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1.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases ; 81:975-976, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2009177

ABSTRACT

Background: It is well established that severe forms of SARS-CoV2 infection can induce a massive cytokine storm, which may disrupt the immune system stability and conceivably stimulate the development of reactive manifestations through a molecular mimicry process. Likewise, anti-COVID-19 vaccines, which have so far proved an excellent tolerability and safety profile, are able boost the immune response via different biologic technologies and adjuvant combinations possibly facilitating, in predisposed subjects, the onset of infammatory or even autoimmune manifestations. Objectives: We report a case series of suspected rheumatic adverse events following immunization (AEFI) associated with anti-COVID-19 vaccine. We focused our attention on the prognosis of these patients by analysing their available follow-up data. Methods: We included patients evaluated at frst-aid rheumatologic consultancy and at rheumatologic outpatient and inpatient clinic at Padua University Hospital between May and September 2021 presenting with new-onset rheumatic manifestation or a fare of an underlying rheumatic disease within 30 days after receiving an anti-COVID-19 vaccine dose. Inclusion and exclusion criteria were in accordance with the World Health Organization guidelines for AEFI surveillance. All patients were re-evaluated in January 2022: telemedicine or face-to-face visit. Response to therapy was classifed as complete, good or absent according to the clinician's judgment based on clinical examination, patient's reporting and analysis of laboratory data. Results: We identifed 30 cases of suspected rheumatic AEFI reported in Table 1. Comprehensively the most common manifestations were infammatory arthritis (40.0%), rheumatic polymyalgia (26.7%) and adult-onset Still disease (13.3%). Among patients with an underlying rheumatic disease we recorded an AOSD fare, a rheumatoid arthritis fare with involvement of hands proximal inter-phalangeal joints, one case of wrist arthritis in a patient with psoriatic arthritis, one of aortitis in a patient with large vessels vasculitis, one case of polyarthritis in undifferentiated connective tissue disease and a nephritis fare in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus. Treatment for the suspected AEFI was based on systemic glucocorticoids (GC) alone (63.3%), systemic GC plus IL-1R antagonists (13.3%), non-steroidal autoinfammatory drugs (13.3%), intra-articular GC (6.6%), colchicine (3.3%) and non-steroidal anti-infammatory drugs (13.3%). At last follow-up contact (7.8±1.5 months) 26 patients (89.6%) were classified as complete responders. Eleven of them (42.3%) withdrew therapy without experiencing recurrence of disease manifestation. One patient with lupus nephritis had a proteinuric flare after the first BNT162b dose;he showed an initial good response to increased glucocorticoid therapy but had a new 24h proteinuria increase at second follow-up visit three months later requiring implementation of immunosuppressive therapy. Another patient with AOSD was in remission at last FU visit in December 2021 but required hospitalization in January 2022 for disease relapse due to a suspected gastrointestinal infection. Finally, one patient hospitalized for a seronegative polyarthritis after the first BNT162b dose achieved complete remission at last available contact (one month after hospital discharge) but was then lost in follow-up. Conclusion: After a mean follow-up of 7.8±1.5 months nearly all of patients showed a complete/good response to standard therapy and about half of them withdrew the treatment without losing the remission status.

2.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases ; 81:710, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2009150

ABSTRACT

Background: Rituximab (RTX) achieved high remission-induction and sustained maintenance rates for patients with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody (ANCA)-associated vasculitis (AAV) [1], [2]. However, RTX is an expensive medication, which may potentially lead to serious side effects. Defning the best dose regimen for maintenance in AAV is still an unmet need. Objectives: The aim of the present study is to compare the effects of ultra-low dose RTX (500 mg or 1000 mg once per year) to standard low dose RTX (500 or 1000 mg twice per year) as remission-maintenance therapy in AAV patients. Methods: We included consecutive AAV patients (classifed as GPA and MPA [3]) referring to four different Rheumatology centers in Italy. We assessed all AAV patients who successfully achieved disease remission (BVASv3=0) with conventional RTX or cyclophosphamide regimens and have been subsequently treated with RTX for maintenance of remission. All included patients received at least three maintenance infusions with either 1000 mg or 500 mg, twice per year (standard low dose) or once per year (ultra-low dose). After a period of 18 months, we assessed the remission rate, damage (VDI), glucocorticoids intake, ANCA status, B-cells depletion and serum IgG levels. Results: From January 2011 to December 2021, 83 AAV patients (mean age 51±16, 49.4% female, 95.2% ANCA positive, 65.8% anti PR3, 34.2% anti MPO), 61 classifed as GPA and 22 MPA, achieved complete disease remission with conventional RTX induction regimen. After 7 [6-9] months, 29.9% patients started maintenance treatment with ultra-low dose RTX (once per year), while 70.1% patients with standard low dose (twice per year), for 18 months. No signifcant differences at baseline were noted between patients receiving ultra-low dose when compared to those treated with conventional low-dose. At the end of observation period, a disease fare was observed in 22.7% of the low-dose group, and 21.2% in those treated with the standard dose (p=0.881). Relapse-free survival was comparable between the two group (log-rank p=0.818, Figure 1). When comparing AAV patients treated with ultra-low dose regimen to those treated with low-dose, no differences were noted in negative ANCA rate (72.2% vs 67.1%, p=0.262), ANCA titer (0 [0-7.8] vs 0 [0-50] UI/mL, p=0.232), B-cells depletion rate (70.6% vs 75%, p=0.725), mean serum IgG (811 [146-922] vs 680 [429-861] mg/dL, p=0.367), mean daily glucocorticoid dosage (2.5 [0-5] vs 3.75 [0-5] mg/d, p=0.647), VDI (4 [1-5] vs 2 [1-4], p=0.098), hypogammaglobulinaemia rate (31.8% vs 36.5%, p=0.697) and deaths (4.5% vs 5.8%, p=0.831). Although not signifcant, patients treated with ultra-low dose had lower severe infection rate (10.5% vs 26.8%, p=0.154). Notably, in the all cohort 5 deaths were related to COVID19 pneumonia. Conclusion: Reduced exposure to RTX was not associated with an impaired efficacy of maintenance therapy in patients with AAV. Remission maintenance with ultra-low dose RTX is a safe and more cost-effective option.

