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1.
Cold agglutinins and cryoglobulins associate with clinical and laboratory parameters of cold urticaria
Mojca Bizjak, Mitja Košnik, Dorothea Terhorst, Dejan Dinevski, Marcus Maurer, 2021

Abstract: Mast cell-activating signals in cold urticaria are not yet well defined and are likely to be heterogeneous. Cold agglutinins and cryoglobulins have been described as factors possibly associated with cold urticaria, but their relevance has not been explained. We performed a single-center prospective cohort study of 35 cold urticaria patients. Cold agglutinin and cryoglobulin test results, demographics, detailed history data, cold stimulation test results, complete blood count values, C-reactive protein, total immunoglobulin E levels, and basal serum tryptase levels were analyzed. Forty six percent (n = 16) of 35 tested patients had a positive cold agglutinin test and 27% (n = 9) of 33 tested patients had a positive cryoglobulin test. Cold agglutinin positive patients, when compared to cold agglutinin negative ones, were mainly female (P = 0.030). No gender-association was found for cryoglobulins. A positive cold agglutinin test, but not a positive cryoglobulin test, was associated with a higher rate of reactions triggered by cold ambient air (P = 0.009) or immersion in cold water (P = 0.041), and aggravated by increased summer humidity (P = 0.007). Additionally, patients with a positive cold agglutinin test had a higher frequency of angioedema triggered by ingestion of cold foods or drinks (P = 0.043), and lower disease control based on Urticaria Control Test (P = 0.023). Cold agglutinin levels correlated with erythrocyte counts (r = -0.372, P = 0.028) and monocyte counts (r = -0.425, P = 0.011). Cryoglobulin concentrations correlated with basal serum tryptase levels (r = 0.733, P = 0.025) and cold urticaria duration (r = 0.683, P = 0.042). Results of our study suggest that cold agglutinins and cryoglobulins, in a subpopulation of cold urticaria patients, are linked to the course and possibly the pathogenesis of their disease.
Keywords: urticaria, mast cells, cold-induced urticaria, cold urticaria, cryoglobulins, cold agglutinin, degranulation, clinical parameters, laboratory parameters
DiRROS - Published: 10.05.2021; Views: 15; Downloads: 7
.pdf Fulltext (1,61 MB)

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Hereditary systemic autoinflammatory diseases and Schnitzler's syndrome
Mark Kačar, Shelly Pathak, Sinisa Savic, 2019

Abstract: The systemic autoinflammatory diseases are disorders of the innate immune system distinguished by severe inflammation resulting from dysregulation of the innate immune system. Hereditary fever syndromes, such as FMF, TNF receptor-associated periodic syndrome, cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes and mevalonate kinase deficiency, were the first group of systemic autoinflammatory diseases for which a genetic basis was established, between 1999 and 2001. Currently according to the latest report of the international union of immunological societies, 37 separate monogenic disorders were classified as autoinflammatory. In addition to the abovementioned monogenic conditions, we describe Schnitzler's syndrome, a well-defined, acquired autoinflammatory condition without a clear genetic basis. For the purposes of this review, we discuss several conditions defined by the latest consensus process as systemic autoinflammatory diseases. We focus on those disorders where recent studies have contributed to further phenotypic characterization or had an impact on clinical management.
Keywords: pyrin, Schnitzler syndrome, haploinsufficiency, autoinflammatory diseases, pyrin-associated autoinflammatory diseases, NLRP3-related autoinflammatory diseases, undifferentiated systemic autoinflammatory disease, relopathies
DiRROS - Published: 08.04.2021; Views: 68; Downloads: 45
.pdf Fulltext (455,31 KB)

4.
The efficacy, safety and tolerability of canakinumab in the treatment of familial Mediterranean fever : a systematic review of the literature
Mark Kačar, Sinisa Savic, Jeroen CH van der Hilst, 2020

