eLetters

117 e-Letters

published between 2010 and 2013

  • Should we routinely check vitamin D and calcium levels before rituximab therapy?
    Peter M Wilding

    Dear Editor,

    The maintenance of serum calcium within normal limits is important to sustain life. In vitamin D deficiency calcium cannot adequately be absorbed by the intestinal mucosa. The lack of both of these important players in bone health and can bring about secondary hyperparathyroidism[1].

    The excess PTH, among other things, stimulates osteoclastogenesis[2] and liberates calcium from the skeleton t...

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  • Pattern analysis in vasculitides
    Laurent ARNAUD

    Dear Editor,

    We read with great interest the recent paper by Grayson et al., which compared patterns of arteriographic lesions in patients with Takayasu's arteritis (TAK) and giant cell arteritis (GCA).

    Using a similar methodology as in a previous paper by our group (2), Grayson et al. confirmed that arterial involvement is contiguous in the aorta and usually symmetric in paired branch vessels for TAK,...

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  • Direct and indirect effect of IL-17A on platelet aggregation
    Fulvio D'Acquisto

    Dear Editor,

    A recent report by Hot and colleagues investigated the possible link between the increased expression of IL-17 in rheumatoid diseases and the high incidence of cardiovascular disorders in patients suffering these pathologies.

    To address this point the authors used an elegant approach that combined in vitro cell functional studies with gene fingerprint analysis by microarray. Consistent with...

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  • Quantification of circulating endothelial progenitor cells in systemic sclerosis
    Jerome Avouac

    Dear Editor,

    We read with great interest the manuscript from Kuwana and coworkers related to the external validation of the EUSTAR recommendations on endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs)(1, 2). The side-by-side comparisons of methods for quantifying EPCs performed on 11 SSc patients and 11 age- matched controls showed a statistically significant correlation between EPC counts obtained by the MACS (enrichment of CD34+...

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  • Re:Confounding by indication invalidates most observational studies on side effects of glucocorticoids
    William G. Dixon

    Dear Editor,

    We thank the authors for their interest in our paper and extending the discussion about how we can best assess the safety of glucocorticoid therapy. Ongoing uncertainty about the safety of steroids - particularly at low doses - despite over sixty years of clinical experience illustrates this is not an easy challenge. Nonetheless, it is important to tackle given the continuing widespread use. We must mov...

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  • Confounding by indication invalidates most observational studies on side effects of glucocorticoids
    Maarten Boers

    Dear Editor,

    We read with interest the paper by Dixon et al, and the associated paper published in 2011 on the risk of infection in glucocorticoid (GC) use in RA.1,2 Whilst their analyses add somewhat to the evidence of the risk of infection caused by GC in RA, because they are retrospective observational studies of uncontrolled treatment decisions we have strong reservations on the extent of their interpretations...

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  • Tocilizumab for patients with giant cell arteritis: generating pathogenic hypothesis
    Francisco J. Fernandez-Fernandez

    Dear Editor,

    In October 2011, Beyer and colleagues published an interesting article on the use of tocilizumab as rescue treatment for 3 patients with giant cell arteritis(1). Their patients had a high systemic inflammatory response and involvement of the aorta and its main branches, showing Takayasu-like features. The authors noted that, perhaps, tocilizumab might be less effective for 'classical' giant cell arteri...

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  • HMGB-1 in ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV):correlation with disease manifestations
    Annette Bruchfeld

    Dear editor,

    Recently Henes et al reported that serum levels of the proinflammatory mediator high mobility group box-1 protein (HMGB1) were elevated and showed a significant correlation with the burden of granulomatous inflammation in patients with Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA or Wegener) (1). The same group has previously published data suggesting that HMGB1 is a marker of GPA and that HMGB1 is not detec...

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  • Does current evidence support the use of a lower and cheaper dose of rituximab in RA?
    Markus Bredemeier

    Dear editor,

    Rituximab (RTX) is an effective alternative for rheumatoid arthritis patients that failed or are unable to tolerate treatment with anti-TNF agents. The approved dose of RTX for rheumatoid arthritis is 1000 mg given 14 days apart. However, an analysis of the results of recent studies may indicate that the 500 mg dose is equally effective and less expensive.

    The 2 year results of the IMAGE...

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  • Mycophenolate versus azathioprine: which one is better for treatment of lupus nephritis?
    Wang-Dong Xu

    Dear editor,

    We read with interest the article by Houssiau, et al [1], which provided evidence that mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) was not significantly superior to azathioprine (AZA) in preventing renal flares in European patients with lupus nephritis (LN), with a renal relapse rate of 19%, 25% in the MMF, AZA group, respectively. However, inconsistency exists compared with other studies up to now [2-5]. Recently...

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