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.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[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.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[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.]

Lege Artis Medicinae

[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 (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.

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Nerve conduction study and gastrocnemius H reflex response in rheumatoid arthritis

EMRE Ufuk, ORTANCIL Özgül, UNAL Aysun, KIRAN Sibel, SAPMAZ Perihan, ATASOY Tugrul

Objectives - We aimed to evaluate nerve conduction studies and gastrocnemius H reflex responses in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients and compared to the healthy adult subjects. Materials and methods - Twenty-six RA patients and twenty-two healthy adult subjects were included in the study. The nerve conduction study (NCS) findings and bilateral gastrocnemius H reflex responses were evaluated in all the groups. Age, gender, subcutaneous nodules, joint deformities, laboratory parameters, duration of disease, anti-rheumatic drug and steroid usage were recorded. Activity of disease was assessed using a 28-joint disease activity score (DAS28).The functional status was measured using the health assessment questionnaire (HAQ), pain intensity measured using a visual analog scale (VAS). Results - The rate of electroneuromyographic (ENMG) abnormalities was 73% in RA patients. The most common diagnosis was carpal tunnel syndrome (61.4%). There were no significant correlations between ENMG findings and clinical and laboratory features evaluated. Right H reflex latencies were statistically longer in RA patients (p=0.03). According to calculated cut-off levels, there were more subjects with longer H reflex latencies in RA patients. Conclusions - In this study, entrapment neuropathies were found common as independent identity from duration and severity of disease in RA patients. For H reflex latencies, cut-off values were longer in RA patients. It may provide information about the early neuropathic involvement of long peripheral nerves in RA patients. But this findings are needed to be supported by larger population study.

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