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Labs/Biomarkers

Combo Methotrexate and Leflunomide Safety in RA

Jul 28, 2021

Methotrexate and leflunomide (LEF) are the most widely prescribed DMARDs worldwide; yet biologic DMARDs are the newest and best selling agents for rheumatoid arthritis worldwide. A recent study of combination therapy with MTX and LEF underscores the efficacy and safety of this approach and

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Cardiovascular Prevention Lacking in Rheumatoid Arthritis

Jul 28, 2021

An increased cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk in rheumatoid arthritis is well known and feared but an RA cohort study suggests that preventive medication use in RA patients lags behind that seen in diabetes mellitus (DM).

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Canakinumab Fails to Improve COVID-19 Survival

Jul 20, 2021

JAMA has published the findings of trial wherein the anti–interleukin-1β antibody canakinumab (CAN) failed to improve survival in patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19.



Other studies have suggested that the use of IL-1 inhibitors (anakinra) may improve COVID outcomes,

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Arthritis as a Harbinger of Pediatric Cancer

Jul 15, 2021

Lancet Rheumatology has published a cohort analysis showing that a small but significant subset of children presenting with arthralgia or arthritis may have a pediatric malignancy.



This multicentre study sought to identify articular presentations of children manifesting

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ICYMI: 2020 Rheumatology Year in Review

Jul 08, 2021

2020 was historic, memorable and game-changing. Under the cloud of COVID-19, there were many significant and memorable advances and setbacks for the rheumatology world. In our accounting of most read articles for 2020, (not surprisingly) 17/20 were COVID-related. Below, are our top news items

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Neuropsychiatric Events Common in Lupus

Jun 30, 2021

Neuropsychiatric (NP-SLE) or CNS lupus events range from mild to severe; several recent studies have noted that NPS lupus is common and should be screened for.

A metanalysis of the literature finds 22 studies wherein the mean frequency of NPSLE ranged from 10.6% to 96.4%. When researchers with

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RheumNow Podcast – Modern Treatment of RA Pregnancy (6.25.2021)

Jun 25, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush reviews this week’s news and journal reports featured on RheumNow.com.

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RheumNow Podcast - Best of EULAR 2021

Jun 11, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush reviews and highlights his favorite abstracts and presentations from last week's virtual EULAR 2021 meeting.

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How Do You Measure Success When It Comes to SLE?

Jun 10, 2021

EULAR 2021 opened with a grand debate to answer this essential question:  should clinicians treat to remission or to Lupus Low Disease Activity State (LLDAS)?  

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Which biomarkers could guide csDMARDs tapering in #RA patients in #remission? Dr Gul reported in a cohort study using a tapering protocol, 35% had relapsed. Risk score for sustained remission comprise IRC<2%, MSK-US PD=0 and RAQoL=<1 (AUC=0.89) #EULAR2021 #OP0182 @RheumNow https://t.co/y1Y6ug7f3w
Md Yuzaiful Md Yusof @Yuz6Yusof( View Tweet )
Jun 05, 2021
"What we really need in SpA/PsA is personalized medicine in order to choose the best drug MOA for our patients." Dr. Laura Coates addressing paradox of choice in treatment options. I remain hopeful for better biomarkers for future precision medicine approach. #EULAR2021 @RheumNow https://t.co/nIDksfTe7h
Dr. Rachel Tate @uptoTate( View Tweet )
Jun 04, 2021
So it comes down to the grand question: how on earth do we actually monitor disease activity?? "We still don't have a failsafe algorithm... relapse is both underdiagnosed & overdiagnosed" - @Sarah_L_Mackie The challenge lots of good people are working on! #EULAR2021 @RheumNow https://t.co/PUa6Ly1DQw
David Liew @drdavidliew( View Tweet )
Jun 03, 2021
Insights in RA and colon: Naïve RA patients -higher degree of intestinal permeability vs age and sex matched ctrls in colonic biopsies -higher serum levels of bacterial translocation markers (LBP and CD14s); reduced in resp to DMARDs. #EULAR2021 @RheumNow #OP0035 @ClaireDaien

