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Z Rheumatol ; 80(5): 408-417, 2021 Jun.
Article in German | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-952248


BACKGROUND: In March 2020 the SARS-CoV­2 pandemic disseminated initially especially in Bavaria. At that time data on patients with rheumatic diseases and immunomodulatory treatment was lacking. OBJECTIVE: The aim was to analyze the influence of the SARS-CoV­2 pandemic on the clinical treatment strategy. MATERIAL AND METHODS: Between 16 March and 31 July 2020 all patients who consecutively presented at the rheumatology outpatient clinic of the Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University of Munich were included in the study. Individual treatment adjustments were based on clinical judgment and the recommendations for action of the German Society for Rheumatology (DGRh). RESULTS: A total of 322 patients were included. The most frequent diagnosis was rheumatoid arthritis with 17%, ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV) with 14% and SLE with 12%. Of the patients 262 were on DMARD treatment and 77 received oral glucocorticoids. There were 5 cases of suspected SARS-CoV­2 infection; however, no patient verifiably became ill due to COVID-19. In 40 patients, treatment adjustments were done due to the pandemic, whereby 3 patients developed a flare of the underlying disease. In retrospect, treatment de-escalation occurred most frequently in AAV, IgG4-related disease, immunosuppressive treatment with rituximab and the simultaneous presence of malignant diseases. CONCLUSION: The total lack of confirmed SARS-CoV­2 infections in an otherwise strongly affected region could indicate that the infection risk for SARS-CoV­2 is not substantially increased for patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases. A continuation of most immunosuppressive medications therefore seems reasonable during the ongoing pandemic.

COVID-19 , Rheumatic Diseases , Rheumatology , Ambulatory Care Facilities , Humans , Pandemics , Prospective Studies , Rheumatic Diseases/diagnosis , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , Rheumatic Diseases/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Universities