eLetters

131 e-Letters

published between 2005 and 2008

  • Guidelines for the use of biologics
    Andrew JK Östör

    Dear Editor,

    We read with interest the most recent consensus statement on the use of biological agents in rheumatoid arthritis, stating that improvement should be achieved by 12 weeks of therapy [1]. The most recent guidelines issued this year in the UK by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) state that anti-TNF agents should only be discontinued if an adequate response (defined as a DAS...

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  • Identification of Pneumocystis colonization in patients treated with Infliximab
    Gustavo Wissmann

    Dear Editor,

    The introduction of biological agents resulted in a paradigm shift in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Infliximab, a chimeric anti-tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α monoclonal antibody, has become an established effective therapy for RA. However, despite its role in chronic inflammatory diseases, evidence shows that TNF-α is also a critical factor in host defense. TNF-α initiates the inflammator...

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  • The theoretical advantages of the ELISPOT assay based T-SPOT.TB test
    San San Aye

    Dear Editor,

    After carefully reading this article and other related references, weagree that detection of M tuberculosis using interferon gamma release assays (IGRA) is more sensitive and specific than the classic Tuberculin Skin Test (TST) for the detection of Latent TB Infection (LTBI) in patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy. As the authors indicate, there are two commercially available IGRAs, an Enzyme Link...

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  • Colchicine in postsurgical gout: practical implications
    George Iype Varughese

    Dear Editor,

    We applaud Kang et al in their efforts to study the clinical features and risk factors of postsurgical gout [1]. They recommend prophylactic administration of colchicine prior to surgery to prevent postsurgical gout [1]. However, we should not forget that the dose of colchicine in the management of acute gout remains controversial [2-6], and caution should be exercised in deciding the prophylactic dose for s...

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  • Genetic Variability Could Be Confusing SNP Studies in AS
    Daniel G. Arkfeld

    Dear Editor,

    It is with great interest that I read the study entitled "A novel gene variation of TNF associated with ankylosing spondylitis: a reconfirmed study" by Zhu et al(1). In treating AS in Los Angeles, California, I see many Hispanic patients especially from Mexican descent. This is very different from the Chinese population presented in this article and may explain some of the difficulties in looking for SNP'...

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  • Granuloma annulare, Rheumatoid Arthritis and anti-TNF therapy
    Nicolas Kluger

    Dear Editor, We read with great interest the article by Voulgari et al, recently published in the Journal, reporting a series of patients with Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who developed Granuloma annulare (GA) under anti-TNF therapy [1]. We would like to bring attention to some key points and shed light on a specific differential diagnoses associated with RA the authors did not discuss.

    GA is a benign, asymptomatic, sel...

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  • TNFA variants and Ankylosing Spondylitis
    Matthew A Brown

    Dear Editor,

    In a study recently published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases involving 79 ankylosing spondylitis (AS) patients and 132 unrelated healthy blood donors, Zhu and colleagues report association of a TNFA SNP, rs1799724, with AS [1]. I have many concerns with this paper and its conclusions.

    The authors state that only SNP rs1799724 is not in Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium. However, inspection of the ge...

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  • Re: clinical endpoints in RA RCTs
    Johannes W Jacobs

    Dear Editor,

    We do thank Maarten Boers for his complement. We did not employ the composite indices DAS or DAS28 to report clinical efficacy of the two strategy groups in our study, because we had used joint counts not including shoulder joints, which precludes calculating these indices. In our view, shoulder joints are seldom involved in early rheumatoid arthritis and are in addition difficult to score for swelling....

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  • Re: Comment on Blood and synovial fluid cytokine signatures in patients with juvenile idiopathic art
    Wilco de Jager

    Dear Editor,

    We have read the comments of Zsolt Balogh on our cross sectional study of cytokine profiles in JIA (1). Indeed a good point arises that patient selection in these kinds of studies are critical. In this case however, a printing error is the cause of the confusion. During the review process of this paper several brief communications took place with the editing office due to printing errors in table 1. In...

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  • Recent developments among psoriasis patient support groups in the UK
    Alexandra M. Wyke

    Dear Editor,

    I read with interest the importance you place in the role of psoriasis support groups in assisting patient understanding of treatment-and compliance. Our organisation maintains a very large database of patient groups worldwide.

    In a recent exercise in October 2007, we updated details of psoriasisself-help groups in the UK, but were surprised to discover that many had shutdown, or been disbanded te...

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