Autoantibodies Targeting Complement Receptors C3aR and C5aR1 Are Decreased in ANCA-associated Vasculitis and Correlate with a Higher Relapse Rate
Sebastian Klapa, Antje Müller, Andreas Koch et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Activation of the alternative and common terminal complement pathways has been shown in ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV). Circulating titers of the anaphylatoxin C5a are increased and correlate with disease activity in AAV. Binding to the corresponding G protein-coupled receptor (C5aR1/CD88) enhances the influx of neutrophils and their activation, leading to ROS generation a...

An Engineered Extracellular Matrix‐rich Decellularized Substrate Based Podocytes Culture System to Study Intracellular Complement Production and Activation
Abhigyan Satyam, Maria Tsokos2 and George Tsokos, Division of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology/Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center/Harvard Medical School et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Current technologies do not support long-term cell viability, differentiation and maintenance of podocytes. We developed a biophysical approach, termed macromolecular crowding (MMC), to create extracellular matrix (ECM)-rich tissue equivalents and decellularization. This approach generates decellularized grafts that scaffold podocytes to grow in an environment similar to nat...

Association of Obesity with Treatment Response to Methotrexate or Tumor Necrosis Factor Inhibitors in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dilli Poudel, Ted Mikuls, Michael George et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Obesity affects 30-40% of RA patients and is associated with higher clinical disease activity measures and progressive disability. Studies suggest that obesity may be associated with poor response to TNF inhibitors (TNFi), but the degree to which these prior results were impacted by unmeasured confounding factors is unclear. We aimed to evaluate differences in response to MT...

Advanced Integrated Science Courses: A Novel Approach to Medical Student Science Education
Eli Miloslavsky, Henrike Besche2 and John Flanagan, Massachusetts General Hospital et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Scientific research is at the core of evidence-based medicine, and is transforming medical care at an increasingly rapid pace. The ability of students to engage with science as life-long learners is an important goal of undergraduate medical education and critical for practicing rheumatologists. However, there has been a trend towards shortening  pre-clinical science curricu...

Association of Air Pollution with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity in the Central Valley of California
Mosaab Mohameden, Ali H.Ali, Zi Ying Li et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a complex multisystem autoimmune disease that affects at least 300,000 people in the United States creating a substantial socioeconomic burden. The exact etiology of SLE remains largely unknown. Both genetic factors and environmental exposures have been implicated in the etiology and progression of SLE. Air pollution is one of the major ...

Average Follow-up Time After Telemedicine Visit Is Longer Than Conventional Face-to-Face Visit in Outpatient Rheumatology Practice During COVID-19 Pandemic
Deepan Dalal, Tzu-Chun Chu, Brad Crough et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: In the era of recent COVID-19 crisis, outpatient rheumatology practices resorted to telemedicine to deliver longitudinal care, a fundamental component of chronic disease management.  However, little is known regarding time to follow up after telemedicine visits as compared to conventional face-to-face encounters as a marker of longitudinal care. Methods: We used electronic m...

An Oleuropein-based Dietary Supplement Improves Joint Function in Older People with High Knee Joint Pain
Marie-Noelle Horcajada, Maurice Beaumont, Nicolas Sauvageot et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of a 6-month intervention with an Olive Leaf Extract (OLE) standardized for oleuropein content on knee functionality and biomarkers of bone/cartilage metabolism and inflammation. Methods: The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multi-centric trial of 124 subjects with mild knee pain or mobility issues...

Complement Activation in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients with Low Disease Activity Is Not Inhibited by Hydroxychloroquine
Anne Margrethe Troldborg, Annette Hansen, Kristian Stengaard-Pedersen2 and Steffen Thiel et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Mortality in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is significantly higher than in the general population. Treatment of SLE patients has improved, however, a majority of patients still experience symptoms like fatigue, pain and cognitive deficits even when they are clinically evaluated to have low disease activity (LDA) or being in remission. Immunosuppressants ar...

Cervical Cancer Screening Among Women with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus or Prescribed Tumor Necrosis Alpha-inhibitors Who Receive Outpatient Rheumatology Care
Mehret Birru Talabi, Kwonho Jeong, Kaleab Abebe et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Cervical cancer screening is important for women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and women prescribed TNF-alpha inhibitors (TNFi), as they have an increased risk of cervical dysplasia and cancer due to immune dysfunction and/or suppression. We describe receipt of guidelines-concordant cervical cancer screening among women receiving rheumatology care in a large Pennsy...

Adverse Effects of Low Dose Methotrexate: Adjudicated Hematologic Outcomes in a Large Randomized Double-blind Placebo-controlled Trial
Kathleen Vanni, Nancy Berliner, Nina Paynter et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Low dose methotrexate (LD-MTX), a cornerstone in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, is associated with a moderately increased risk of anemia and leukopenia, but the risk of myelosuppression during LD-MTX use of up to 20mg/week remains incompletely described. We examined the hematologic outcomes among patients taking LD-MTX versus placebo in a large randomized controlled ...