Aurelie Najm @AurelieRheumo( View Tweet )

Jun 02, 2021
Yes more lab abnormalities in #Upadactinib vs #Adalimumab in RA RCTs including cytopenias, transaminitis but not creatinine @RheumNow @eular_org #EULAR2021 but no diff in treatmt emergent Adverse events abst OP0128 Yes do labs when on #Upadacitinib https://t.co/5ypKGxuE3U https://t.co/XRjr0gDnIT
Janet Pope @Janetbirdope( View Tweet )
Jun 02, 2021
Do you really needs to follow labs for pts on #JAKi ? @eular_org #EULAR2021 OP0128 studied 4.5 years in #upadacitinb 6 RCTs in RA. More grade3 or 4 anemia, low lymph, neutrophils & ⬆️

Janet Pope @Janetbirdope( View Tweet )

Jun 02, 2021

RheumNow Podcast – Myth Busters (5.21.2021)

May 21, 2021

Dr Jack Cush reviews the news and journal reports from the past week on RheumNow.com




  1. Metanalysis (11 RCTs, 19 registries) of Pulm arterial HTN assoc. w/ CTD (w/ 1,267 & 4,008 CTD-PAH pts), showed Investigational Rxs reduced morbidity/mortality by 36%. CTD-PAH survival

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Tocilizumab Risk of Diverticulitis and GI Perforation

May 19, 2021

A French registry analysis compared the risk of diverticulitis and gastrointestinal perforation (GIP) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients treated with biologics and found a greater risk of both in patients receiving tocilizumab (TCZ) compared with those on rituximab (RTX) or abatacept (ABA

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RheumNow Podcast – BandAids for Rheumatologists (5.14.2021)

May 14, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news and journal articles from the past week on RheumNow.com - a website for rheumatologists, by rheumatologists.



We love Rheumatology!




  1. CDC study from 33 sites, 25 states showed vaccine efficacy (against Sx COVID) in HCP was 82% with ONEdose

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RheumNow Live 2021 Now Available for All

May 14, 2021

RheumNow Live (RNL) for 2021 was held March 20 - 21 in Fort Worth, TX, and now all can partake in the meeting - by video, podcast or by signing up for Tuesday Nite Rheumatology (TNR).



RNL has finished its 3rd year as a hybrid meeting, with the live meeting streamed to hundreds at home

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News Feature: Higher Hydroxychloroquine Blood Levels Reduces Thrombosis Risk in Lupus Petri and colleagues have published that measuring HCQ blood levels is useful in SLE patients as low levels are associated with thrombosis in SLE. https://t.co/jAXUJoM2Pa https://t.co/h8KonZRnX8
Dr. John Cush @RheumNow( View Tweet )
May 11, 2021

Higher Hydroxychloroquine Blood Levels Reduces Thrombosis Risk in Lupus

May 10, 2021

Petri and colleagues have published that measuring hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) blood levels can be useful in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), as low levels are associated with an increased thrombotic risk in SLE.



In total cohort of 739 SLE patients, HCQ levels were serially quantified

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RheumNow Podcast – Falling or Falling in Love?

May 06, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the best journal articles from the past week on RheumNow.com.

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ARTIC REWIND - Don't Half DMARD Therapy

May 06, 2021

The ARTIC-REWIND study examined rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients in remission on conventional synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) to see if they could "step-down" their csDMARDs theray; but  the study showed that 25% those who went on half-dose experienced disease

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Drug Monitoring Ineffective with Infliximab Treatment

May 05, 2021

The predictive value of therapeutic drug monitoring (TDM) while on biologics is debateable; gastroenterology routinely relies on TDM, while rheumatologists do not. A randomized trial compared TDM to no TDM in patients receiving infliximab for chronic immune-mediated inflammatory diseases (

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Autoimmune Thyroid Disease in Women

May 04, 2021

JAMA has posted an insights article reviewing autoimmune thyroid disease in women. Thyroid autoimmunity has a higher prevalence in women and with increasing age.



Similar to many autoimmune disorders, thyroid disease is more common in women than in men.

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