International Journal of Rheumatology
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate16%
Submission to final decision50 days
Acceptance to publication25 days
CiteScore3.400
Journal Citation Indicator0.420
Impact Factor-

Retrospective Analysis of Factors Associated with Fracture in 714 Patients with Polymyalgia Rheumatica

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International Journal of Rheumatology publishes original research articles and review articles on paediatric and adult rheumatological and musculoskeletal conditions, including topics such as basic research, therapy, surgery, and imaging.

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International Journal of Rheumatology maintains an Editorial Board of practicing researchers from around the world, to ensure manuscripts are handled by editors who are experts in the field of study.

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Research Article

Autoimmune Regulator Gene Polymorphisms in Egyptian Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patients: Preliminary Results

Background. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease. The autoimmune regulator (AIRE) is a master regulator of self-tolerance development. AIRE mutations lead to the development of autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1 while AIRE polymorphisms have been linked to organ-specific autoimmunity. The study is aimed at addressing the association between AIRE polymorphisms, rs2075876 (G > A) and rs760426 (A > G), and SLE susceptibility and expression in Egyptian patients. Methods. Ninety-nine patients were included. One hundred and ten, and 123 control subjects were genotyped for rs2075876 and rs760426, respectively. Lupus severity was assessed using the Lupus Severity of Disease Index and Lupus Severity Index (LSI). Systemic Lupus International Collaborating Clinics (SLICC)/American College of Rheumatology (ACR) damage index was considered. Genotyping was done using StepOne Real-Time PCR. Results. AIRE rs760426 GG was more frequent in the patients under the genotype level (14.1% vs. 4.9%, ) and recessive model (14.1% vs. 4.9%, , (1.2-8.7)). Musculoskeletal involvement and nephritis were associated with AIRE rs2075876 under the dominant (97.9% vs. 80.8%, , (1.3-89.2)) and recessive models (100% vs. 69.3%, ), respectively; and both were linked to AIRE rs2075876 at the allelic level: 98.3% vs. 85%, , (1.3-76.6) and 82.8% vs. 68.6, , (1-4.7), respectively. Patients with AIRE rs2075876 A alleles had a higher damage index ( 1 ± 1.3 vs. 0.6 ± 1.1, ) while the LSI was greater in patients with AIRE rs2075876 (8.5 ± 0.5 vs. 7.8 ± 1.3, ) and rs760426 (8.6 ± 11 vs. 7.8 ± 1.2, ) under the recessive models. Conclusion. AIRE rs760426 could share in SLE susceptibility while AIRE rs2075876 could influence the disease expression and burden in Egyptian patients.

Research Article

Tocilizumab Effect on Lipid Profile in Correlation to Cardiovascular Events: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Objective. To study the effect of tocilizumab initiation on the lipid profile, in correlation to a composite of any cardiovascular events. Methods. A retrospective cohort study, using data from the King Faisal Specialist Hospital & Research Centre database, from January 2014 to December 2019. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis or juvenile idiopathic arthritis who were ≥18 years old, initiated either on tocilizumab or other biologic treatment (anti-TNFs or Rituximab), were included, with a follow-up interval duration at a minimum of 6–12 months up to 3-5 years. Any patient with established cardiovascular disease or aged <18 were excluded. Results. Only one cardiovascular mortality was reported in the tocilizumab group. Fifty percent of patients reached and in the tocilizumab group at 36 months in a shorter time period compared to controls (60 months),  0.001. There were no significant differences between groups for statin use (27% vs. 28%) However, there was a significantly higher mean dose of atorvastatin in the tocilizumab group compared to controls (20.6 mg vs. 16.6 mg,  0.03). Conclusion. There was a lack of evidence of increased cardiovascular risk in correlation to hyperlipidemia secondary to tocilizumab treatment.

Review Article

Cutaneous Manifestations of “Lupus”: Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Beyond

Lupus, Latin for “wolf,” is a term used to describe many dermatologic conditions, some of which are related to underlying systemic lupus erythematosus, while others are distinct disease processes. Cutaneous lupus erythematosus includes a wide array of visible skin manifestations and can progress to systemic lupus erythematosus in some cases. Cutaneous lupus can be subdivided into three main categories: acute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, and chronic cutaneous lupus erythematosus. Physical exam, laboratory studies, and histopathology enable differentiation of cutaneous lupus subtypes. This differentiation is paramount as the subtype of cutaneous lupus informs upon treatment, disease monitoring, and prognostication. This review outlines the different cutaneous manifestations of lupus erythematosus and provides an update on both topical and systemic treatment options for these patients. Other conditions that utilize the term “lupus” but are not cutaneous lupus erythematosus are also discussed.

