Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Raynaud's phenomenon


OBJECTIVE: MQX-503 is a novel nitroglycerine preparation designed to absorb quickly and allow local vasodilatation in the skin. We examined the efficacy and tolerability of this medication in Raynaud phenomenon (RP) in a laboratory-based study. METHODS: In this multi-centre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, cross-over study, subjects were treated with 0.5% or 1.25% nitroglycerine or placebo gel. Subjects received each dose twice in a randomised order. Each study session consisted of baseline laser Doppler measurements, study gel application and 5 min of cold chamber exposure (-20°C). Blood flow (BF) was measured at the end of exposure and for the next 120 min at set intervals. Other outcome measures included achievement of baseline BF; the time to achieve 50% and 70% baseline skin temperature (ST); and pain, tingling and numbness scores. RESULTS: 37 subjects completed 214 treatment periods. Time to achieve baseline BF was significantly shorter in the two treated groups (HR=1.77 and 2.02 for 0.5% and 1.25% vs placebo, respectively). The proportion of subjects achieving baseline BF was 45.8% for placebo, 66.2% for 0.5% and 69% for 1.25% (p=0.01 and p=0.002 for 0.5% and 1.25% vs placebo, respectively). No meaningful differences were seen in ST or pain/numbness/tingling scores. Treatment was well tolerated with no serious adverse events. CONCLUSIONS: Treatment with MQX-503 caused a significant improvement in skin BF compared with placebo. Data from this proof of concept study suggest benefit of MQX-503 in subjects with RP.

Concepts: Topical, Paresthesia, Skin, Placebo, Proof of concept, Raynaud's phenomenon, Measurement, Clinical trial


Raynaud’s phenomenon often precedes the diagnosis of systemic sclerosis and is the first symptom of the disease in many cases. Antinuclear antibody positivity can assist in the early identification of cases of isolated Raynaud’s phenomenon likely to progress to systemic sclerosis. However, the specific differences between rate of progression for different scleroderma hallmark antibodies is less clear. We review the predictive potential of ANA positivity and nailfold capillaroscopy for identifying cases of Raynaud’s phenomenon which may progress to connective tissue diseases. We also have reviewed data from our own large scleroderma cohort to explore the relationship between antibody subtype and time to development of SSc. Duration of pre-existing Raynaud’s phenomenon may be an important determinant of the profile of systemic sclerosis cases identified through screening. Ninety-five percent of our patients with isolated Raynaud’s phenomenon, negative autoimmune serology on more than one visit and normal capillaroscopy score showed no progression to connective tissue disease. Duration of antecedent Raynaud’s phenomenon differs between disease subsets and scleroderma-specific ANA patterns.

Concepts: Immune system, Systemic scleroderma, Blood, CREST syndrome, Raynaud's phenomenon, Autoimmune diseases, Rheumatology, Scleroderma


Raynaud’s phenomenon and digital ulcers (DUs) are frequent among systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients. Our aim was to investigate the diagnostic and predictive value for DU of endothelial dysfunction biomarkers (flow-mediated dilatation (FMD), serum levels of endothelin-1 (ET-1), and ADMA), angiogenic/angiostatic biomarkers (vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), endoglin, and endostatin), and nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC). We compared our results with a literature review. In a cohort study of 77 SSc patients, we followed two groups of patients: (i) naïve DU patients (39) and (ii) active DU at baseline (38 patients) for 3 years. Telangiectasia (p < 0.001) and diffuse disease subset (p = 0.001) were significantly more frequent in patients with active DU at enrolment. Additionally, NVC late scleroderma pattern (AUC 0.846, 95%CI 0.760-0.932), lower values of FMD (AUC 0.754, 95%CI 0.643-0.864), increased serum levels of ET-1 (AUC 0.758, 95%CI 0.649-0.866), ADMA (AUC 0.634, 95%CI 0.511-0.757), and endoglin as well as low VEGF serum levels (AUC 0.705, 95%CI 0.579-0.830) were significantly associated to new DU events in the 3-year follow-up. Cox regression analysis showed that FMD > 9.41 % (HR 0.37, 95%CI 0.14-0.99); ET-1 >11.85 pmol/L (HR 3.81, 95%CI 1.41-10.26) and late NVC pattern (HR 2.29, 95%CI 0.97-5.38) were independent predictors of DU recurrence. When estimating the probability of occurrence of first DU in naïve DU patients, only late NVC pattern (HR 12.66, 95%CI 2.06-77.89) was an independent predictor factor. In conclusion, late scleroderma patterns in NVC are the best independent predictors of SSc patients who are at risk of developing DU. Endothelial dysfunction assessed by FMD and ET-1 was also found to be an independent predictor of DU recurrence in a 3-year follow-up.

