Melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 amyopathic dermatomyositis following an acute Mycoplasma pneumoniae infection: a case report [Case Report]
BACKGROUND:A previously healthy young male of Southeast Asian descent presented with 6Â weeks of fevers, cough, mucocutaneous ulcers, arthritis, and myalgias. Initial workup revealed positive MycoplasmaÂ pneumoniae immunoglobulin M, and the patient was treated with antibiotics without relief of symptoms. Rheumatologic workup revealed highly positive melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 antibody. Viral infections are thought to potentially trigger loss of self tolerance, and prompt the autoimmunity cascade that can result in conditions such as dermatomyositis. To our knowledge, this is the first case report demonstrating a non-viral infection, specifically MycoplasmaÂ pneumoniae, as the inciting infectious trigger for the anti-melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 dermatomyositis subtype. CASE PRESENTATION/METHODS:A 20-year-old southeast Asian-American male with no significant past medical history presented with symptoms of intermittent fevers, nonproductive cough, dry eyes, oral ulcers, rash, arthritis, and myalgias. The patient was noted to have erythematous papules across the bilateral hands along the lateral digits and palms, as well as synovitis involving the bilateral hands and feet. Immunoglobulin M antibodies were positive for MycoplasmaÂ pneumoniae. The patient was diagnosed with mycoplasma pneumonia. The patient did not respond to a course of antibiotics, leading to rheumatological testing that found highly positive melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 autoantibody. Muscle enzyme and electromyography testing were normal, indicating clinically amyopathic disease. Methylprednisolone was initiated, with resolution of fevers and improvement of arthritis and myalgias. The cutaneous lesions on the digits and palms improved. CONCLUSIONS:This patient presented with symptoms of fever, cough, oral ulcers, rashes, and arthritis, and blood work demonstrated the presence of immunoglobulin M antibodies to MycoplasmaÂ pneumoniae. Despite antibiotic treatment for the presumed diagnosis of MycoplasmaÂ pneumoniae infection, the patient did not improve, prompting rheumatological workup and revealing melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 autoantibodies. This case suggests that infections, other than viral, can trigger the autoinflammatory cascade, leading to the development of amyopathic melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 dermatomyositis.
Assessment and Application of Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) Risk Scores in the Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism Peri-and Postpartum in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus [Meeting Abstract]
Background/Purpose: Patients with SLE may be at increased risk for developing a venous thromboembolism (VTE), particularly in the postpartum period. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) guideline for postpartum VTE prophylaxis is unique in its inclusion of "active" SLE as an actionable risk factor. In this guideline, a score >= 3 drives a formal recommendation for a 6-week prophylactic treatment course with enoxaparin. Although not defined, "active" SLE alone scores 3 points. The inclusion of SLE raises concerns regarding appropriate attribution and subsequent management decisions. The current study applied the RCOG model to a cohort of postpartum SLE patients to determine whether these patients a) qualify as having "active" SLE b) have other risk factors for VTE c) received the recommended prophylaxis and d) had a postpartum VTE.
Method(s): The retrospective study comprised 55 pregnancies in 49 patients fulfilling criteria for classification of SLE based on ACR, SLICC or EULAR/ACR definitions consecutively seen over the last 5 years. Disease activity at delivery was assessed by the SLEPDAI using SELENA and Hybrid SELENA definitions for scoring proteinuria. Remission was assigned by applying the DORIS (Definitions of Remission in SLE) criteria. Patients not in remission were considered to have "active" SLE, even if a low level with only one clinical domain scored. RCOG scoring was calculated for each patient prior to and after delivery.
Result(s): The median age was 32 years (IQR 29-36 years) and the median BMI was 26.6 kg/m2 (IQR 23.0-30.9 kg/m2), with 49.1% African-American, 16.4% Asian, 29.1% White, 5.5% Other and 32.7% of Hispanic ethnicity. The median SELENA and Hybrid SELENA SLEPDAI scores were 2.0 (IQR 0-6) and 2.0 (IQR 0-5) respectively. The components of the RCOG model with each of its elements scored for the cohort (Table 1). 34 pregnancies (61.8%) were in DORIS remission throughout pregnancy. 21 (38.2%) were not in DORIS remission at delivery and received 3 points on the RCOG model, since by not achieving remission their SLE could be considered at least mildly active. Of these pregnancies, only 19% were recommended for VTE prophylaxis despite RCOG score >= 3. Only 35.7% of pregnancies in DORIS remission, but with 3 points for non-SLE related VTE risk factors, were recommended for VTE prophylaxis (Table 2). Of the 20 pregnancies in remission with an RCOG score < 3 after assessing all risk factors, 15% were nevertheless recommended for VTE prophylaxis. In contrast, of the 14 inactive pregnancies with RCOG score >= 3 for non-SLE activity factors, only 35.7% were recommended for VTE prophylaxis. No patients had a postpartum VTE regardless of therapy.