Clinical Outcomes in Lupus Nephritis by Renal Response Status: A Retrospective Analysis of the Hopkins Lupus Cohort
Michelle Petri, Qinggong Fu, Yulia Green et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: A retrospective analysis of the Hopkins Lupus Cohort (a prospective, longitudinal study of patients [pts] with systemic lupus erythematosus) reported that renal response (complete/partial/none) at 24 months post-diagnosis of lupus nephritis (LN) predicts long-term renal survival.1 Here, we compare long-term renal survival and chronic renal insufficiency-free survival in pts ...

Health Assessment Questionnaire Predicts All-Cause Mortality at One Year in Patients with Early Rheumatoid Arthritis
Safoora Fatima, Orit Schieir, Marie-France Valois et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Patients with RA are at greater risk of mortality than the general population. Higher HAQ disability has been associated with hospitalizations and mortality in established RA; whether HAQ disability predicts mortality in early RA (ERA) is unknown. Methods: Data were from adult early RA patients (symptoms < 1 year) enrolled in the Canadian Early Arthritis Cohort (CATCH) betwe...

High-throughput Identification of Functional Regulatory SNPs Associated with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Qiang Wang, Marta Martínez, Matthew Weirauch3 and Peter Nigrovic et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a disease involves the complex interplay of many genes, reflected in more than one hundred loci linked with disease risk by genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Decoding GWAS is, therefore, a promising strategy to identify novel drug targets in SLE. However, most of the identified disease-associated hits are noncoding single-nucleotid...

Geographic Distribution and Environmental Triggers of Systemic Sclerosis in Massachusetts
Anastasiya Muntyanu, Bina Kassamali, Ruth Ann Vleugels3 and Avery LaChance et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is a chronic autoimmune sclerosing disease with a 10-year survival rate of less than 65%. This rate has remained unchanged for over 40 years. Although the exact pathogenesis remains unclear, it has been hypothesized that an environmental trigger leads to disease development in a genetically predisposed host. Assessment of high incidence geographic di...

Gout as an Immune-Related Adverse Event from Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors
Kevin Lee, Carrie Ye2 and Shokrollah Elahi, Internal Medicine et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) are novel treatments approved for various tumours including melanoma, lung and kidney. By interacting with immunoregulatory molecules (programmed death-1 (PD-1), PD-1 ligand (PD-L1), or cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated protein (CTLA-4)), ICI prevent inhibition of T-cells and thereby increase immune activity. However, this T-cell activation...

Gap in Contraceptive Education to Females with Rheumatic Disease on Teratogenic Medications
Andras Perl, Sundus Mian1 and Jihad Ben Gabr, SUNY Upstate Medical University et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Teratogenic disease-modifying anti-rheumatic disease modifying drugs (DMARDs) are often prescribed to women of childbearing age. Contraception represents an important area of reproductive health for female patients with rheumatic diseases. Counseling prior to starting DMARDs can help prevent the potential pregnancy risks associated with such medications.  Methotrexate (MTX),...

Consensus Definitions for MRI Lesions in the Spine of Patients with Axial Spondyloarthritis: First Analysis from the Assessments in SpondyloArthritis International Society Classification Cohort
Walter Maksymowych, Iris Eshed, Pedro M Machado et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: A broad spectrum of MRI lesions has been described in the spine of patients with axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA) and a recent consensus from the ASAS MRI group has culminated in updated spine lesion definitions (ASAS_MRI_defn)1. There has been no central reader evaluation of MRI spine scans from the ASAS Classification Cohort (ASAS-CC)2. We aimed to determine the spectrum an...

Complex, Dynamic Attributes of Antigen-specific T Cells in Rheumatoid Arthritis
Eddie James, Virginia Muir, Cliff Rims et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: CD4+ T cells are implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) due to strong genetic association with HLA class II alleles, the presence of CD4+ T cells in the rheumatoid joint and the efficacy of T cell directed therapies. In addition, CD4+ T cells specific to citrullinated epitopes are increased in RA and their frequency is influenced by disease duration and ...

Changes in Macular Capillary Network Measured with Optical Coherence Tomography-angiography in Patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
Laura Pelegrin, Marc Figueras-Roca, Alvaro Olate-Perez et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Eye involvement in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) occurs in approximately one-third of patients, usually related to disease activity. An early diagnosis and treatment could prevent structural eye damage and visual acuity worsening in these cases. The purpose of the present study was t o describe macular vascular findings by optical coherence tomography angiography (OCT-A...

Cathepsin S Gene Expression Measured in the Peripheral Blood of Osteoarthritic Patients Prior to Surgery as a Biomarker of Post-operative Pain Development
Elena Tchetina, Kseniya Glemba, Galina Markova et. al.

Nov 9th, 2020 - Background/Purpose: Osteoarthritis (OA) is a chronic rheumatic disease, which involves pain, limited inflammation, and local destruction of the knee joint. OA pain is a major clinical symptom, which limits working capacity and denotes an important indication for joint replacement in the end-stage OA. In spite of significant number of positive outcomes, chronic postoperative pain represents a ma...