Author Interviews, Rheumatology, Smoking / 13.11.2015

Jasvinder Singh MD MPH Professor of Medicine UAB Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology Interview with: Jasvinder Singh MD MPH Professor of Medicine UAB Division of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology  Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Singh: A systematic review of the effect of smoking on outcomes after total joint replacement showed that current smoking increased the risk of overall post-operative complications but that there were scarce data for smoking and specific surgical outcomes of arthroplasty. We performed a study using data from an institutional Total Joint Registry to answer this question.   In a study of for 7,926 patients who underwent hip or knee arthroplasty, 7% were current tobacco users. We found that compared to current non-users, current tobacco users had higher hazard ratios (95% CI) for deep infection, 2.37 (1.19, 4.72; p=0.01) and implant revision, 1.78 (1.01, 3.13; p=0.04) after total hip or knee arthroplasty. No significant differences were noted for periprosthetic fractures or superficial infections. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Rheumatology / 13.11.2015 Interview with: Ron Rogers Executive Vice President, Corporate Communications Spokesman, Myriad Genetics, Inc. Salt Lake City, Utah 84108 Medical Research: What is the background for the MBDA test? What types of biomarkers are included in the score? Response: Vectra DA is an advanced blood test for adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It helps you and your doctor better understand your rheumatoid arthritis disease activity.  Vectra DA blood test for RA gives physicians a more complete look at your disease activity by measuring 12 markers of RA disease activity. Some other tests, such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR or “sed rate”), only measure one marker. Vectra DA test scores can help track your disease activity over time with an objective measure that complements your doctor’s exam and your own assessment.  Patients with high Vectra DA scores have 7-fold higher risk for rheumatoid arthritis-related joint damage than patients with low or moderate Vectra DA scores. You can learn more about the specific biomarkers at: (more…)
Author Interviews, Gout, Rheumatology / 10.11.2015 Interview with: Paras Karmacharya, MD Internal Medicine Reading Health System West Reading, PA 19611 Co-Authors: Ranjan Pathak MD, Madan Raj Aryal MD, Smith Giri MD, Anthony A Donato MD MHPE Medical Research: What is the background for this study? Response: Studies describing seasonal variations in acute gouty arthritis note a seasonal trend, but disagree on timing, with most showing a peak in spring months while others showing peaks later in the year. However, serum uric acid (SUA) levels seem to peak in the summer months. This disparity has led to the hypothesis that the flares might be related to factors other than elevated serum uric acid levels. Various theories on the effects of weather and immune system changes on the chronobiology of the equilibrium and precipitation of monosodium urate crystals have been proposed. We aimed to shed light on this question by examining the seasonal variation in the incidence of acute gouty arthritis in the US using a large inpatient database. Medical Research: What are the main findings? Response: We used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) database, a large national database that represents 20% of all hospital admissions, to identify adult patients with a primary diagnosis of acute gouty arthritis from 2009-2011 during their hospitalization. A total of 28,172 hospitalizations with primary diagnosis of acute gouty arthritis were reported from 2009-11. The peak incidence of acute gout was seen in the month of November (peak/low ratio 1.34, 95% CI 1.29-1.38, p<0.05) (Figure 1). The highest number of hospitalizations was observed in autumn months, while the lowest incidence was observed in spring (28.12% vs. 23.13%, p<0.001). Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report? Response: Unlike previous studies, our analysis found the peak incidence of acute gout in the fall with its peak in the month of November. Various environmental (temperature, humidity, diet, physical activity) and biochemical factors (low cortisol levels, high absolute neutrophil counts and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1) have been implicated for the seasonal variation, but the data on this is conflicting. Whether our findings are reflective of purine and alcohol intake over the US holidays in November and December is a hypothesis that requires further testing. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Lyme, Rheumatology / 10.11.2015 Interview with: Robert B. Lochhead PhD Clinical Fellow in Medicine  Division of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology Massachusetts General Hospital Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Dr. Lochhead: Lyme arthritis (LA), caused by the tick-borne spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi, usually resolves appropriately with antibiotic treatment, called antibiotic-responsive Lyme arthritis. However, in some patients, arthritis persists for months or years after spirochetal killing with oral and IV antibiotic therapy, called antibiotic-refractory Lyme arthritis. Synovial lesions in these patients show marked synovial proliferation, inflammation, and vascularization, accompanied by autoimmune T and B cell responses. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) regulate many biological processes including inflammation, immune responses, and cell proliferation, and are effective biomarkers that may reveal molecular mechanisms of disease. Our objective here was to identify extracellular miRNAs (ex-miRNAs) in synovial fluid (SF) that distinguish regulated (responsive) from dysregulated (refractory) immune responses in Lyme arthritis, thereby providing insights into underlying biological processes and potential diagnostic biomarkers to distinguish between  these disease courses. (more…)