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Clin Exp Rheumatol ; 37 Suppl 119(4): 108-114, 2019.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31587696


OBJECTIVES: The aim of our study was to assess the role of videofluorography (VFG) in the evaluation of swallowing and oesophageal peristalsis in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). METHODS: From June 2014 to September 2017, 55 consecutive SSc patients, defined according to the 2013 ACR/EULAR classification criteria, underwent VFG study using a remote-controlled digital device. In order to evaluate possible abnormalities, 18 dynamic parameters were chosen, dividing the act of swallowing into three phases: oral, pharyngeal and oesophageal phases. The following dynamic radiological findings were considered: veil motility in phonation, leakage, drooling, salivation and presence of residues in the oral cavity, pharyngeal residues, penetration, aspiration, altered motility of the upper oesophageal sphincter, efficacy of primary peristaltic contractions, oesophageal clearance capacity, reflux, oesophagitis and motility of the lower oesophageal sphincter. RESULTS: The VFG study was well tolerated in all patients. Dysfunctions of oesophageal motility were common and included abnormal motility of UES (12.7%) and LES (76.4%), inadequate primary peristalsis (52.7%), abnormal secondary peristalsis (29.1%) and non-peristaltic contractions (40%). A defective oesophageal clearance was observed in 69.4% of patients. Moreover, most patients presented signs of oesophageal reflux (63.6%), oesophagitis (81.8%) and hiatal hernia (80%). Pharyngeal abnormalities were less common and involved up to 50% of patients. Oesophageal dysfunction and defective clearance were associated with dcSSc and pulmonary involvement. CONCLUSIONS: The VFG study is a useful technique for the morphological and functional evaluation of swallowing in SSc patients.

Cinerradiografia/métodos , Transtornos de Deglutição , Fluoroscopia/métodos , Escleroderma Sistêmico , Transtornos de Deglutição/diagnóstico por imagem , Transtornos de Deglutição/etiologia , Feminino , Refluxo Gastroesofágico , Humanos , Masculino , Manometria , Pessoa de Meia-Idade , Peristaltismo , Escleroderma Sistêmico/complicações , Escleroderma Sistêmico/diagnóstico por imagem
Joint Bone Spine ; 86(4): 475-481, 2019 07.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30579917


OBJECTIVE: The reproductive choices of women affected by rheumatic diseases (RD) can be influenced by several factors, including the quality of physician-patient communication. We conducted a survey on reproductive issues aiming at exploring the unmet needs of women with RD during childbearing age. METHODS: We administered 65 multiple-choice and 12 open-answer questions about pregnancy counselling, contraception, use of drugs during pregnancy and other women reproductive issues to 477 consecutive women with RD aged 18-55 years followed-up in 24 rheumatology centres in Italy. Analysis was restricted to 398 patients who received their diagnosis of RD before the age of 45. According to the RD diagnosis, patients were subdivided into 2 groups: connective tissue diseases (n = 249) and chronic arthritis (n = 149). RESULTS: At the time of interview, women in both groups had a mean age of 40 years. Nearly one third of patients in each group declared not to have received any counselling about either pregnancy desire nor contraception. A smaller family size than desired was reported by nearly 37% of patients, because of concerns related to maternal disease in one fourth of the cases. A "Disease Knowledge Index" (DKI) was created to investigate the degree of patients' information about the implications of their RD on reproductive issues. Having received counselling was associated with higher DKI values and with a positive impact on family planning. CONCLUSION: Italian women of childbearing age affected by RD reported several unmet needs in their knowledge about reproductive issues. Strategies are needed to implement and facilitate physician-patient communication.