Abstract: Familial Mediterranean Fever (FMF) is the most prevalent genetic autoinflammatory disorder. In most patients, treatment with colchicine can prevent attacks of fever and inflammation. However, 5%-10% of patients are resistant to colchicine treatment, while a similar percentage cannot tolerate colchicine in doses needed to prevent attacks. For these patients, Canakinumab, a full human antibody against IL-1[beta], has been approved recently by the FDA and EMA. In this article, we present a systematic review of the long-term efficacy, safety, and tolerability of Canakinumab in FMF patients who cannot tolerate colchicine or who are resistant to colchicine treatment.
Keywords: familial Mediterranean fever -- therapy -- review, monoclonal antibodies, canakinumab, anti-IL1 therapy
DiRROS - Published: 08.04.2021; Views: 82; Downloads: 44
.pdf Fulltext (463,72 KB)

5.
Mixed results with baricitinib in biological-resistant adult-onset Still's disease and undifferentiated systemic autoinflammatory disease
Mark Kačar, John Fitton, Andrew K Gough, Maya H Buch, Dennis McGonagle, Sinisa Savic, 2020

Abstract: This clinical case series describes our experience with the use of Janus kinase 1/2 inhibitor baricitinib in two patients suffering from refractory adult-onset Still's disease (AOSD) as well as in one case suffering from AOSD-like autoinflammatory disease in the context of myelodysplastic syndrome. All patients suffered from disease nonresponsive to conventional Disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) as well as biological therapies including interleukin (IL)-1 and IL-6 blockade, relying instead on high daily doses of prednisolone. We also report the first case of Pneumocystis jirovecii infection following baricitinib use.
Keywords: adult onset Still's disease -- drug therapy, ankylosing spondylitis, arthritis, antirheumatic agents, undifferentiated systemic autoinflammatory disease, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs
DiRROS - Published: 08.04.2021; Views: 67; Downloads: 40
.pdf Fulltext (321,22 KB)

6.
Evidence of B cell clonality and investigation into properties of the IgM in patients with Schnitzler syndrome
Shelly Pathak, Dorota Rowczenio, Samuel Lara-Reyna, Mark Kačar, Roger Owen, Gina Doody, Karoline Krause, Helen J Lachmann, Rainer Doffinger, Darren Newton, Sinisa Savic, 2020

Abstract: The Schnitzler Syndrome (SchS) is an acquired, autoinflammatory condition successfully treated with IL-1 inhibition. The two main defining features of this late-onset condition are neutrophilic urticarial dermatoses (NUD) and the presence of an IgM monoclonal component. While the former aspect has been extensively studied in this disease setting, the enigmatic paraproteinaemia and its potential consequential effects within SchS, has not previously been thoroughly addressed. Previous studies analyzing clonal B cell repertoires have largely focused on autoimmune disorders such as Systemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE) and hematological malignancies such as Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL), where B-cell clonality is central to disease pathology. The present study uses next-generation sequencing to provide detailed insight into aspects of B cell VDJ recombination and properties of the resulting immunoglobulin chains. An overview of IgH regional dynamics in 10 SchS patients, with a particular focus on CDR3 sequences and VDJ gene usage is reported, highlighting the presence of specific B cell expansions. Protein microarray detected a substantial proportion of autoreactive IgM to nuclear target proteins, though a single universal target was not identified. Together, these genetic and functional findings impart new understanding into this rare disorder.
Keywords: Schnitzler syndrome, B-lymhocytes, paraproteinemias, pararoteins, immunoglobulin M, autoinflammatory diseases, IgM
DiRROS - Published: 08.04.2021; Views: 59; Downloads: 47
.pdf Fulltext (1003,75 KB)

7.
Identification of critical transcriptomic signaling pathways in patients with H syndrome and Rosai-Dorfman disease
Samuel Lara-Reyna, James A. Poulter, Elton J.R. Vasconcelos, Mark Kačar, Michael F. McDermott, Reuben Tooze, Rainer Doffinger, Sinisa Savic, 2021