3.
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases ; 81:936, 2022.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-2008887

ABSTRACT

Background: Mixed cryoglobulinaemic vasculitis (MCV) is an immune-complex-mediated systemic vasculitis characterized by heterogeneous clinical manifestations mainly involving skin, kidney and peripheral nervous system. Despite reassuring safety data from EULAR Coronavirus Vaccine (COVAX) physician-reported registry, a signifcant proportion of patients with autoimmune diseases reported unwillingness to get vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 infection in the preliminary results of the COVAD study, due to concerns about the lack of longterm safety data, and fear of associated side effects and disease fare. Objectives: Aims of this multicentre Italian study were to investigate the prevalence of vaccination against SARS-CoV-2 in Italian population of MCV patients, to explore the reason for the missed vaccination, and to investigate short and long-term side effects of the vaccine, including vasculitis fare. Methods: All MCV patients referring to 12 Italian centres were investigated about vaccination and possible both short-(within 48 hours) and long-term (within 30 days) adverse events (AE), classifed according to FDA Toxicity Grading Scale for preventive vaccine clinical trials, and possible disease fares. Patients with MCV related to lymphoproliferative disorders or connective tissue diseases were excluded from the study. The baseline variables were expressed as percentages or mean±standard deviation. The differences between continuous variables were analysed using the Mann-Whitney nonparametric test. The chi-squared test, or Fischer's exact when appropriate, were used for categorical variables (absolute numbers and percentages) regarding baseline characteristics. Results: A total of 416 patients, 69.2% females and 30.8% males, with a mean age of 70.4±11.7 years, were included in the study. Only 7.7% of patients were not vaccinated, mainly for fear of adverse events (50%) or for medical decision (18.8%). Corminaty was the vaccine most frequently used (80.5%). Interestingly, 6 patients (1.44%) were with a heterologous vaccination (usually AstraZeneca-Corminaty). Considering ongoing treatment, not vaccinated subjects were more frequently treated with chronic glucocorticoid therapy and/or Rituximab (p=0.049 and p=0.043 respectively). AE were recorded in 31.7% of cases, mainly mild and self-limiting (grade 1). More severe adverse events, such as fare of vasculitis, were observed in 5.3% of cases. AE were not associated with the kind of vaccine used and with the clinical manifestations of vasculitis. Patients with active MCV showed a lower frequency of short-term (within 48 hours) adverse events, but patients affected by peripheral neuropathies or skin vasculitis frequently showed a fare of their symptoms, recorded in 40% and 25% of cases, respectively. Finally, patients under glucocorticoid treatment were more prone to develop a vasculitis fare within a month after vaccination. Conclusion: Vaccination in MCV patients has been performed in a high percentage of patients showing a good safety. Other than patients' fear, treatments with rituximab and glucocorticoids are the main reasons for delaying vaccination, and it should be considered by the physician before starting therapy. Vasculitis fares were observed in about 5% of cases, in line with that observed in other autoimmune diseases. Specific attention should be reserved to people with purpura or peripheral neuropathy, for the increased risk of exacerbation of their symptoms.

