Lege Artis Medicinae

[Rituximab therapy in rheumatoid arthritis]

SÜTŐ Gábor

DECEMBER 10, 2009

Lege Artis Medicinae - 2009;19(12)

[Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic, lifelong disease that causes severe joint deformity, reduces quality of life, and, if not treated appopriately, leads to disability and substantial premature mortality. Its treatment is a multistep procedure, where different grades of treatment options follow each other. Besides traditional, diseasemodifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) and biological therapies inhibiting TNF, a new therapautic option is the use of a chimeric antibody, rituximab, which inhibits B lymphocyte function. This drug is an effective and safe choice for those patients who have received various anti- TNF therapies or do not tolerate TNF inhibition.]

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[Systemic adjuvant pharmacotherapy of colorectal cancer]

BODOKY György

[Colorectal cancer is one of the most frequent cancer in the postindustrial world; its most common form is adenocarcinoma. In Hungary, colorectal cancer has the second highest mortality among tumours. If diagnosed early, it might be successfully treated by surgery, however, chemotherapy is necessary to prevent tumor relapse and development of metastases and achieve adequate palliation. In the past few years, adjuvant treatment of colorectal cancer has improved substantially. Many new drugs have been developed, which are also being used in combination with previously known agents. This article will discuss the novelties in the field of adjuvant chemotherapy for colorectal cancer and the main guidelines of adjuvant treatment.]

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[Insulin analogues and pregnancy]

TAMÁS GYULA, KERÉNYI ZSUZSA

[Near-normoglycaemic metabolic control in pregnant women with diabetes - started before conception in pregestational diabetes - decreases the frequency of maternal and foetal complications. Such control can be achieved by using optimalised systems of insulin therapy. A number of (ultra)rapid and long-acting insulin analogues became available during the last decade, which - on the basis of theoretical considerations - might be used to maintain normoglycaemia. Summarising the data available today, the use of rapid insulin analogues (lispro, aspart) seem to be effective and safe during pregnancy. Some questions arise, however, about their modes of application. The use of long-acting insulin analogues in pregnancy is currently not indicated. Further trials are needed to prove their efficacy and safety in diabetic pregnancy.]

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[Resistant hypertension - differential diagnosis and therapy]

TISLÉR András

[Hypertension is considered resistant to therapy if the target blood pressure is not achieved despite treatment with three different types of antihypertensive drugs, including a diuretic. Causes of therapy resistance may be grouped into three broad categories: Pseudoresistance can be the result of inadequate blood pressure measurement technique, the “white-coat” effect or the patients’ noncompliance with pharmacological and nonpharmacological medical advices. Evaluation of the measurement technique - including the size of the cuff used - and blood pressure monitoring at home can help identify the causes of pseudoresistance. Secondary resistance comprises drug interactions and concomitant medical conditions that elevate blood pressure or antagonize antihypertensive therapy. In addition, secondary resistance can result from disorders associated with secondary hypertension, among which appropriate screening for hyperaldosteronism as well as for renoparenchymal and renovascular hypertension need special emphasis. Suboptimal therapy is frequently related to subclinical volume overload and the use of inappropriate type or dosing of diuretics. Furthermore, when choosing the optimal drug combination, care should be taken to inhibit the various systems that regulate blood pressure as much as possible. In addition to combining the most frequently used antihypertensive drugs, the use of aldosterone antagonists, vasodilators, nitrates or drugs affecting the central nervous system might help to optimise treatment.]

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[The relevancy of measuring the level of D-dimer test in clinical practice]

PINCZÉS István, SPEER Gábor

[Plasma levels of D-dimer may rise in a number of pathological conditions, which might be relevant for diagnosis as well as for prognosis. Its concentration increases with age, perhaps because of the wide-spread co-morbidity. In this article we demonstrate the diagnostic role of Ddimer in the well-known thromboembolic diseases. Beyond that, we highlight the importance of measuring D-dimer levels in other, lesser-known conditions, about which important findings have been published, such as cardiovascular, inflammatory or malignant diseases. It seems that in these disorders - provided that appropriate clinical conditions are available -, measuring D-dimer levels might have a role not only in diagnosis but in the prognosis as well. Furthermore, our aim was to discourage inappropriate clinical practice. Ignoring to measure the D-dimer levels (for fear of it being high) might lead to diagnostic errors. On the other hand, routinely performing the D-dimer test without clinical consideration (in the hope of it being negative) might cause diagnostic confusion in case of unexpected positivity and - mostly because of false interpretation - lead to further, unnecessary examinations.]

