1,197 research outputs found

    Imaging Findings of Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy, A\u3b2-Related Angiitis (ABRA), and Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy-Related Inflammation

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    Vascular inflammation is present in a subset of patients with cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) and has a major influence in determining the disease manifestations. Radiological characterization of this subset is particularly important to achieve early recognition and treatment. We conducted this study to investigate the role of imaging in differentiating CAA with and without inflammation. We reviewed neuroimaging findings for 54 patients seen at Mayo Clinic over 25 years with pathological evidence of CAA and with available neuroimaging at the time of diagnosis. Clinical data were also recorded. Patients were grouped into CAA alone (no vascular inflammation), A\u3b2-related angiitis or ABRA (angiodestructive inflammation), and CAA-related inflammation or CAA-RI (perivascular inflammation). Imaging findings at presentation were compared among patient subgroups. Radiological features supporting a diagnosis of ABRA or CAA-RI were identified. Radiologic findings at diagnosis were available in 27 patients with CAA without inflammation, 22 with ABRA, and 5 with CAA-RI. On MRI, leptomeningeal disease alone or with infiltrative white matter was significantly more frequent at presentation in patients with ABRA or CAA-RI compared with those with CAA (29.6% vs. 3.7%, P=0.02; and 40.7% vs. 3.7%, P=0.002, respectively), whereas lobar hemorrhage was more frequent in patients with CAA (62.3% vs. 7.4%, P=0.0001). Overall, leptomeningeal involvement at presentation was present in 70.4% of patients with ABRA or CAA-RI and in only 7.4% of patients with CAA (P=0.0001). The sensitivity and specificity of leptomeningeal enhancement to identify patients with ABRA or CAA-RI were 70.4% and 92.6%, respectively, whereas the positive likelihood ratio (LR) was 9.5. The sensitivity and specificity of intracerebral hemorrhage to identify patients with CAA were 62.9% and 92.6%, respectively, whereas the positive LR was 8.5. Microbleeds were found in 70.4% of patients with inflammatory CAA at presentation. In conclusion, leptomeningeal enhancement and lobar hemorrhage at presentation may enable differentiation between CAA with and without inflammation. The identification at initial MRI of diffuse cortical-subcortical microbleeds in elderly patients presenting with infiltrative white matter process or prominent leptomeningeal enhancement is highly suggestive of vascular inflammatory CAA

    Pirfenidone for the treatment of interstitial lung disease associated to rheumatoid arthritis: a new scenario is coming?

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    Introduction: Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is a frequent extra-articular manifestation of Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but nowadays there are no randomized controlled clinical trials to support therapeutic guidelines. RA-ILD, especially with UIP pattern, shares some similarities with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, suggesting a possible role of antifibrotic therapy in these patients. To date, there are no published data supporting the use of pifenidone in RA-ILD. We describe for the first time two patients with a diagnosis of RA-ILD successfully treated with hydroxychloroquine and pirfenidone, without adverse events. Case presentation: Patient 1 and patient 2 were first diagnosed with IPF (UIP pattern at high-resolution computed tomography, no other signs or symptoms suggesting other forms of ILD, routine laboratory examinations and immunological texts negative). Patients started pirfenidone 2403 mg daily. Few months later, they referred to our multidisciplinary outpatient for arthritis. ACPA and RF were positive. A diagnosis of RA was performed and treatment with corticosteroids and hydroxychloroquine was started, in association with pirfenidone. In both cases we assessed the stabilization of articular and lung manifestations, without adverse events. Discussion: In absence of randomized controlled trials, the optimal treatment of RA-ILD has not been determined and remains challenging. When considering therapeutic options for RA-ILD, both pulmonary and extra-thoracic disease manifestations and degrees of activity should be assessed and taken into consideration. Future prospective research might change RA-ILD management, moving to a more personalized approach based on the identification of different phenotypes of the disease or to a combination of immunosuppressive and antifibrotic treatment

    An Update of the Mayo Clinic Cohort of Patients with Adult Primary Central Nervous System Vasculitis

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    Primary central nervous system vasculitis (PCNSV) is an uncommon condition in which lesions are limited to vessels of the brain and spinal cord. Because the clinical manifestations are not specific, the diagnosis is often difficult, and permanent disability and death are frequent outcomes. This study is based on a cohort of 163 consecutive patients with PCNSV who were examined at the Mayo Clinic over a 29-year period from 1983 to 2011. The aim of the study was to define the characteristics of these patients, which represents the largest series in adults reported to date. A total of 105 patients were diagnosed by angiographic findings and 58 by biopsy results. The patients diagnosed by biopsy more frequently had at presentation cognitive dysfunction, greater cerebrospinal fluid total protein concentrations, less frequent cerebral infarcts, and more frequent leptomeningeal gadolinium-enhanced lesions on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), along with less mortality and disability at last follow-up. The patients diagnosed by angiograms more frequently had at presentation hemiparesis or a persistent neurologic deficit or stroke, more frequent infarcts on MRI and an increased mortality. These differences were mainly related to the different size of the vessels involved in the 2 groups. Although most patients responded to therapy with glucocorticoids alone or in conjunction with cyclophosphamide and tended to improve during the follow-up period, an overall increased mortality rate was observed. Relapses occurred in one-quarter of the patients and were less frequent in patients treated with prednisone and cyclophosphamide compared with those treated with prednisone alone. The mortality rate and degree of disability at last follow-up were greater in those with increasing age, cerebral infarctions on MRI, angiographic large vessel involvement, and diagnosis made by angiography alone, but were lower in those with gadolinium-enhanced lesions on MRI and in those with cerebral amyloid angiopathy. The annual incidence rate of PCNSV was estimated at 2.4 cases per 1,000,000 person-years. PCNSV appears to consist of several subsets defined by the size of the vessels involved, the clinical characteristics at presentation, MRI findings, and histopathological patterns on biopsy. Early recognition and treatment may reduce poor outcomes

