Sex differences in axial spondyloarthritis: data from a Portuguese spondyloarthritis cohort
Background: Axial spondyloarthritis (axSpA), particularly ankylosing spondylitis was historically considered a male’s disease and has been under-recognized in women.
Emerging evidence reveals sex differences in pathophysiology, disease presentation and therapeutic efficacy.
Objective: To identify differences between sexes in a Portuguese cohort of patients with axSpA regarding clinical manifestations, disease activity, functional capacity, patient related outcomes and presence of sacroiliitis on x-ray or magnetic resonance imaging.
Methods: Patients with ≥18 years fulfilling the ASAS- Assessment of Spondyloarthritis International Society classification criteria for axSpA registered in the electronic Rheumatic Diseases Portuguese Register (Reuma.pt) were included in this multicentric cross-sectional study. Sociodemographic data, clinical features and imaging were collected from the first record in Reuma.pt. These variables were compared between sexes using Mann-Whitney test and Chi-Square test. Variables with a significant association with variable sex were considered in the multiple variable analysis to adjust the sex effect on the outcome variables. Statistical analysis was performed with R version 4.0.2 and p <0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: A total of 1995 patients were included, 1114 (55.9%) men and 881 (44.1%) women. Men had an earlier
disease onset (25.1 vs 28.4, p <0.001), were younger at diagnosis (26.9 vs 30.4, p<0.001) and were more frequently smokers (32.1% vs 15.7%, p <0.001). Comparing to women, men had worse Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Metrological Index scores (4.0 vs 3.4, p<0.001), higher levels of C-Reactive Protein (10.5 vs 6.9 mg/L, p <0.001) and were more often Human Leukocyte Antigen-B27 positive (67.8% vs 54%, p <0.001).
In contrast, women more frequently had inflammatory bowel disease (8.8% vs 4.9%, p =0.004), higher levels of
erythrocyte sedimentation rate (25.0 vs 21.0mm/h, p=0.003) and worse patient-related outcomes- Bath Ankylosing Spondylitis Disease Activity Index (5.7 vs 4.5, p<0.001), Patient Global Assessment (60.0 vs 50.0, p <0.001) and fatigue (6.2 vs 5.0, p <0.001).
Discussion: In this large multicentric study from a Portuguese axSpA cohort, we confirmed sex differences in patients with axSpA. This work brings awareness to these differences, resulting in less underdiagnosis and misdiagnosis, optimizing treatment strategies, and improving outcomes in axSpA.Read online
The 2021 Portuguese Society of Ophthalmology joint guidelines with Paediatric Rheumatology on the screening, monitoring and medical treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis
Aim: To develop the first Ophthalmology joint guidelines with Paediatric Rheumatology with recommendations on the screening, monitoring and medical treatment of juvenile idiopathic arthritis-associated uveitis (JIA-U), endorsed by the Portuguese Society of Ophthalmology (SPO).
Methods: A systematic literature review was conducted to include publications up to July 14th 2020, with no language restrictions, in order to include all the international position papers/guidelines concerning the medical management of JIA-U and randomised clinical trials assessing the efficacy and safety of medical treatment in this field. We searched through MEDLINE (PubMed), Scopus, Web of Science and Cochrane Library. The Delphi modified technique to generate consensus was used. Preliminary evidence statements were subject to an anonymous agreement assessment and discussion process using an online survey, followed by further discussion and update at a national meeting. A draft of the manuscript with all recommendations was then circulated among all participants and suggestions were incorporated. The final version was again circulated before publication.
Results: Twenty-six recommendations were developed focusing on the following topics: general management (3), screening and follow-up of uveitis (4), treatment (17) and health education in JIA-U among patients and families (2).
Conclusion: These guidelines were designed to support the shared medical management of patients with JIA-U and emphasize the need for a multidisciplinary approach between Ophthalmology and Paediatric Rheumatology regarding the comprehensive care of JIA-U. We acknowledge that updating these recommendations will be warranted in the future, as more evidence becomes available.
Key-words: juvenile idiopathic arthritis, uveitis, biological treatment, conventional immunosuppressive treatment, multidisciplinary management, guidelines, consensus, review, Delphi Technique
Portuguese recommendations for the use of biological and targeted synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis – 2020 update
Objective: To update the recommendations for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with biological and targeted synthetic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs and tsDMARDs), endorsed by the Portuguese Society of Rheumatology (SPR).
Methods: These treatment recommendations were formulated by Portuguese rheumatologists taking into account previous recommendations, new literature evidence and consensus opinion. At a national meeting, in a virtual format, three of the ten previous recommendations were re-addressed and discussed after a more focused literature review. A first draft of the updated recommendations was elaborated by a team of SPR rheumatologists from the SPR rheumatoid arthritis study group, GEAR. The resulting document circulated among all SPR rheumatologists for discussion and input. The level of agreement with each of all the recommendations was anonymously voted online by all SPR rheumatologists.
Results: These recommendations cover general aspects such as shared decision, treatment objectives, systematic assessment of disease activity and burden and its registry in Reuma.pt. Consensus was also achieved regarding specific aspects such as initiation of bDMARDs and tsDMARDs, assessment of treatment response, switching and definition of persistent remission.
Conclusion: These recommendations may be used for guidance of treatment with bDMARDs and tsDMARDs in patients with RA. As more evidence becomes available and more therapies are licensed, these recommendations will be updated.Read online