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Ann Rheum Dis ; 2021 Dec 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1854252


OBJECTIVES: To develop evidence-based Points to Consider (PtC) for the use of imaging modalities to guide interventional procedures in patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). METHODS: European Alliance of Associations for Rheumatology (EULAR) standardised operating procedures were followed. A systematic literature review was conducted to retrieve data on the role of imaging modalities including ultrasound (US), fluoroscopy, MRI, CT and fusion imaging to guide interventional procedures. Based on evidence and expert opinion, the task force (25 participants consisting of physicians, healthcare professionals and patients from 11 countries) developed PtC, with consensus obtained through voting. The final level of agreement was provided anonymously. RESULTS: A total of three overarching principles and six specific PtC were formulated. The task force recommends preference of imaging over palpation to guide targeted interventional procedures at peripheral joints, periarticular musculoskeletal structures, nerves and the spine. While US is the favoured imaging technique for peripheral joints and nerves, the choice of the imaging method for the spine and sacroiliac joints has to be individualised according to the target, procedure, expertise, availability and radiation exposure. All imaging guided interventions should be performed by a trained specialist using appropriate operational procedures, settings and assistance by technical personnel. CONCLUSION: These are the first EULAR PtC to provide guidance on the role of imaging to guide interventional procedures in patients with RMDs.

Arthritis Rheumatol ; 74(6): 934-947, 2022 Jun.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1589171


OBJECTIVE: Patients with autoimmune inflammatory rheumatic diseases receiving rituximab (RTX) therapy are at higher risk of poor COVID-19 outcomes and show substantially impaired humoral immune response to anti-SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. However, the complex relationship between antigen-specific B cells and T cells and the level of B cell repopulation necessary to achieve anti-vaccine responses remain largely unknown. METHODS: Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and induction of antigen-specific B and CD4/CD8 T cell subsets were studied in 19 patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibody-associated vasculitis receiving RTX, 12 patients with RA receiving other therapies, and 30 healthy controls after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination with either messenger RNA or vector-based vaccines. RESULTS: A minimum of 10 B cells per microliter (0.4% of lymphocytes) in the peripheral circulation appeared to be required for RTX-treated patients to mount seroconversion to anti-S1 IgG upon SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. RTX-treated patients who lacked IgG seroconversion showed reduced receptor-binding domain-positive B cells (P = 0.0005), a lower frequency of Tfh-like cells (P = 0.0481), as well as fewer activated CD4 (P = 0.0036) and CD8 T cells (P = 0.0308) compared to RTX-treated patients who achieved IgG seroconversion. Functionally relevant B cell depletion resulted in impaired interferon-γ secretion by spike-specific CD4 T cells (P = 0.0112, r = 0.5342). In contrast, antigen-specific CD8 T cells were reduced in both RA patients and RTX-treated patients, independently of IgG formation. CONCLUSION: In RTX-treated patients, a minimum of 10 B cells per microliter in the peripheral circulation is a candidate biomarker for a high likelihood of an appropriate cellular and humoral response after SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. Mechanistically, the data emphasize the crucial role of costimulatory B cell functions for the proper induction of CD4 responses propagating vaccine-specific B cell and plasma cell differentiation.

Arthritis, Rheumatoid , COVID-19 , Antibodies, Viral , Arthritis, Rheumatoid/drug therapy , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/therapeutic use , Cell Count , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Immunoglobulin G , Rituximab/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination/methods