Clin Exp Rheumatol ; 36 Suppl 113(4): 142-145, 2018 Jul-Aug.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30277864


OBJECTIVES: To describe a single centre experience using combination therapy with rituximab (RTX) and mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) in a prospective series of systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients with pulmonary and cutaneous involvement, rapidly progressive or resistant to conventional therapy. METHODS: RTX was administered in two different regimens (1000 mg fortnightly x 2 or 375 mg/m2/week for 4 consecutive weeks) at baseline and after 6 months, associated with MMF 2000 mg/day continuously. Cutaneous fibrosis was evaluated assessing modified Rodnan Skin Score (mRSS) and pulmonary involvement was evaluated performing pulmonary function tests, diffusing lung capacity for carbon monoxide and chest high-resolution computed tomography (HRCT). The radiological extension of the interstitial lung disease (ILD) at HRCT, was assessed with the conventional visual reader-based score (CoVR) and with a computerised-aided method (CaM) using a DICOM soft- ware. RESULTS: Eighteen SSc patients underwent combination therapy (F/M: 10/8, median age 51 years, median duration of disease 27 months). Data from fifteen patients were available at 12-month follow-up. The mRSS showed a significant improvement; a significant increase in forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in the first second were also observed. In addition, a signi cant reduction of the extension of ILD was detected when evaluated with CaM. No serious adverse events were observed during the follow-up period. CONCLUSIONS: Despite preliminary results and limited to a small number of patients, our data suggest that therapy with RTX and MMF is well tolerated, safe, and potentially effective for cutaneous and pulmonary involvement in SSc.

Sci Rep ; 8(1): 7626, 2018 May 16.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29769578


Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease of unknown aetiology characterized by vascular lesions, immunological alterations and diffuse fibrosis of the skin and internal organs. Since recent evidence suggests that there is a link between metabolomics and immune mediated disease, serum metabolic profile of SSc patients and healthy controls was investigated by 1H-NMR and GC-MS techniques. The results indicated a lower level of aspartate, alanine, choline, glutamate, and glutarate in SSc patients compared with healthy controls. Moreover, comparing patients affected by limited SSc (lcSSc) and diffuse SSc (dcSSc), 6 discriminant metabolites were identified. The multivariate analysis performed using all the metabolites significantly different revealed glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, energetic pathways, glutamate metabolism, degradation of ketone bodies and pyruvate metabolism as the most important networks. Aspartate, alanine and citrate yielded a high area under receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curves (AUC of 0.81; CI 0.726-0.93) for discriminating SSc patients from controls, whereas ROC curve generated with acetate, fructose, glutamate, glutamine, glycerol and glutarate (AUC of 0.84; CI 0.7-0.98) discriminated between lcSSc and dcSSc. These results indicated that serum NMR-based metabolomics profiling method is sensitive and specific enough to distinguish SSc from healthy controls and provided a feasible diagnostic tool for the diagnosis and classification of the disease.

Front Immunol ; 8: 75, 2017.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28228756


One of the earliest events in the pathogenesis of systemic sclerosis (SSc) is microvasculature damage with intimal hyperplasia and accumulation of cells expressing PDGF receptor. Stimulatory autoantibodies targeting PDGF receptor have been detected in SSc patients and demonstrated to induce fibrosis in vivo and convert in vitro normal fibroblasts into SSc-like cells. Since there is no evidence of the role of anti-PDGF receptor autoantibodies in the pathogenesis of SSc vascular lesions, we investigated the biologic effect of agonistic anti-PDGF receptor autoantibodies from SSc patients on human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells and the signaling pathways involved. The synthetic (proliferation, migration, and type I collagen gene α1 chain expression) and contractile (smooth muscle-myosin heavy chain and smooth muscle-calponin expression) profiles of human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells were assessed in vitro after incubation with SSc anti-PDGF receptors stimulatory autoantibodies. The role of reactive oxygen species, NOX isoforms, and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) was investigated. Human pulmonary artery smooth muscle cells acquired a synthetic phenotype characterized by higher growth rate, migratory activity, gene expression of type I collagen α1 chain, and less expression of markers characteristic of the contractile phenotype such as smooth muscle-myosin heavy chain and smooth muscle-calponin when stimulated with PDGF and autoantibodies against PDGF receptor, but not with normal IgG. This phenotypic profile is mediated by increased generation of reactive oxygen species and expression of NOX4 and mTORC1. Our data indicate that agonistic anti-PDGF receptor autoantibodies may contribute to the pathogenesis of SSc intimal hyperplasia.