

Concepts: Cyclophosphamide, Lupus erythematosus, Rheumatology, Lupus nephritis, Glomerulonephritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus


Non-adherence to disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) hampers the targets of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) treatment, obtaining low disease activity and decreasing radiological progression. This study investigates if, and to what extent, non-adherence to treatment would lead to a higher 28-joint count disease activity score (DAS28) in the first year after diagnosis.

Concepts: Uranium, Cyclophosphamide, Sulfasalazine, Methotrexate, Rheumatology, Hydroxychloroquine, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Rheumatoid arthritis



OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of subcutaneous golimumab as add-on therapy in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) despite disease-modifying antirheumatic drug (DMARD) treatment. To evaluate an intravenous plus subcutaneous (IV+SC) golimumab strategy in patients who had not attained remission. METHODS: GO-MORE was an open-label, multinational, prospective study in patients with active RA in typical clinical practice settings. In part 1, patients received add-on monthly 50-mg subcutaneous golimumab for 6 months. The percentage of patients with good/moderate European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) 28-joint disease activity score (DAS28)-erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) response was compared in patient subgroups with various concurrent or previous DMARD treatments. In part 2, patients with EULAR responses but not remission were randomly assigned to receive IV+SC or subcutaneous golimumab to month 12; DAS28-ESR remission was measured. RESULTS: 3366 patients were enrolled. At baseline of part 1, 3280 efficacy-evaluable patients had mean disease duration of 7.6 years and mean DAS28-ESR of 5.97 (SD=1.095). At month 6, 82.1% achieved good/moderate EULAR responses and 23.9% attained remission. When EULAR responses were analysed by the number of previously failed DMARD or the concomitant methotrexate dose, DMARD type, or corticosteroid use, no statistically significant differences were observed. Part 2 patients (N=490) who received IV+SC or subcutaneous golimumab achieved similar remission rates (∼25%). Adverse events were consistent with previous reports of golimumab and other tumour necrosis antagonists in this population. CONCLUSIONS: Add-on monthly subcutaneous golimumab resulted in good/moderate EULAR response in most patients; 25% achieved remission after 6 more months of golimumab, but an IV+SC regimen provided no additional efficacy over the subcutaneous regimen.

Concepts: Statistical significance, Cyclophosphamide, Sulfasalazine, Hydroxychloroquine, Rheumatology, Methotrexate, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Rheumatoid arthritis


Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with a broad spectrum of clinical and immunologic manifestations, of which lupus nephritis is the most common cause of morbidity and mortality. The development of nephritis in patients with SLE involves multiple pathogenic pathways including aberrant apoptosis, autoantibody production, immune complex deposition and complement activation. The 2003 International Society of Nephrology/Renal Pathology Society (ISN/RPS) classification system for lupus nephritis was widely accepted with high intraobserver and interobserver concordance to guide therapeutic strategy and provide prognostic information. However, this classification system is not based on the underlying disease pathophysiology. Some additional lesions that contribute to disease presentation, including glomerular crescents, podocyte injury, tubulointerstitial lesions and vascular injury, should be recognized. Although outcomes for patients with lupus nephritis have improved over the past 30 years, treatment of this disease remains challenging and is best approached on the basis of the underlying pathogenesis, which is only partially represented by the various pathological phenotypes defined by the ISN/RPS classification. Here, we discuss the heterogeneous mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis and how improved understanding of underlying disease mechanisms might help guide therapeutic strategies.

Concepts: Cyclophosphamide, Lupus erythematosus, Rheumatoid arthritis, Glomerulonephritis, Rheumatology, Lupus nephritis, Immune system, Systemic lupus erythematosus


In the present study, we sought to evaluate the complement activation product C4d as a marker for lupus nephritis in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Concepts: Cyclophosphamide, Lupus erythematosus, Glomerulonephritis, Rheumatology, Lupus nephritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus


To compare the risk of lupus-like events (LLEs) and vasculitis-like events (VLEs) in tumour necrosis factor-α inhibitor (TNFi)-treated patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) to those receiving non-biological disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (nbDMARDs).

Concepts: Arthritis, Cyclophosphamide, Hydroxychloroquine, Rheumatology, Disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, Rheumatoid arthritis