Conclusion(s): These data reveal that even for SLE patients in remission at the time of delivery, points for SLE alone should not automatically be assigned on the RCOG model. However, those who are in remission may still warrant VTE prophylaxis if other non-SLE related risk factors are present. Although no patient had a postpartum VTE, prophylactic anticoagulation should be instituted only when clinically appropriate. The healthcare team should carefully consider disease activity before applying 3 points for the diagnosis of SLE
PROSPECTIVE EVALUATION OF ANTI-SSA/RO POSITIVE PREGNANCIES TO ADDRESS RISK FACTORS FOR FETAL CARDIAC DISEASE/ADVERSE PREGNANCY OUTCOMES AND EFFICACY OF AMBULATORY FETAL HEART RATE MONITORING (FHRM) AND RAPID TREATMENT OF EMERGENT BLOCK [Meeting Abstract]
Introduction Fetal cardiac disease is strongly associated with maternal anti-SSA/Ro antibodies, but gaps in our knowledge include the influence of antibody specificity and titer, maternal diagnosis, overall non-cardiac adverse pregnancy outcomes (APOs), optimal surveillance protocols, and efficacy of rapid treatment. Methods The multi-center Surveillance and Treatment To Prevent Fetal AV Block Likely to Occur Quickly (STOP BLOQ) study recruited pregnant women with commercially positive anti-Ro antibodies and stratified them into high and low titers of anti-Ro60 and Ro52 based on a research ELISA, using a cutoff defined by that obtained for 50 mothers with previous AVB offspring. Mothers with anti-Ro60 and/or 52 antibodies at or above 1,000 I.U. were trained to perform FHRM. From 17-25 weeks of gestation, FHRM was completed 3x/day in addition to weekly or biweekly fetal echocardiograms (echo). Mothers texted all audio sounds to the coordinating center. Texts deemed abnormal by mothers were immediately sent to an on call pediatric cardiologist who either reassured if FHRM was normal or referred for emergency fetal echo in < 6 hours if abnormal. Results 250 anti-Ro pregnant women (22% Hispanic, 50% white, 12% Black, 12% Asian, 4% other) have been consented, including 28 whose previous child had AVB. Of mothers tested to date, 153 were provided home monitors given high titer anti-Ro60 and/or 52 antibodies (26 high titer anti-Ro60 alone, 21 high titer anti-Ro52 alone,105 high titer antibodies to both antigens). The 83 patients with low titers were surveilled with echos per local standard of care. Regarding maternal diagnosis, of 161 assessed to date, 39% were asym/UAS, 11% RA, 31% SS, 19% SLE. Antibody titers did not significantly differ by ethnicity, race or diagnosis (table 1). Non-AVB APOs occurred in 18% and were not predicted by Ro60 or 52 titers but rather SLE diagnosis (table 2). In total, 24,759 FHRM audiotexts were received from 131 patients (90 of whom have delivered) during the monitoring period. Of these, 22 were evaluated by the on-call pediatric cardiologist, who prompted an emergency echo (all completed in < 6 hrs). In 11 cases, the emergency echo was normal. In 9, there were premature atrial contractions, confirming the mother's perception. In 2 with 2degree block on urgent echo (both treated per protocol with IVIG and dexamethasone), 1 reverted to normal sinus rhythm and the other progressed to 3degree block. In 2 others, the mother did not perceive abnormal FHRM for > 24 hrs, echo identified 3degree block, and retrospective cardiology review of FHRM audio captures identified an abnormality prior to obtaining the echo. All 4 AVB developed in fetuses of mothers with high titer antibodies to both Ro60 and 52 (mean 32,451 and 34,991 respectively). Of the 18 mothers with a previous AVB child who followed the 400mg hydroxychloroquine PATCH protocol, 1 developed AVB in accord with the results of Step 1 in that study. Conclusion These data support that APOs in this clinically diverse group of mothers are not influenced by anti-Ro titer or specificity, but rather SLE diagnosis. All conduction defects were initially identified by FHRM and in mothers with high titer anti-Ro60 and 52. Hydroxychloroquine continues to show efficacy in reducing the AVB recurrence rate with rapid intervention of emergent block being promising
Breast feeding in the systemic lupus erythematosus patient [Letter]
Sex Differences in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: Epidemiology, Clinical Considerations, and Disease Pathogenesis
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a chronic, multiorgan, systemic autoimmune disease that is more common in women than men and is typically diagnosed during reproductive age, necessitating sex-specific considerations in care. In women there is no substantive evidence to suggest that SLE reduces fertility, but subfertility may occur as a result of active disease, immunosuppressive drugs, and age-related declines in fertility related to delays in childbearing. Although pregnancy outcomes have improved, SLE still poses risks inÂ pregnancy that contribute to poorer maternal and fetal outcomes. Cyclophosphamide, an important agent for the treatment of severe or life-threatening lupus, may adversely affect fertility, particularly with increases in dose and patient age. Fertility preservation techniques are therefore an important consideration for women and men before cytotoxic treatment. There is mixed evidence as to whether exogenous estrogen in the form of oral contraceptive pills or hormone replacement therapy may increase the risk for the development of SLE, but among women with SLE already diagnosed, combined oral contraceptive pills and hormone replacement therapy do not confer risk for severe flare and remain important in reproductive care. The higher incidence of SLE in women may nonetheless be attributable to effects of endogenous estrogen, as well as failures in X chromosome inactivation, increased Toll-like receptor gene products, and changes in microRNA function. A greater appreciation of the biological underpinnings and consequences of sex differences in SLE may lead to more targeted treatments and improved outcomes for patients with SLE.