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CANOMAD syndrome with respiratory failure

SALAMON András, DÉZSI Lívia, RADICS Bence, VARGA Tímea Edina, HORTOBÁGYI Tibor, TÖMÖSVÁRI Adrienn, VÉCSEI László, KLIVÉNYI Péter, RAJDA Cecília

CANOMAD (chronic ataxic neuropathy, ophthalmoplegia, M-protein agglutination, disialosyl antibodies) syndrome is a rare polyneuropathy. IgM paraproteins react with ganglioside-containing disialylated epitopes resulting in dorsal root ganglionopathy and B-lymphocyte infiltration of cranial and peripheral nerves. Clinical features include ataxia, slight muscle weakness, areflexia, sensory- and cranial nerve symptoms. Case studies have reported the efficacy of rituximab and intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) treatments. We present the case of a 57-year-old man, who had difficulty walking, with numbness and clumsiness in all limbs. He had areflexia, vibratory sensation loss and ataxia. Laboratory tests showed IgM monoclonal components and disialosyl antibodies in the serum. Nerve conduction studies indicated severe sensorimotor demyelinating polyneuroradiculopathy. Despite IVIg and rituximab treatments, the patient’s disease course gradually worsened and he died of respiratory failure. Neuropathological examination revealed dorsal column- and dorsal root atrophy with mixed mononuclear cell infiltration. This article aims to draw attention to this syndrome, and the use of early potent immunosuppressive treatment to improve patients’ quality of life.

Clinical Oncology

[Cancer-treatment induced peripheral neuropathy]

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[Peripheral neuropathy is caused by structural or functional damage of nervous system. The pathophysiology is not well known. Its clinical features are established but there is a need to standardize CIPN assessment, also considering that health care providers and patients frequently have a different perception of CIPN severity. Neurotoxicity caused by traditional chemotherapy is widely recognized in patients with cancer. The adverse effects of newer therapeutics, such as targeting and immunotherapeutic agents, need more information for the proper management. This review addresses the main neurotoxicities of cancer treatments with a focus on the newer therapeutics. Recognition of these patterns of toxicity is important because drug discontinuation or dose adjustment might prevent further neurological injury. Treatment is symptomatic. For prevention or treatment there is need for further basic research outcomes.]

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[Infectious diseases associated with biological therapy]

KÁDÁR János

[The use of biological therapeutic agents increases the risk of certain infectious diseases. The greatest hazards are the reactivation of tuberculosis or hepatitis B infection and the development of sepsis. The degree of risk is comparable to that experienced with the use of routine DMARD therapy: in case of an adequate choice of treatment the risk is equal to or slightly higher than that of conventional treatment. However, this hazard is definitely smaller than that associated with the use of corticosteroids at doses necessary to reach the required immunosuppressive effect. This article provides a brief summary of potential infectious illnesses on the basis of the literature.]

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[Efficiency and safety of the vaccination against H1N1 influenza virus in inflammatory bowel disease]

FARKAS Klaudia, JANKOVICS István, MELLES Márta, NAGY Ferenc, SZEPES Zoltán, WITTMANN Tibor, MOLNÁR Tamás

[INTRODUCTION - Inactivated influenza and H1N1 vaccination is recommended yearly for patients with inflammatory bowel disease receiving immunosuppressive therapy; however, immunomodulator and biological therapy might impair the immune response to the vaccination. In our study, we assessed whether immunity can develop in response to H1N1 influenza vaccination in patients receiving immunomodulator and/or biological therapy. We also assessed the occurrence of side effects after the immunisation in these patients. PATIENTS AND METHODS - In our prospective study, blood samples were obtained from 24 patients (12 Crohn’sdisease, 12 ulcerative colitis) one month after immunisation against influenza A/California/ 07/2009 (H1N1) virus. At the time of vaccination, all patients have been receiving immunomodulator and/or biological therapy for at least three month. Antiviral antibodies were detected by using microneutralisation assay. The safety of the vaccination was assessed by questionnaires. RESULTS - Every patient developed complete immunity against influenza A (H1N1) virus, independently from the type of immunosuppressive therapy. Regarding side effects, local symptoms occurred in six patients and systemic symptoms in another six patients. Mild diarrhea occurred in five patients. Moderate exacerbation of the disease was observed in 2 patients with Crohn’s disease and in one patient with ulcerative colitis. CONCLUSIONS - According to our results, immunocompromised patients with IBD can be safely advised to receive the vaccination. In our study, all patients developed adequate immunity according to microneutralisation titers.]

Hungarian Radiology

[A paradox of articular protective phenomenon: more serious-damaged rudimentary hand in rheumatoid arthitis]

SZÁNTÓ Dezső, SZŰCS Gabriella, DITRÓI Edit

[INTRODUCTION - The joints have been secured from rheumatoid arthritis by diminution of biomechanical effeciency. This effect was analyzed and named articular protective phenomenon three decades ago. CASE REPORT - A case of bilateral rheumatoid arthritis associated with unilateral developmental abnormality hand and bronchial asthma in a 35 year old female patient is presented. Her left 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th metacarpal bones moreover her fingers had not evolved. The patient has been treated by antiasthmatic steroid drugs for five years. Rheumatoid disorders of the affected left hand were more severe, than the abnormality of the normal upper limb. Eight years later the most severe bony lesions (ankylosis and mutilation) appeared on this side, only. CONCLUSION - The patient's hand was not saved by inborn bone defect in rheumatoid arthritis. The absence of articular protective phenomenon can be explained by the undisturbed innervation of limb, the motility of hypotrophic carpus besides to steroid-induced suppression.]