Lege Artis Medicinae


BÉLY Miklós, APÁTHY Ágnes

DECEMBER 20, 2004

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2004;14(12)

[INTRODUCTION - The lethal septic infection was studied in a randomized (non-selected) autopsy population of 234 in-patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The patients died at the National Institute of Rheumatology between 1970 and 1999. PATIENTS AND METHOD - The aims of this study were to determine the prevalence of lethal septic infection with or without purulent arthritis in rheumatoid arthritis; the relationship between purulent arthritis and lethal septic infection; the clinically missed diagnosis of lethal septic infection and purulent arthritis; the influence of the main complications and associated diseases on lethal septic infection with and without purulent arthritis; the pathogens in lethal septic infection; and the clinico-laboratory parameters associated with lethal septic infection in rheumatoid arthritis. RESULTS - Lethal septic infection was found in 31 (13.24%) of 234 rheumatoid arthritis patients. Purulent arthritis complicated lethal septic infection in 15 (6.4%) of 31 patients. There was a significant association between lethal septic infection and purulent arthritis. Sepsis was detected clinically in 17 of 31 lethal cases and purulent arthritis was detected 9 of 15 septic infection complicated with suppurative articular processes. The coexistent complications (systemic vasculitis, AA amyloidosis), and associated diseases (tuberculosis with or without miliary dissemination, malignant tumors, diabetes mellitus) did not influence the prevalence of septic infection. The most frequent pathogenic agents were: Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Klebsiella species, Streptococcus species. The patients with septic infection had significantly lower levels of beta-globulin, and higher values of Waaler-Rose or latex fixation test in comparison to patients without septic infection or without complications. CONCLUSION - Lethal septic infection may exist in rheumatoid arthritis without the classical clinical symptoms of sepsis, and clinically latent suppurative processes may be found at autopsy. The missed clinical diagnosis of a fatal complication is explained by the weak immune response and atypical clinical symptoms of elderly patients mainly treated with steroids and immunosuppressive drugs.]



Further articles in this publication

Lege Artis Medicinae


MOHÁCSI Attila, LIZANECZ Erzsébet, ÉDES István, CZURIGA István

[The pathobiological aim of treatment with angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor is to restore the balance between nitrogen-monoxide and angiotensin II due to inhibition of blood and tissue angiotensin converting enzyme. The clinical consquences of the inhibition of tissue angiotensin converting enzyme in patients with additionally high (HOPE) and low (EUROPA) cardiovascular risk without left ventricular dysfunction has already been demonstrated. Ramipril and the perindopril reduce the risk of combined end-point of these trials such as cardiovascular mortality, reinfarction and resuscitated sudden cardiac death. However, pharmacological and genetic differences in blocking of tissue angiotensin converting enzyme may influence the cardioprotective effect of various angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors. Thus new, well-designed, controlled clinical trials are needed to determine the role of angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor with different tissue angiotensin converting enzyme affinity in cardiovascular disease.]

Lege Artis Medicinae


Lege Artis Medicinae

[A new medical field is born - The first world congress of immuno-genomics, Budapest]

PÓS Zoltán, WIENER Zoltán

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Hungarian Cannot be Used Indeed? Anglicisms in the Hungarian Medical Language]


Lege Artis Medicinae



[The organization, the budget and the practical delivery of modern healthcare are all based upon the sum of available evidences. However, in the individualized drug therapeutic decisions beside the external evidences the personal experience of the treating physician as well as the preferences and expectations of the patients must be represented with equal emphasis. Without the interaction of these three modern, patient oriented medicine is not conceivable. Evidenced based drug application is primarily based upon the results of prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trials. The individual experiences and the systematic observations represent the lowest level of the evidence hierarchy. The results of the clinical studies are expressed as the absolute difference of the results of the treated and control groups and as relative values relating the outcome of the experimental group to the control, respectively. In practice the easily interpretable term "number needed to treat" is widely used. It shows how many patients have to be treated relative to the control group in order to observe the expected therapeutic outcome in one case. The wealth of evidences cannot be efficiently used without systematization in the daily practice. Therefore, the data collected from the independent publications containing the primary evidences are subjected to a joint statistical evaluation. Thereafter, the results are combined in systematic reviews by independent experts following thorough weighting without prejudice. Then short summaries, more easily and rapidly digested by practicing physicians are made according to the same principle. They are restricted to the presentation of the problem, the tabulation of the summarized data and the conclusion. It is expected that in the future systems combining the electronically stored patient's data with external evidences making possible the patient oriented presentation of the sum and hierarchy of evidences will be extensively used.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Hungarian Immunology