Concepts: Angiogenesis, Endothelium, Vascular endothelial growth factor, Systemic scleroderma, Raynaud's phenomenon, CREST syndrome, Rheumatology, Scleroderma


Raynaud’s phenomenon is common but often comes to medical attention only after many years. This review updates the understanding of the pathogenesis, the approach to management, and current approaches to drug therapy.

Concepts: Medicine, Rheumatology, Raynaud's phenomenon, Pharmacology, Therapy


Purpose In this multicenter study, we evaluated the cumulative burden of morbidity (CBM) among > 1,200 testicular cancer survivors and applied factor analysis to determine the co-occurrence of adverse health outcomes (AHOs). Patients and Methods Participants were ≤ 55 years of age at diagnosis, finished first-line chemotherapy ≥ 1 year previously, completed a comprehensive questionnaire, and underwent physical examination. Treatment data were abstracted from medical records. A CBM score encompassed the number and severity of AHOs, with ordinal logistic regression used to assess associations with exposures. Nonlinear factor analysis and the nonparametric dimensionality evaluation to enumerate contributing traits procedure determined which AHOs co-occurred. Results Among 1,214 participants, approximately 20% had a high (15%) or very high/severe (4.1%) CBM score, whereas approximately 80% scored medium (30%) or low/very low (47%). Increased risks of higher scores were associated with four cycles of either ifosfamide, etoposide, and cisplatin (odds ratio [OR], 1.96; 95% CI, 1.04 to 3.71) or bleomycin, etoposide, and cisplatin (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.04 to 1.98), older attained age (OR, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.10 to 1.26), current disability leave (OR, 3.53; 95% CI, 1.57 to 7.95), less than a college education (OR, 1.44; 95% CI, 1.11 to 1.87), and current or former smoking (OR, 1.28; 95% CI, 1.02 to 1.63). CBM score did not differ after either chemotherapy regimen ( P = .36). Asian race (OR, 0.41; 95% CI, 0.23 to 0.72) and vigorous exercise (OR, 0.68; 95% CI, 0.52 to 0.89) were protective. Variable clustering analyses identified six significant AHO clusters (χ2P < .001): hearing loss/damage, tinnitus (OR, 16.3); hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes (OR, 9.8); neuropathy, pain, Raynaud phenomenon (OR, 5.5); cardiovascular and related conditions (OR, 5.0); thyroid disease, erectile dysfunction (OR, 4.2); and depression/anxiety, hypogonadism (OR, 2.8). Conclusion Factors associated with higher CBM may identify testicular cancer survivors in need of closer monitoring. If confirmed, identified AHO clusters could guide the development of survivorship care strategies.

Concepts: Factor analysis, Raynaud's phenomenon, Etoposide, Bleomycin, Chemotherapy regimens, Chemotherapy, Cancer, Testicular cancer


To report the predictive value of nail-fold capillaroscopy (NFC) patterns of vasculopathy for systemic sclerosis (Scleroderma; SSc) in an unselected cohort of patients with Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP).

