Lege Artis Medicinae

[Methylprednisolone pulse therapy in systemic lupus erythematosus]

GERGELY Péter1

APRIL 27, 1994

Lege Artis Medicinae - 1994;4(04)

[The aim of this retrospective study was to assess the efficacy and safety of methylprednisolone pulse therapy. Thirty five patients with severe systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus nephritis, severe hemolysis and antiphospholipid syndrome with central nervous system involvement, arterial occlusion and thombocytopenia) were treated by pulse methylprednisolone, followed by long-term corticosteroid (and cyclophosphamide) therapy. Thirty four patients achieved remission, after a mean of 4.7 weeks, which lasted on average for > 2.7 years. Six patients presented with an exacerbation after 1-2.5 years. Twenty eight patients are still in remission. No side effects were observed during pulse therapy. Methylprednisolone bolus therapy is safe and effective in severe systemic lupus erythematosus, including cases of lupus nephritis and severe central nervous system manifestations, but an appropriate choice of long-term therapy is essential.]

AFFILIATIONS

  1. Semmelweis Orvostudományi Egyetem II. Belklinika Budapest

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[Laboratory control of the oral anticoagulant therapy]

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[There are two basic requirements in the treatment and prophylaxis of thromboembo lic diseases by chronic anticoagulation with coumarin (Syncumar). The first is the preven tion of a new thrombosis while the second is the avoidance of concomitant bleeding complications. For this reason it is necessary to achieve an appropriate anticoagulation level which can be characterised by labora tory measurement of the prothrombin level. In this paper, the theoretical and practical as pects of the laboratory control of Syncumar treatment are reviewed. The most serious problem is that the prothrombin level (Quick time) determinations utilising thromboplastin preparations from different sources give diffe rent values in the same patient plasma, which makes comparison of data from different laboratories impossible. The paper gives a brief overview of the definition and practical use of the International Sensitivity Index (ISI), characterising the different thromboplastin preparations, and the International Normali sed Ratio (INR) which can be calculated on the basis of the ISI. In spite of unquestionable improvements, the uncertainty about instrument-thromboplastin-ISI relationships reduces confidence in the INR system, especially when differences in INR values have clinical significance. Efforts need to be directed toward providing local, laboratory/instrument specific ISI values. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The clinical significance of amaurosis fugax]

HORVÁTH Sándor, SOMLAI Judit

[The symptoms of amaurosis fugax (transient monocular loss of vision) indicate not only atherosclerotic disease of the ocular or extra cranial cerebral vessels, but also that of the systemic circulation. The prognostic significance of amaurosis fugax developing after the age of 50-55 years is similar to that of transient ischaemic attack of the brain: it could be a harbinger of atherosclerotic disease of the extra- and intracranial brain vessels as well as the coronary arteries. According to the mortality data, patients presenting with symptoms suggestive of amaurosis fugax will die due to heart disease, primarily myocardial infarct. Diagnostic evaluation should include not only ophthalmological, but also neurological and cardiovascular in vestigation to verify carotid and coronary atherosclerosis. Therapy of the whole disease and not just the symptoms will influence life expectancy in patients with amaurosis fugax. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[The value of immunoscintigraphy in patients with metastatic malignant melanoma]

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[Immunoscintigraphy with 99MTc-labeled F(ab'),fragments of monoclonal antibody (reactive with a high molecular associated antigen) was performed in patients with malignant melanoma. 24 investigations on 23 patients were carried out. A total of 40 lesions in 23 patients were detected by chest radiography, ultrasound, CT, bone scintigraphy or histology. 24 of the 40 lesions (60%) were visualized by immunoscintigraphy. Following correction of the physiological liver background by digital subtraction, 3 liver metastases were localized. These results indicate that immunoscintigraphy with radiolabeled F(ab')2 fragments can provide clinically useful information. ]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[Methodological letter from the Public Health and Epidemiology Technical College on vegetarian and similar diets in crèches and educational establishments]

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[Swedisch aspirin low-dose trial]