Abstract: Biallelic mutations in SLC29A3 cause histiocytosis-lymphadenopathy plus syndrome, also known as H syndrome (HS). HS is a complex disorder, with ~ 25% of patients developing autoinflammatory complications consisting of unexplained fevers, persistently elevated inflammatory markers, and unusual lymphadenopathies, with infiltrating CD68+, S100+, and CD1a[minus] histiocytes, resembling the immunophenotype found in Rosai-Dorfman disease (RDD). We investigated the transcriptomic profiles of monocytes, non-activated (M0), classically activated (M1), and alternatively activated macrophages (M2) in two patients with HS, one without autoinflammatory (HS1) and one with autoinflammatory complications (HS2). RNA sequencing revealed a dysregulated transcriptomic profile in both HS patients compared to healthy controls (HC). HS2, when compared to HS1, had several differentially expressed genes, including genes associated with lymphocytic-histiocytic predominance (e.g. NINL) and chronic immune activation (e.g. B2M). The transcriptomic and cytokine profiles of HS patients were comparable to patients with SAID with high levels of TNF. SERPINA1 gene expression was found to be upregulated in all patients studied. Moreover, higher levels of IFN[gamma] were found in the serum of both HS patients when compared to HC. Gene ontology (GO) enrichment analysis of the DEGs in HS patients revealed the terms "type I IFN," "IFN[gamma] signaling pathway," and "immune responses" as the top 3 most significant terms for monocytes. Gene expression analysis of lymph node biopsies from sporadic and H syndrome-associated RDD suggests common underlying pathological process. In conclusion, monocytes and macrophages from both HS patients showed transcriptomic profiles similar to SAIDs and also uniquely upregulated IFN[gamma] signature. These findings may help find better therapeutic options for this rare disorder.
Keywords: interferon-gamma, H syndrome, systemic autoinflammatory disease
DiRROS - Published: 08.04.2021; Views: 56; Downloads: 41
.pdf Fulltext (7,43 MB)

8.
Somatic mutations and the risk of undifferentiated autoinflammatory disease in MDS : an under-recognized but prognostically important complication
Abdulla Watad, Mark Kačar, Nicola Luigi Bragazzi, Qiao Zhou, Miriam Jassam, Jan Taylor, Eve Roman, Alexandra Smith, Richard A. Jones, Howard Amital, 2021

Abstract: Objectives: We theorized that myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) with somatic mutations and karyotype abnormalities are associated with autoinflammation, and that the presence of autoinflammatory disease affected prognosis in MDS. Methods: One hundred thirty-four MDS patients were assessed for the prevalence of autoinflammatory complications and its link with karyotypes and somaticmutation status. Autoinflammatory complications were described either as well-defined autoinflammatory diseases (AD) or undifferentiated "autoinflammatory disease" (UAD) (defined as CRP over 10.0 mg/L on five consecutive occasions, taken at separate times and not explained by infection). Several patient characteristics including demographic, clinical, laboratory, cytogenetics charts, and outcomes, were compared between different groups. Results: Sixty-two (46.3%) patients had an autoinflammatory complication manifesting as arthralgia (43.5% vs. 23.6%, p = 0.0146), arthritis (30.6% vs. 15.3%, p = 0.0340), skin rash (27.4% vs. 12.5%, p = 0.0301), pleuritis (14.5% vs. 4.2%, p = 0.0371) and unexplained fever (27.4% vs. 0%, p < 0.0001). AD were found in 7.4% of MDS patients (with polymyalgia rheumatic being the most frequently one). Classical autoimmune diseases were found only in 4 MDS patients (3.0%). Transcription factor pathway mutations (RUNX1, BCOR, WTI, TP53) (OR 2.20 [95%CI 1.02-4.75], p = 0.0451) and abnormal karyotypes (OR 2.76 [95%CI 1.22-6.26], p = 0.0153) were associated with autoinflammatory complications. Acute leukaemic transformation was more frequent in MDS patients with autoinflammatory features than those without (27.4% vs. 9.7%, p = 0.0080). Conclusions: Autoinflammatory complications are common inMDS. Somatic mutations of transcription factor pathways and abnormal karyotypes are associated with greater risk of autoinflammatory complications, which are themselves linked to malignant transformation and a worse prognosis.
Keywords: myelodysplastic syndromes - genetics, autoinflammation, undifferentiated autoinflammatory disease, molecular characterization, somatic mutations
DiRROS - Published: 31.03.2021; Views: 89; Downloads: 65
.pdf Fulltext (684,58 KB)