[Therapeutic treatment of rheumatoid arthritis by gene therapy-induced apoptosis]

JAMES M. Woods, VOLIN V. Michael

[Gene therapy was initially conceptualized as a treatment for individuals with genetic disorders, where defective genes would be replaced with functional ones. This concept was eventually broadened to include the use of gene therapy as a delivery mechanism for gene products effective in the treatment of diseases. The latter use of gene therapy, essentially as a drug delivery mechanism, was recognized to be particularly useful in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis because it may have many advantages over traditional therapies. Two groups of target genes that are potentially useful for gene transfer include soluble inflammatory mediators that in theory could suppress the inflammatory process, and apoptotic mediators that may induce cell death, thereby suppressing the accumulation of inflammatory cells in the joint. To date the former group of target genes has received most of the attention, but it is the latter group of apoptosis-inducing targets that will be discussed in this review. We will focus our discussion on target genes that have shown success at inducing apoptosis in animal models of arthritis and will also include discussion of the apoptotic pathways that are altered in the attempts to reduce inflamed synovial tissue.]

Hungarian Immunology

[First experience with rituximab treatment in rheumatoid artritis: a case report of a multiresistant patient]


[INTRODUCTION - Here we describe the case of the first Hungarian rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patient treated with RTX. CASE REPORT - This multiresistant patient had received numerous immunosuppressive drugs and all three anti-TNF agents had been tried. These biologicals had to be stopped due to inefficacy or side effects. RTX treatment resulted in some subjective clinical improvement, as well as a decrease in rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP production. Clinical activity assessed by DAS28 fell after 18 weeks. B cells disappeared from the circulation, however, the percentage of activated T cells increased. We observed initial B cell recovery after 18 weeks. CONCLUSION - Clinical studies suggest that RTX is more effective right after the failure of the first TNF inhibitor. Efficacy of RTX in this patient suggests that this drug may also be effective in a multiresistant patient, who had tried numerous TNF blockers.]


[The pathogenic and clinical significance of the RANK-RANKL-osteoprotegerin system in rheumatoid arthritis]


[Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterised by increased local and generalised bone resorption, which manifests in the develoment of marginal erosions and generalised osteoporosis, respectively. An increasing number of data suggest that lymphocytes, proinflammatory cytokines and other mediators involved in inflammation contribute to arthritic bone resorption. Therefore, the term ‘osteoimmunology’ has also become widely used. In RA, Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor kappa B (RANK) and its ligand (RANKL) play a crucial role in bone resorption. These proteins, which belong to the tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-a) receptor and TNF ligand superfamilies, respectively, activate osteoclasts while interacting with T cells, synovial fibroblasts and other cytokines (e.g. IL-1, IL-17), which results in bone resorption. Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is a decoy receptor that also belongs to the TNF receptor family and inhibits RANK-RANKL interactions. There is increased RANKL production and decreased OPG production in RA. The interaction of RANKL with IL-17 is particularly important. Regarding therapy, sulfasalazine, methotrexate and biological agents, especially TNF inhibitors suppress RANKL-mediated bone resorption and thus the development of joint erosions. RANKL-RANK interaction can be directly inhibited by recombinant OPG or anti-RANKL antibody (denosumab). Among these agents, denosumab gave promising results in experiments performed in animal models of arthritis. These were followed by a phase II human RA trial, which proved that denosumab decreased MRI erosion scores in RA.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Therapeutic strategies in rheumatoid arthritis]


[In this review, we follow the consecutive steps of the internationally accepted therapeutic strategy of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We summarise in brief the current European recommendations, and provide some advice on methotrexate (MTX) therapy. The initiation, maintenance and, if needed, switch of biological therapy is also discussed. Having reached remission or low disease activity (LDA), tapering or discontinuation of biologics may be considered. Finally, we review the possibilities and the most important biomarkers of personalised treatment.]


[Vitamin D receptor gene BsmI polymorphism in rheumatoid arthritis and associated osteoporosis]

PÁKOZDI Angéla és munkatársai

[Rheumatoid arthritis is frequently associated with secondary osteopenia or osteoporosis. Gene polymorphisms, such as the BsmI polymorphism of the vitamin D receptor gene are likely to be be involved in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. However, very little information is available on the role of the BsmI polymorphism in rheumatoid arthritis or in arthritisassociated metabolic bone disorders. Here the authors review international data on vitamin D receptor gene polymorphisms and their relationship with bone metabolism.The authors emphasize that more detailed research is needed to clarify the relationship between these polymorphisms and rheumatoid arthritis.]