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[OBJECTIVE - To assess the relation between clinical features and the presence of SS-A(Ro) and SS-B(La) autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus. PATIENTS - The data of 200 patients with definite systemic lupus erythematosus were analysed. SSA( Ro) and SS-B(La) antibodies were assessed by enzyme immunoassay. RESULTS - 40.5% of systemic lupus erythematosus' patients were SS-A(Ro) and/or SS-B(La) antibody positive (’positive group’); the majority of such patients displayed both antibodies, 16.5% had SSA( Ro) antibodies alone, while only 2% has SS-B(La) antibodies alone. There were no differences in the occurrence of arthritis, secondary antiphospholipid syndrome and hematologic manifestations between the positive and negative groups; serositis was more common in the positive group. Skin manifestations, in particular subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus and urticaria vasculitis were more frequent in the positive group, while kidney and central nervous system involvation, in particular severe forms were less frequent. Secondary Sjögren's syndrome occurred exclusively in antibody positive patients. Sm, RNP and Scl-70 antibodies were more frequently found in the positive group. CONCLUSIONS - The presence of SS-A(Ro) and/or SS-B(La) antibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus has some prognostic significance; in antibody-positive patients there is an increased risk for skin lesions (in particular subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus and urticaria vasculitis) and secondary Sjögren’s syndrome and a decreased risk for severe nephritis or central nervous system involvement.]

Hungarian Immunology

[MCP-1 (monocyte chemoattractant protein-1) G/A and T-bet (T-helper promoter factor) C/G polymorphisms in primary Sjögren’s syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus]

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[INTRODUCTION - Monocyte chemoattractant protein- 1 (MCP-1) is a β-chemokine involved in the attraction and accumulation of mononuclear granulocytes towards the site of inflammation. One of the transcriptional factors of T-cells is called T-bet. PATIENTS AND METHODS - The authors investigated the MCP-1-2518 G/A and T-bet 310 C/G (His33Gln) polymorphisms evaluating the distribution of the specific genotypes in 45 patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome (pSS), 51 patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and in 320 healthy blood donors as the control group. MCP-1-2518 G/A and T-bet 310 C/G polymorphisms were detected with molecular genetic methods from the purified genomic DNA. RESULTS - The frequency of the MCP-1-2518 AG heterozygous genotype decreased tendentiously only in SLE patients, while the frequency of the MCP-1 AA homozygous genotype increased comparing to the control group (13.7% vs. 5.9%; Pearson’s χ2 test=6.125, ns.). Analyzing the genotype frequency for the MCP-1 wild (GG) and AA homozygous genotypes in pSS group, the MCP-1 AA homozygous genotype proved to be more frequent comparing to the control group (82.8%:17.2% vs. 90.7%:9.3%; Pearson’s χ2 test 1.755, ns). These relations showed only tendentious association in the SLE group (81.6%:18.7% vs. 90.7%:9.3%; Pearson’s χ2 2.811, p=0.094, ns.) There was not any significant correlation between the investigated MCP-1- 2518 G/A and the T-bet 310 C/G polymorphisms and the TNF-α -308 G/A and -238 allele polymorphisms. The frequency of T-bet was equal in relation with heterozygous (CG) to wild CC genotype in the investigated two autoimmune disorders. The GG homozygous genotype for T-bet could not be found in SLE and pSS groups, likely to be a protective factor. CONCLUSIONS - The above mentioned polymorphisms didn’t show any significant correlation with TNF-α -308 and -238 allele polymorphisms. The further research of the MCP-1 G/A and T-bet C/G polymorphisms is important, because of their possible prognostic importance for SLE and pSS.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

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Lege Artis Medicinae

[Analysis of short-term and long-term survival and causes of death in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus]

TARR Tünde, KISS Emese, SZEGEDI Gyula, ZEHER Margit

[INTRODUCTION - In systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), both short-term and long-term survival rates have improved worldwide. We analysed retrospectively the short-term and long-term survival data and causes of death at a single center. These data were compared with previous survival data recorded at the same centre and published in international studies. PATIENTS AND METHOD - The data of 550 patients with SLE were analysed between 1970 and 2009. We examined the effect of clinical symptoms, age, severity and onset of the disease and the applied immunosuppressive treatment on survival, using the Kaplan-Meier method. RESULTS - Survival rates at 5, 10, 15 and 20 years after the diagnosis were 98%, 94%, 90% and 89%, respectively. Late onset, neuropsychiatric symptoms and severe SLE were found to be prognostic factors. Manifestations affecting other organs and the applied immunosuppressive therapy did not influence survival rates. During the study period, 57 out of the 550 patients (10.4%) died. The main causes of death were cardiovascular complications (50.9%), infections (21%), and malignancies (12.3%). CONCLUSIONS - Our results show that among patients with SLE, it is mostly longterm survival that has increased, owing to the close control of patients. The increase in cardiovascular mortality highlights the importance of regular screening.]