4.
Clinical & Experimental Rheumatology ; 05:05, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1989188

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVES: Anti-COVID-19 vaccines have proved to be effective and well tolerated. Great attention is now being paid to the characterisation of possible adverse events associated to their administration. We report a case series of suspected rheumatic diseases (RDs) following anti-COVID-19 vaccination. METHODS: We included patients evaluated at first-aid rheumatologic consultancy and at rheumatologic outpatient and inpatient clinic at Padova University Hospital between May and September 2021 presenting with a RD within 30 days after an anti-COVID-19 vaccine dose. Our selection was in accordance with the World Health Organisation guidelines for adverse event following immunisation (AEFI) surveillance. Patients were regularly re-evaluated by telemedicine or face-to-face visit. RESULTS: We identified 30 cases of RD following vaccination: 24 (80.0%) new onsets and 6 (20.0%) flares. Most of patients (76.6%) received the BNT162b2 vaccine. The mean time to RD onset/flare was 12+/-9 days. The most common manifestations were inflammatory arthritis (40.0%), rheumatic polymyalgia (33.3%) and adult-onset Still's disease (13.3%). At the last FU visit (9.6+/-2.2 months), 83.3% of patients showed complete response to first- or second-line therapy, 13.3% a partial response and one patient (3.3%) was still experiencing an active disease. CONCLUSIONS: Considering the amount of vaccine doses administered during the evaluation period we overall detected a limited number of cases. We noted a clear prevalence of autoinflammatory conditions and seronegative manifestations. The great majority of patients had mild features and showed a good response to therapy.

5.
Journal of Cystic Fibrosis ; 20:S65, 2021.
Article in English | EMBASE | ID: covidwho-1361553

ABSTRACT

Objectives: As the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic continues, people with cystic fibrosis (CF) have been identified as being a vulnerable group. It is essential that people with CF, their families and their clinical teams have the most up-to-date information on the impact of SARS-CoV-2 on their health. This study aims to characterise the impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection in people with CF throughout 2020, identify factors that predict clinical progression of COVID-19, and to describe medium-term follow-up of people who have been infected. Methods: The ‘Cystic Fibrosis Registry Global Harmonization Group’ is a worldwide network of CF Registries that each contributed data on people with CF diagnosed with SARS-CoV-2 infection. In this analysis, we will report on cases contributed from 22 countries diagnosed between 1st February and 13th December 2020. We will present demographic, pre-infection clinical characteristics, symptoms, infection management and outcomes. We will use multivariable logistic regression to assess predictors for hospitalisation with respiratory support and intensive care admission as the outcomes of interest representing clinical progression of COVID-19. Descriptive analysis of medium-term follow-up BMI and FEV1% predicted values will also be undertaken. Results: Results pending. Expected cohort size >1,000, including the 181 previously reported in our paper “The global impact of SARS-CoV-2 in 181 people with cystic fibrosis.” Conclusion: It is expected that the findings of this study will have important implications for shielding advice, clinical care and vaccine prioritisation for people with CF.

6.
J Autoimmun ; 112: 102502, 2020 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-595406

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Whether patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases (ARD) have a higher risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) and how SARS-CoV-2 pandemic impacts on adherence to therapy has not been fully elucidated. We assessed the rate and clinical presentation of COVID-19, and adherence to therapy in a large cohort of patients with ARD followed-up in a tertiary University-Hospital in Northeast Italy. METHODS: Between April 9th and April 25th, 2020, after SARS-CoV-2 infection peak, a telephone survey investigating the impact of COVID-19 on patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), systemic sclerosis (SSc), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), ANCA-associated vasculitis (AAV), and idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIM) was administered. Demographics, disease activity status, therapy, occupational exposure, and adherence to social distancing advise were also collected. RESULTS: 916 patients (397 SLE, 182 AAV, 176 SSc, 111 RA, 50 IIM) completed the survey. 148 patients developed at least one symptom compatible with COVID-19 (cough 96, sore throat 64, fever 64, arthromyalgias 59, diarrhea 26, conjunctivitis 18, ageusia/hyposmia, 18). Among the 916 patients, 65 (7.1%) underwent SARS-CoV-2 nasopharyngeal swab (18 symptomatic and 47 asymptomatic), 2 (0.21%) tested positive, a proportion similar to that observed in the general population of the Veneto region. No deaths occurred. 31 patients (3.4%) withdrew ≥1 medication, mainly immunosuppressants or biologics. Adoption of social distancing was observed by 860 patients (93.9%), including 335 (36.6%) who adopted it before official lockdown. CONCLUSIONS: COVID-19 incidence seems to be similar in our cohort compared to the general population. Adherence to therapy and to social distancing advise was high.


Subject(s)
Autoimmune Diseases/drug therapy , Betacoronavirus , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Immunosuppressive Agents/administration & dosage , Pneumonia, Viral/drug therapy , Rheumatic Diseases/drug therapy , Adult , Aged , Autoimmune Diseases/diagnosis , Autoimmune Diseases/virology , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Female , Humans , Italy , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Rheumatic Diseases/diagnosis , Rheumatic Diseases/virology , SARS-CoV-2
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