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JMIR Mhealth Uhealth ; 7(8): e14991, 2019 Aug 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31381501


BACKGROUND: Chronic rheumatic diseases need long-term treatment and professional supervision. Mobile apps promise to improve the lives of patients and physicians. In routine practice, however, rheumatology apps are largely unknown and little is known about their quality and safety. OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to provide an overview of mobile rheumatology apps currently available in German app stores, evaluate app quality using the Mobile Application Rating Scale (MARS), and compile brief, ready-to-use descriptions for patients and rheumatologists. METHODS: The German App Store and Google Play store were systematically searched to identify German rheumatology mobile apps for patient and physician use. MARS was used to independently assess app quality by 8 physicians, 4 using Android and 4 using iOS smartphones. Apps were randomly assigned so that 4 apps were rated by all raters and the remaining apps were rated by two Android and two iOS users. Furthermore, brief app descriptions including app developers, app categories, and features were compiled to inform potential users and developers. RESULTS: In total, 128 and 63 apps were identified in the German Google Play and App Store, respectively. After removing duplicates and only including apps that were available in both stores, 28 apps remained. Sixteen apps met the inclusion criteria, which were (1) German language, (2) availability in both app stores, (3) targeting patients or physicians as users, and (4) clearly including rheumatology or rheumatic diseases as subject matter. Exclusion criteria were (1) congress apps and (2) company apps with advertisements. Nine apps addressed patients and 7 apps addressed physicians. No clinical studies to support the effectiveness and safety of apps could be found. Pharmaceutical companies were the main developers of two apps. Rheuma Auszeit was the only app mainly developed by a patient organization. This app had the highest overall MARS score (4.19/5). Three out of 9 patient apps featured validated questionnaires. The median overall MARS score was 3.85/5, ranging from 2.81/5 to 4.19/5. One patient-targeted and one physician-targeted app had MARS scores >4/5. No significant rater gender or platform (iOS/Android) differences could be observed. The overall correlation between app store ratings and MARS scores was low and inconsistent between platforms. CONCLUSIONS: To our knowledge, this is the first study that systematically identified and evaluated mobile apps in rheumatology for patients and physicians available in German app stores. We found a lack of supporting clinical studies, use of validated questionnaires, and involvement of academic developers. Overall app quality was heterogeneous. To create high-quality apps, closer cooperation led by patients and physicians is vital.

Rheumatol Int ; 39(11): 2005-2014, 2019 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31401698


Idiopathic antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitides (AAV) are a group of diseases that are often difficult to diagnose due to the wide range of clinical manifestations. Notably, renal involvement is a serious organ complication, which usually requires intensive immunosuppressive therapy and is prone to recurrence. In recent years, there has been some progress regarding the understanding of the pathogenesis of the diseases. It has been shown that both cocaine and levamisole, which is a common adulterant of cocaine, can trigger the formation of ANCAs and lead to the corresponding symptoms. We report two cases of AAV with different renal manifestations associated with cocaine consumption. Furthermore, we performed a review of the literature to identify, characterize and describe histologically documented cases of renal involvement in AAV, related to cocaine abuse. Cocaine/levamisole-induced vasculitis may, therefore, mimic idiopathic AAV. Although the detection of ANCA and anti-PR3 (proteinase 3, PR3) as well as anti-MPO antibodies (myeloperoxidase, MPO) are the serological hallmark of idiopathic AAV, certain clinical- and antibody constellations should lead to consideration of illicit drugs as inductors of the disease. Especially in young patients, certain serologic constellations (e.g., PR3 and MPO double positivity, positive antinuclear antibodies, low complement level, and positive testing for antiphospholipid antibodies), skin involvement, musculoskeletal symptoms and hematologic (anemia, leukopenia) affections should prompt testing for cocaine and levamisole consumption via urine drug testing. Treatment includes both immunosuppressive approaches and drug cessation but is difficult since many patients continue cocaine consumption.