Review Article

Update in the Management of ANCA-Associated Vasculitis: Recent Developments and Future Perspectives

Significant progress has been made in the treatment of ANCA-associated vasculitides (AAV), notably in granulomatosis with polyangiitis and microscopic polyangiitis. Over the past few years, many innovative studies have changed the way we now induce and maintain remission in AAV; achieving remission while limiting treatment toxicity is the key. This article provides an in-depth, up-to-date summary of recent trials and suggests treatment algorithms for induction and maintenance of remission based on the latest guidelines. Future possible therapies in AAV will also be discussed.

Research Article

Clinical Outcomes of Myocarditis after Moderate-Dose Steroid Therapy in Systemic Sclerosis: A Pilot Study

Background. Myocarditis is reported in systemic sclerosis (SSc); however, treatment options and outcomes are limited. Our objective was to define cardiac outcomes after moderate-dose steroid therapy in SSc patients with myocarditis. Method. An open-label study was conducted among SSc patients with myocarditis—as defined by cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR), disease onset <5 years, and a NYHA functional class ≥II. All enrolled patients received prednisolone (30 mg/d) which would be tapered off by week 24, and CMR was followed up at the end of treatment. Results. A total of 20 SSc patients were enrolled which 12 patients completed the study. At week 24, 8 of the 12 cases experienced improvement of myocarditis. Compared to those with no improvement, these 8 patients had significantly longer disease duration (), higher heart rate at baseline () and week 24 (), lower left ventricular (LV) and right ventricular (RV) stroke volume at baseline ( and ) and week 24 ( and ), and lower LV and RV cardiac output at week 24 ( and ). Four cases died during follow-up (3 due to cardiac complications, 1 due to renal crisis). The two who died from heart failure had very high NT-prohormone-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) and impaired LV ejection fraction (LVEF), and the one who died from arrhythmia had very high sensitivity of cardiac Troponin-T (hs-cTnT). Conclusions. Moderate-dose steroid therapy may improve myocarditis in SSc. A proportion of patients died due to cardiac complications during treatment, particularly those with high hs-cTnT, high NT-proBNP, and impaired LVEF. This trial is registered with NCT03607071.

Research Article

Intracytoplasmic Expression of IL-6 and IL-17A in Circulating CD4+ T Cells Are Strongly Associated with and Predict Disease Activity in Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Case-Control Study in Ghana

Background. T cell cytokines play important roles in the development and progression of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Loss of Th1/Th2 and Th17/Treg balance has been reported in several inflammatory autoimmune diseases. However, their role in RA within hitherto rare Ghanaian context has not been explored. Here, we evaluated the intracytoplasmic CD4+ T cell cytokine patterns in rheumatoid arthritis patients in Ghana and determined their relationship with disease activity. Methods. This case-control study included 48 newly diagnosed RA patients and 30 apparent healthy controls from two major hospitals in Ghana. Validated structured questionnaires were administered to obtain demographic data; blood samples were collected and processed for flow cytometric analysis. Results. IFN-γ, TNF-α, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-17A, IL-6/IL-4, and IL-17/IL-10 expressions were significantly higher in RA cases compared to the healthy controls. The expression of IL-6 (0.00 (0.00-0.98) vs. 0.82 (0.34-1.10) vs. 1.56 (1.39-1.68), ), IL-17A (0.00 (0.00-0.02) vs. 0.19 (0.09-0.30) vs. 0.99 (0.64-1.25), ), and IL-17A/IL-10 (0.00 (0.00-0.39) vs. 0.15 (0.09-0.26) vs. 0.88 (0.41-1.47), ) increased significantly from the healthy controls through RA patients with low DAS scores to RA patients with moderate DAS scores. IL-6 (, , ), IL-17A (, , ), and IL-17A/IL-10 (, , ) expressions were significantly directly associated with DAS28 scores. IL-6 (, , , , and ) and IL-17A (, , , , and ) presented with the best discriminatory power in predicting moderate DAS scores from low DAS scores. Conclusion. Th1- and Th17-related cytokines predominate in the pathophysiology of RA, with IL-6 and IL-17 being principally and differentially expressed based on the severity of the disease. IL-6 and IL-17A could serve as useful prognostic and disease-monitoring markers in RA in the African context.

International Journal of Rheumatology
 Journal metrics
Acceptance rate16%
Submission to final decision50 days
Acceptance to publication25 days
CiteScore3.400
Journal Citation Indicator0.420
Impact Factor-
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