    The Role of PET in the Diagnosis and Disease Activity Assessment in Large Vessel Vasculitis

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    The role of 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) positron emission tomography (18F-FDG PET) in the diagnosis of large vessel vasculitis (LVV) is well established. It permits us to assess the extent and the grade of vascular involvement and to rule out the other causes in clinical scenarios characterized by less specific symptoms. The advantages of 18F-FDG PET are far less clear in monitoring disease activity over time. Studies looking for the role of 18F-FDG PET as a potential biomarker had conflicting results and whether and when to repeat it during follow-up is based on clinical experience. A comprehensive assessment, including clinical, laboratory and morphological imaging is still required to monitor patients with large-vessel vasculitis over time. The aim of this review is to present more recent data about the utility of 18 F-FDG PET in the diagnosis and follow-up of LVV

    Subclinical giant cell arteritis in polymyalgia rheumatica: Concurrent conditions or a common spectrum of inflammatory diseases?

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    Giant cell arteritis (GCA) and polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) are common conditions in older adults. Their clinical connection has been recognized over time, with many patients experiencing both conditions separately, simultaneously or in temporal sequence to each other. Early GCA detection is essential to prevent vascular damage, but identifying subclinical GCA in PMR patients remains a challenge and routine screening is not standard practice. Subclinical GCA prevalence in newly diagnosed PMR patients ranges from 23 to 29%, depending on the screening method. Vessel wall imaging and temporal artery biopsy can detect subclinical GCA. Epidemiology and trigger factors show similarities between the two conditions, but PMR is more common than GCA. Genetic and pathogenesis studies reveal shared inflammatory mechanisms involving dendritic cells, pro-inflammatory macrophages, and an IL-6 signature. However, the inflammatory infiltrates differ, with extensive T cell infiltrates seen in GCA while PMR shows an incomplete profile of T cell and macrophage-derived cytokines. Glucocorticoid treatment is effective for both conditions, but the steroid requirements vary. PMR overall mortality might be similar to the general population, while GCA patients with aortic inflammatory aneurysms face increased mortality risk. The GCA-PMR association warrants further research. Considering their kinship, recently the term GCA-PMR Spectrum Disease (GPSD) has been proposed

    Nailfold videocapillaroscopy in antisynthetase syndrome

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    A 57-year-old woman with a diagnosis of antisynthetase syndrome (ASSD) underwent a nailfold videocapillaroscopy (NVC) showing a scleroderma pattern. Alterations in capillary morphology have been reported in adults with inflammatory myositis (IM) but only recently have the differences in NVC findings between these two diseases been established. ASSD is currently classified as a subset of IM, for which reason only a few studies in literature evaluate its specific hallmarks, showing nonspecific features of NVC in patients with polymyositis and dermatomyositis (DM) and antisynthetase antibodies. To our knowledge, this is the first description of ASSD capillaroscopy features, and the first report of NVC in ASSD with evidence of scleroderma pattern. Further studies are needed to define clearly frequency, typical features, and possible correlation with clinical and serological data of NVC changes in ASSD, differences between microangiopathy in ASSD and systemic sclerosis or DM

    On-farm welfare assessment protocol for suckling piglets: A pilot study

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    Piglets experience welfare issues during the nursery phase. This pilot study aimed to test a protocol for identifying the main welfare issues in suckling piglets and to investigate relationships among animal-based indicators and management conditions. Litters (n = 134), composed of undocked and tail-docked piglets, were assessed at two farms. After birth, observations were made at the age of 7 days and 20 days. At each observation, housing conditions (HCs) were measured, and 13 animal-based indicators, modified from Welfare Quality, Classyfarm, Assurewel and others introduced ex novo, were recorded. A generalized linear mixed model was used, considering animal-based indicators as dependent variables and farm, piglets\u2019 age, tail docking and HCs as independent variables. The main welfare issues were lesions of the limb (32.6%) and the front area of the body (22.8%), a poor body condition score (BCS) (16.1%), ear lesions (15.5%), and tail lesions (9.7%). Negative social behaviour (e.g., fighting and biting) represented 7.0% of the active behaviour, with tail biting observed in 8.7% of the piglets. While lesions on the front areas of the body were mostly associated with the farm, tail lesions, low BCS, tear staining, and diarrhoea were associated with light and nest temperature (p < 0.05). In particular, tail biting increased with scarce light (p = 0.007). Tail docking did not influence any animal-based indicator except for tear staining which was higher in the tail-docked as compared to the undocked piglets (p = 0.05), increasing awareness on this practice as a source of negative emotion in piglets. The protocol tested may be a promising tool for assessing on-farm piglets\u2019 welfare
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