J Rheumatol ; 2019 Apr 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30936287


OBJECTIVE: Scleroderma renal crisis (SRC) is a severe life-threatening manifestation in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). However, the knowledge about risk factors for SRC is limited. We determined here the frequency of SRC and identified risk factors for the prediction of SRC. METHODS: Based on regular followup data from the German Network for Systemic Scleroderma, we used univariate and multivariate generalized estimating equations to analyze the association between clinical variables, SSc subsets, therapy [i.e., angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEi), corticosteroids], and the occurrence of SRC. RESULTS: Data of 2873 patients with 10,425 visits were available for analysis with a mean number of registry visits of 3.6 ± 2.8 and a mean time of followup of 3.6 ± 3.8 years. In total, 70 patients developed SRC (70/2873, 2.4%). Of these patients, 57.1% (40/70) were diagnosed with diffuse cutaneous SSc, 31.4% (22/70) with limited cutaneous SSc, and 11.4% (8/70) with SSc-overlap syndromes. Predictive independent factors with the highest probability for SRC were positive anti-RNA polymerase antibodies (RNAP), a history of proteinuria prior to SRC onset, diminished DLCO, and a history of hypertension. Interestingly, positive antitopoisomerase autoantibodies did not predict a higher risk for SRC. Further, patients with SRC were significantly more frequently treated with ACEi and corticosteroids without being independently associated with SRC. CONCLUSION: In this cohort, SRC has become a rare complication. By far the highest risk for SRC was associated with the detection of anti-RNAP and proteinuria.

Ann Rheum Dis ; 78(7): 979-987, 2019 Jul.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30967395


OBJECTIVE: To assess the safety and efficacy of rituximab in systemic sclerosis (SSc) in clinical practice. METHODS: We performed a prospective study including patients with SSc from the European Scleroderma Trials and Research (EUSTAR) network treated with rituximab and matched with untreated patients with SSc. The main outcomes measures were adverse events, skin fibrosis improvement, lung fibrosis worsening and steroids use among propensity score-matched patients treated or not with rituximab. RESULTS: 254 patients were treated with rituximab, in 58% for lung and in 32% for skin involvement. After a median follow-up of 2 years, about 70% of the patients had no side effect. Comparison of treated patients with 9575 propensity-score matched patients showed that patients treated with rituximab were more likely to have skin fibrosis improvement (22.7 vs 14.03 events per 100 person-years; OR: 2.79 [1.47-5.32]; p=0.002). Treated patients did not have significantly different rates of decrease in forced vital capacity (FVC)>10% (OR: 1.03 [0.55-1.94]; p=0.93) nor in carbon monoxide diffusing capacity (DLCO) decrease. Patients having received rituximab were more prone to stop or decrease steroids (OR: 2.34 [1.56-3.53], p<0.0001). Patients treated concomitantly with mycophenolate mofetil had a trend for better outcomes as compared with patients receiving rituximab alone (delta FVC: 5.22 [0.83-9.62]; p=0.019 as compared with controls vs 3 [0.66-5.35]; p=0.012). CONCLUSION: Rituximab use was associated with a good safety profile in this large SSc-cohort. Significant change was observed on skin fibrosis, but not on lung. However, the limitation is the observational design. The potential stabilisation of lung fibrosis by rituximab has to be addressed by a randomised trial.

Rheumatol Int ; 2018 Nov 21.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30465270


Polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) is a rare systemic vasculitis affecting multiple organs. Current standard treatment includes the use of glucocorticoids and cyclophosphamide. Unfortunately, some patients do not respond to this treatment and other therapeutic options are needed. We present a case of a young male with refractory PAN and ongoing biopsy evidence of active vasculitis despite optimal standard therapies, who was successfully treated with interleukin-6 antagonist, tocilizumab. A 24-year-old male presented with severe immobilizing polyneuropathy and myalgias. Clinical features included fasciitis, tenosynovitis, early signs of polyneuropathy, and panniculitis, which were largely refractory to the standard therapies. The previous unsuccessful treatments included high-dose glucocorticoids, methotrexate, cyclophosphamide, rituximab, anakinra, and intravenous immunoglobulins. Magnetic resonance imaging showed signs of myositis, with muscle biopsy confirming the diagnosis of PAN. Rapid clinical improvement and sustained remission occurred after interleukin-6 inhibition with tocilizumab at increased dose of 800 mg every 4 weeks. The used search strategy identified 20 publications of which four articles were included for the further analysis. In total, we report the clinical outcome of five PAN cases from the literature and the present one. The present case and the systematic review of literature suggest that tocilizumab is a possible treatment option for, otherwise, refractory hepatitis B virus negative PAN. Randomized-controlled trials are required to evaluate the safety and efficacy of tocilizumab in PAN.