Breastfeeding in the systemic lupus erythematosus patient [Letter]
African American race associated with body image dissatisfaction among patients with systemic sclerosis
OBJECTIVES/OBJECTIVE:Studies have shown a high degree of body image dissatisfaction among patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). We aimed to identify demographic and phenotypic characteristics that correlate with body image dissatisfaction. METHODS:Ninety-eight patients with SSc were recruited from Georgetown University Medical Center 2003-2004. Anonymous surveys collected demographic information (age, race, gender, duration/type of SSc) and assessed degree of body image dissatisfaction on a scale of 0-3 in relation to phenotypic features of SSc (hand contractures, finger ulcers, pigmentation changes, lip wrinkling/thinning, telangiectasias). A composite total distress score was derived. Parametric and nonparametric T tests were used to compare groups. RESULTS:Of 98 patients, 86 were female and 12 male. The majority of patients were 30-60 years old. The sample was 62% Caucasian, 27% African American, and the rest identified as "other". Twenty-seven percent had limited SSc, 48% diffuse, and 25% "other". African American patients had greater total body image dissatisfaction (p=0.002), specifically with respect to digital ulcers, pruritus, and pigmentation changes, than Caucasian participants. Patients with diffuse SSc had greater body image dissatisfaction than those with limited disease (p=0.002). CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that African American patients with SSc and those with diffuse subtype suffer a higher degree of body image dissatisfaction. Screening for and addressing this issue in SSc patients is prudent. Further study is needed to understand racial differences in body image dissatisfaction among patients with SSc.
Perspective: Environment, biodiversity, and the education of the physician of the future
Ours is an age of unprecedented levels of environmental alteration and biodiversity loss. Beyond the exposure to environmental hazards, conditions such as environmental degradation, biotic impoverishment, climate change, and the loss of ecosystem services create important health threats by changing the ecology of many pathogens and increasing the incidence and/or severity of certain noncommunicable conditions. They also threaten health in the future by weakening the Earth's life support systems.Although physicians remain one of the most often accessed and most trusted sources of information about the environment, there is currently little emphasis on educating medical professionals about these environmental issues. This lack of training reduces the ability of most physicians to be efficient science-public interfaces and makes them ineffective at contributing to address the fundamental causes of environmental problems or participate in substantive environmental policy discussions. This is an important challenge facing medical education today.To turn medical students into effective physician-citizens, an already-overwhelmed medical school curriculum must make way for a thoughtful exploration of environmental stressors and their impacts on human health. The overarching question before medical educators is how to develop the competencies, standards, and curricula for this educational endeavor. To this end, the authors highlight some of the critical linkages between health and the environment and suggest a subset of key practical issues that need to be addressed in order to create environmental education standards for the physician of the future.
Getting back to nature: non-medical birth options in Athens, Greece
Childbirth in modern Athens: the transition from homebirth to hospital birth
The transition of birthing practices in Greece from a homebirth culture, in which women deliver at home surrounded by family and under the supervision of a typically female birth attendant, to a biomedical birth model, in which women deliver in a hospital with numerous forms of medical intervention and under the control of a physician, has been unusually rapid. Today, Western biomedicine not only dominates the health care system in Greece but has an essential hegemony on women's health care. My research examines whether the pervasive utilization of biomedical environments for birthing can be explained by a lack of alternatives or by women's satisfaction with the technology and care available in hospitals. I also examine how women retain control over their experience of pregnancy and childbirth within the biomedical context and attempt to explain the emerging construction of a "natural" discourse on pregnancy and childbirth in Athens. Major themes that emerged from interviews with Athenian women were the lack of consent for medical intervention during birth, limited infrastructure to support women who seek non-medical alternatives, and limited emotional support and collective education for mothers in the urban environment of Athens. Also, women described choosing the right caregiver as essential to maintaining a sense of control over their pregnancy and, more generally, over their life. In light of women's apparent interest in improving women's experience of pregnancy and childbirth in Athens, it is recommended that researchers further explore the interaction of medical and non-medical discourses on pregnancy and childbirth.