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Labs/Biomarkers

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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Uric Acid: A Major Player in the Metabolic Syndrome

May 03, 2021

An open source, free read from the European Journal of Internal Medicine discusses how uric acid has evolved from the toxic cause of gout and nephrolithiasis and evolved, by way of science, into a pleiotropic recidivist in the evolution of obesity, diabetes, insulin resistance, renal disease,

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Predictors of Methotrexate Toxicity

Apr 30, 2021

A metanalysis showed that while adverse events (AEs) are common when methotrexate is used in rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory arthritis patients, serious AEs ranged from 2.1 to 9.5% and drug discontinuations ranged from 6.7% to 15.5%, mostly due to gastrointestinal events. 

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Lupus Activity Affects Mortality

MedPage Today
Apr 23, 2021

Each one-unit increase on a disease activity score during the first year after enrollment into a systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) cohort was associated with a significant increased risk for death and organ damage during subsequent follow-up, researchers reported.

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RheumNow Podcast – Coconspirators: RA and Lung Disease

Apr 23, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush reviews and discusses more than a dozen news and journal articles from the past week on RheumNow.com.

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RheumNow Podcast – Upadacitinib Wins in PsA (4.2.2021)

Apr 02, 2021

Dr Jack Cush reviews the news and Journal reports and takes "Back Talk" questions from viewers.

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Hypertension Unaffected by Urate Lowering Therapy

Mar 30, 2021

Does uric acid contribute to the risk of hypertension (HTN)?  A recent cohort trial shows that allopurinol in young adults does not sufficiently lower blood pressure (BP).



Previous research in a small cohort of obese hypertensive kids showed that urate lowering therapy was assoaciated

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RheumNow Podcast – Infection in ANCA-Associated Vasculitis (3.26.2021)

Mar 26, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush reviews the news, FDA Denials and journal articles from the past week on RheumNow.com.




  1. Analysis of CPRD registry and 15,670 MTX treated pts (46,571 PYs) showed discontinuation for abnormal or severely abnormal labs was 42/1000PY and 6/1,000PY and half that

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MDA-5 Antibodies and Juvenile Dermatomyositis

Mar 17, 2021

A multicentre, retrospective study examined MSA profiles (by immunoprecipitation) from 96 juvenile idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (JIIM) at nine pediatric rheumatology centres in Japan. MSA were found in 85 of 96 cases with over 90% of patients having one of the following three MSA types

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Weight Loss to Avert Risk of Gout

Mar 03, 2021

Analysis of the NHANES population survey data shows weight gain during adulthood increases the risk of gout and that maintaining normal weight could reduce the overall gout risk by nearly 33%.



Obesity and gout have long been linked, but the the influence of weight changes during

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Combo Therapy Boosts Response in Uncontrolled Gout

MedPage Today
Mar 02, 2021

The addition of an immunomodulating agent to pegloticase (Krystexxa) among patients with uncontrolled gout significantly improved response rates, a systematic literature review found.



In a cohort of patients whose gout had been refractory to conventional therapy, co-treatment with

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NEJM: Interleukin-6 Inhibition in Critically-Ill COVID-19

Mar 01, 2021

The pendulum and jury are wavering with regard to the benefits of interleukin-6 receptor antagonists in COVID-19; the current NEJM reports the results of a study favoring such biologic therapy in in critically ill COVID-19 patients.

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RheumNow Podcast – Systemic Sclerosis Pearls (2.19.2021)

Feb 18, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush reviews nearly a dozen news and journal reports from the past 2 weeks on RheumNow.com, including the ACR's new COVID-19 vaccine guidance for patients with rheumatic disease.

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High Risk Cancer Profiling with Inflammatory Myositis

Feb 18, 2021

A recent metanalysis of studies suggest you may be able to use certain clinical factors to stratify cancer risk in patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIMs).

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MIRROR Study: Pegloticase With Methotrexate in Uncontrolled Gout

Feb 15, 2021

Botson et al has reported that the combination of methotrexate (MTX) and IV pegloticase is safe and effective in patients with uncontrolled gout.

This exploratory, open-label clinical trial screened 17 patients and treated 14 patients (all men, 49.3 ± 8.7 years) with IV pegloticase with MTX (15

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RheumNow Podcast – Rheumatology Burnout (1.29.2021)

Jan 28, 2021

Dr. Jack Cush reviews this past week's journal articles and news features on RheumNow.com. Colchicine, vaccine rollout, risk of RA in endometriosis patients, tREACH trial, lupus nephritis news, rheumatology burnout and more.

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Lupus Nephritis Despite Low Level Proteinuria

Jan 27, 2021

Kidney International reports on a series of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients, who despite inactive urinary sediment and low level proteinuria, had a high rate of glomerulonephritis (GN) proven by renal biopsy; moreover, the LN was not predicted by laboratory abnormalities.



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Urate Lowering Therapy During Acute Gout

Jan 26, 2021

Acute gout has its well defined protocols, and most state that urate lowering therapy (ULT) should be continued; but does ULT affect outcomes in an acute gout attack?

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UTSW Rheum Grand Rounds - IgG4 Dz - Plasmablasts may be a useful biomarker; but is not generally available in clinical labs (must be done on fresh whole blood) @UTSWIMchief https://t.co/GlEKw0KD3O
Dr. John Cush @RheumNow( View Tweet )
Jan 21, 2021
UTSW Rheum Grand Rounds - IgG4 Dz common lab findings: hypergammaglobulinemia is common but elevated ESR/CRP are not. Most have elevated IgG4 serum levels @UTSWIMchief https://t.co/wR5FEqZTsX
Dr. John Cush @RheumNow( View Tweet )
Jan 21, 2021

2020 Rheumatology Year in Review

Jan 14, 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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ProDERM Study: IVIG in Dermatomyositis

Jan 13, 2021

The ProDERM study design and outcomes are previewed in Medicine; and as promised the results were revealed at ACR Convergence in November 2020 showing that IVIg is safe, effective and superior to placebo i(PBO) in patients with dermatomyositis (DM).

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