Concepts: Finger, Mucinoses, Autoimmune diseases, Systemic scleroderma, CREST syndrome, Raynaud's phenomenon, Rheumatology, Scleroderma


Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP) is a well defined clinical syndrome characterized by recurrent episodes of digital vasospasm triggered by exposure to physical/chemical or emotional stress. RP has been classified as primary or secondary, depending on whether it occurs as an isolated condition (pRP) or is associated to an underlying disease, mainly a connective tissue disease (CTD-RP). In both cases, it manifests with unique “triple” (pallor, cyanosis and erythema), or “double” color changes. pRP is usually a benign condition, while sRP can evolve and be complicated by acral digital ulcers and gangrene, which may require surgical treatment. The pathogenesis of RP has not yet been entirely clarified, nor it is known whether autoantibodies have a role in RP. Even so, recent advances in our understanding of the pathophysiology have highlighted novel potential therapeutic targets. Aim of this review is to discuss the etiology, epidemiology, risk factors, clinical manifestations, recently disclosed pathogenic mechanisms underlying RP and their correlation with the available therapeutic options, focusing primarily on pRP and CTD-RP.

Concepts: The Canon of Medicine, Epidemiology, Medicine, Raynaud's phenomenon


To systematically review the literature with regard to the prevalence, incidence, risk factors and associations of primary Raynaud’s phenomenon (PRP).

Concepts: Raynaud's phenomenon, Medical statistics, Epidemiology


Raynaud’s phenomenon (RP) describes the phenomenon of recurrent vasospasm of digital arteries, associated with skin colour changes: pallor, cyanosis and erythema. Twin studies have indicated a genetic predisposition for RP; however, the precise aetiology of RP remains unknown. It is thought that genetic variation in temperature-responsive or vasospastic genes might underlie RP so performed a candidate gene study in a large, population based sample. We assessed the association between RP and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the TRPA1, TRPM8, CALCA, CALCB and NOS1 genes.

Concepts: RNA, Molecular biology, Bioinformatics, Population genetics, Gene, Raynaud's phenomenon, Genetics, DNA


Objectives Antibodies to phosphatidylserine/prothrombin complex (aPS/PT) detectable in sera of some patients with antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) have been shown to correlate with thrombosis. However, associations of aPS/PT antibodies with APS related disorders remain unclear. Aim To evaluate whether there are any associations between aPS/PT antibodies and Raynaud phenomenon, migraine and/or valvular lesions in primary thrombotic APS (PAPS). Methods We enrolled 67 consecutive patients (56 women) with thrombotic PAPS (VTE in 80.6%), aged 46.2 ± 13.5 years. The exclusion criteria were: acute coronary syndromes or stroke within preceding 6 months, cancer, severe comorbidities and pregnancy. The IgG and IgM aPS/PT antibodies were determined by ELISA with the cut-off of 30 units. We recorded Raynaud phenomenon, migraine and valvular lesions. Results Positive IgM or/and IgG aPS/PT antibodies were observed in 29 patients (43.3%), with a higher prevalence of IgM antibodies ( n = 27, 40.3%) compared with IgG isotype ( n = 12, 17.9%, p = 0.014). aPS/PT antibodies were observed most commonly in patients with triple aPL ( n = 12, 85.7%) compared with those with double ( n = 5, 35.7%) or single aPL antibodies (n = 12, 30.8%, p = 0.03), with no association with demographics, the ANA titre, the type of thrombotic events or medications. Raynaud phenomenon, migraine and valvular lesions were observed in 15% ( n = 10), 30% ( n = 20) and 18% ( n = 12) of the patients, respectively. Raynaud phenomenon and migraine, but not valvular lesions, were markedly more frequent in PAPS patients presenting with positive aPS/PT antibodies ( n = 10, 34.5% vs. n = 0, 0%; p = 0.0001). Conclusions In PAPS patients aPS/PT antibodies are related to the occurrence of both Raynaud phenomenon and migraine.

Concepts: Immunoglobulin M, Syndrome, Raynaud's phenomenon, Glycoproteins, Immunology, Antibodies, Immune system, Syndromes