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Rare Diseases

Shingles Risk with JAK Inhibitors and Other Biologics

Jul 29, 2021

Registry data suggests an increased risk of herpes zoster (HZ, shingles) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients taking JAK inhibitors (JAKi) but also with other biologic DMARDs, compared to csDMARDs.

RA patients from the German RABBIT register were prospectively enrolled (2007 - 2020)

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US News & World Report Ranks Best Rheumatology Hospitals

Jul 27, 2021

Medscape has published the annual U.S. News and World Reports ranking of Rheumatology Hospitals, again honoring Johns Hopkins Hospital with the top spot, with runner up status going to the Cleveland Clinic, Hospital for Special Surgery, Mayo Clinic and Brigham and Women's Hospital.

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FDA Approves IVIG in Dermatomyositis

Jul 20, 2021

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Octagam 10% [Immune Globulin Intravenous (Human)], as the first and only intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) formulation to be approved for adult dermatomyositis (DM).

The manufacturer, Octapharma USA, received

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ACR/Vasculitis Foundation Guideline for Giant Cell Arteritis and Takayasu Arteritis

Jul 19, 2021

The ACR and the Vasculitis Foundation have published their evidence-based recommendations and expert guidance for the management of GCA and Takayasu arteritis. These recommendations address a variety of clinical questions and scenarios including diagnostic testing, imaging, treatments, and

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Osteonecrosis in Lupus

Jul 15, 2021

A single center analysis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients found symptomatic osteonecrosis (ON) in nearly 10%.

Researchers analyzed data from 912 SLE patients admitted to the hospital (1981 to 2012).  Of these 912 SLE patients, 97 had symptomatic ON with an overall

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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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ACR/Vasculitis Foundation 2021 Guidelines for ANCA–Associated Vasculitis

Jul 14, 2021

Chung et al have published the 2021 treatment guielines for the management of antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody–associated vasculitis, including granulomatosis with polyangiitis, microscopic polyangiitis, and eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis. These guidelines are put forth by the

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Potential Birth Defects with Hydroxychloroquine

Jul 13, 2021

Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is one of the safest meds used in rheumatology, but there is new claims data suggesting a small increase in the risk of malformations associated with first-trimester HCQ use.

While HCQ is generally considered safe in pregnancy, studies have been too few and

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Rare Myocarditis Risk following COVID-19 Vaccine

Jul 12, 2021

MMWR review of the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis reports a June 23, 2021 recommendation by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices that the benefits of COVID-19 vaccination clearly outweighed the risks of myocarditis after vaccination. 

The COVID-19 vaccines from 

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ICYMI: Actemra FDA Approved for Systemic Sclerosis Interstitial Lung Disease

Jul 06, 2021

Genentech announced Thursday that the US Food and Drug Administration approved tocilizumab (Actemra) for the treatment of Systemic Sclerosis-associated Interstitial Lung Disease (SSc-ILD), specifically indicated for slowing the rate of decline in pulmonary function in adults SSc-ILD.

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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

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Treatment of MIS-C COVID in Kids

Jun 21, 2021

The NEJM has published results of a real-world efficacty trial showing that COVID infected children with the multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) respond better to initial IVIG plus glucocorticoids (than IVIG alone) which was associated with less subsequent cardiovascular

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RheumNow Podcast – Heart, Lung & Liver (5.28.2021)

May 27, 2021

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

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Factors Associated with COVID-19 Deaths in Rheumatic Patients

May 24, 2021

Analysis of data from the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance shows that rheumatic diseases infected with COVID-19 had a greater risk of death with age, comorbidities, high disease activity and few specific therapies.

Rheumatic disease adults with a confirmed or presumptive COVID-19

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RheumNow Podcast – Myth Busters (5.21.2021)

May 21, 2021

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

  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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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 - 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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FDA Advisors Split on Avacopan for Vasculitis

MedPage Today
May 10, 2021

Members of an FDA advisory panel were sharply divided as to whether avacopan, an oral small molecule inhibitor of the C5a receptor, was sufficiently safe and effective for treating antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis.

As to whether the efficacy data

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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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Avacopan for ANCA Vasculitis Goes in Front of the FDA

MedPage Today
May 07, 2021

An FDA advisory panel will consider whether to recommend approval of an oral C5a inhibitor for antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis, with agency staff raising questions over the "clinical meaningfulness" of key study data.

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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

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Childhood Lupus May Hamper Adult Careers

May 04, 2021

Long-term outcomes of kids with childhood-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (cSLE) are uncommon, but this cSLE cohort analysis suggests that SLE significantly impacts their future education, vocation, and employment as they reach adulthood.

A cohort of 106 cSLE (93% female, 73% White

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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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Tofacitinib in Ankylosing Spondylitis

Apr 28, 2021

A phase III trial assessing the efficacy and safety of tofacitinib in adults with with active ankylosing spondylitis (AS) shows that JAK inhibitiion was superior to placebo in a 48 week study.

A total of 269 adult AS patients with a prior an inadequate response or intolerance to ≥2

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BSRBR: Demyelinating Disease Following Anti-TNFα Therapy

Apr 21, 2021

Analysis of patients receiving anti–tumor necrosis factor α (TNFi) therapy in the British Society for Rheumatology Biologics Register (BSRBR) shows that the risk of demyelination is rare but is marginally increased by taking TNFi therapy. 

From their large registry (n=13,489) they

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