9.
Content analysis of Advance Directives completed by patients with advanced cancer as part of an Advance Care Planning intervention : insights gained from the ACTION trial
Marieke Zwakman, Johannes JM van Delden, Glenys Caswell, Luc Deliens, F. Ingravallo, Lea J. Jabbarian, Anna Thit Johnsen, Ida Joanna Korfage, Alenka Mimič, C. Møller Arnfeldt, Urška Lunder, Branka Červ, Anja Simonič, Hana Kodba Čeh, Polona Ozbič, 2019

Abstract: Purpose. Writing an Advance Directive (AD) is often seen as a part of Advance Care Planning (ACP). ADs may include specific preferences regarding future care and treatment and information that provides a context for healthcare professionals and relatives in case they have to make decisions for the patient. The aim of this study was to get insight into the content of ADs as completed by patients with advanced cancer who participated in ACP conversations. Methods. A mixed methods study involving content analysis and descriptive statistics was used to describe the content of completed My Preferences forms, an AD used in the intervention arm of the ACTION trial, testing the effectiveness of the ACTION Respecting Choices ACP intervention. Results. In total, 33% of 442 patients who received the ACTION RC ACP intervention completed a My Preferences form. Document completion varied per country: 10.4% (United Kingdom), 20.6% (Denmark), 29.2% (Belgium), 41.7% (the Netherlands), 61.3% (Italy) and 63.9% (Slovenia). Content analysis showed that 'maintaining normal life' and 'experiencing meaningful relationships' were important for patients to live well. Fears and worries mainly concerned disease progression, pain or becoming dependent. Patients hoped for prolongation of life and to be looked after by healthcare professionals. Most patients preferred to be resuscitated and 44% of the patients expressed maximizing comfort as their goal of future care. Most patients preferred 'home' as final place of care. Conclusions. My Preferences forms provide some insights into patients' perspectives and preferences. However, understanding the reasoning behind preferences requires conversations with patients.
Keywords: advance care planning, psycho-oncology, medical oncology, ACTION study, cancer, end of life, dying persons
DiRROS - Published: 15.02.2021; Views: 159; Downloads: 36
.pdf Fulltext (351,21 KB)

10.
Immunological outcomes of allergen-specific immunotherapy in food allergy
Anne-Marie Malby Schoos, Dominique Bullens, Bo Lund Chawes, Joana Costa, Liselot De Vlieger, Audrey DunnGalvin, Michelle M. Epstein, Johan Garssen, Christiane Hilger, Karen Knipping, Mihaela Zidarn, 2020

Abstract: IgE-mediated food allergies are caused by adverse immunologic responses to food proteins. Allergic reactions may present locally in different tissues such as skin, gastrointestinal and respiratory tract and may result is systemic life-threatening reactions. During the last decades, the prevalence of food allergies has significantly increased throughout the world, and considerable efforts have been made to develop curative therapies. Food allergen immunotherapy is a promising therapeutic approach for food allergies that is based on the administration of increasing doses of culprit food extracts, or purified, and sometime modified food allergens. Different routes of administration for food allergen immunotherapy including oral, sublingual, epicutaneous and subcutaneous regimens are being evaluated. Although a wealth of data from clinical food allergen immunotherapy trials has been obtained, a lack of consistency in assessed clinical and immunological outcome measures presents a major hurdle for evaluating these new treatments. Coordinated efforts are needed to establish standardized outcome measures to be applied in food allergy immunotherapy studies, allowing for better harmonization of data and setting the standards for the future research. Several immunological parameters have been measured in food allergen immunotherapy, including allergen-specific immunoglobulin levels, basophil activation, cytokines, and other soluble biomarkers, T cell and B cell responses and skin prick tests. In this review we discuss different immunological parameters and assess their applicability as potential outcome measures for food allergen immunotherapy that may be included in such a standardized set of outcome measures.
Keywords: food hypersensitivity, food intolerance, immunotherapy, immunology, food allergy, food allergens, oral immunotherapy
DiRROS - Published: 15.02.2021; Views: 144; Downloads: 48
.pdf Fulltext (1,45 MB)

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